Why I Wrote: The Lake Garda Trilogy
A Guest Post by Jennifer Young
It was the wine that did it. Not on its own, you understand, but as part of a wonderfully relaxing holiday during a particularly stressful time. I think I remember the exact moment when it came to me, if there is an exact moment. I was sitting on the terrace of the hotel after dinner, watching the sun set over Lake Garda and sipping a glass of local rosé, and all the cares slipped off my shoulders. And I thought: I know. And A Portrait of my Love was born.
The book was the first in the Lake Garda trilogy, and it isn’t the kind of thing I normally write. I’m too often tempted to include danger of some kind — and I suppose the Lake Garda books aren’t exactly trouble-free, but most of the characters in them are well-meaning, even if they are often thoughtless and capable of getting themselves into trouble. (Aren’t we all?)
I did wonder if I wasn’t a little old to be writing new adult romance, which is the genre I stumbled on. But many of the staff at the hotel we were staying in seemed so young and carefree that I found myself wondering about them. Of course the idea evolved from there — they always do — and in the end it became a story of the guests, not the staff, but it remained rooted in the week I spent there.
One story led to another. The first two developed together; the third came a little later — but all three are set in the picturesque lakeside town of Sirmione, and many of the locations are real (although the hotel itself is fictitious).
A Portrait of my Love is about Skye Ashton, a student who comes to the hotel in the company of her spoilt and very rich best friend, Leona. Skye has just split up with artist boyfriend Zack, and when he appears in Italy as well, things get complicated. Neither of them wants to take too many risks in their budding relationship — but it’s Leona who causes havoc.
Skye and Zack’s romance is a gentle one, reflecting both their natures. Leona is much more stormy in character, and her relationship with hotel manager Nico (picked up in the second book, Going Back) reflects that. And in the third book, Running Man, Nico’s little sister Giorgia, very much a Cinderella figure, struggles with the dark secrets of an unsuitable Prince Charming.
I don’t know if I’ll write new adult romance again. The Lake Garda trilogy was born of a place, of a time, of a particular set of circumstances, and a combination of people who each had stories to tell. But I loved writing it — and who’s to say I won’t, in some future time, repeat the experience?
About Jennifer Young
I live in Edinburgh and I write romance and contemporary women’s fiction. I’ve been writing all my life and my first book was published in February 2014, though I’ve had short stories published before then. The thing that runs through all my writing is an interest in the world around me. I love travel and geography and the locations of my stories is always important to me. And of course I love reading — anything and everything.
To learn more about Jennifer, visit her website, or you can find her on Facebook or Twitter. To purchase A Portrait of My Love or any of her Lake Garda series, visit Amazon or your favorite online e-book retailer.