If… by Fay Henson
Today I am pleased to welcome Fay Henson on to the blog with a very intriguing guest post for you all!
It’s strange how one thing moves to another isn’t it? If happens to spring to mind, and entices me to speak about how if’s finally brought me my first book, Tuscany – a novel.
Some years ago, if my then future husband hadn’t been so passionate about road cycling, we wouldn’t have taken a holiday travelling around northern Italy by train and car to follow some of the Giro d’Italia cycle race stages. I really didn’t know much about Italy then, and although I wasn’t tremendously keen on bikes, I was happy to go along to see Italy for my first time. We both loved it. Of course we were wearing our tourist hats, experiencing the delights of Venice, Lake Garda, the mountains and the coast of Liguria. Not to mention the coffee bars, climate and food.
So, a few years later, if we hadn’t returned with our three young children to a campsite on Lake Garda they wouldn’t have experienced real Italian pizza and thousands of ice-cream flavours, only to return again the following year to Tuscany, and our future home with a book waiting to be written.
About the Book
Tuscany – a novel is written through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Caylin from Bristol. She loves socialising and has two close friends, Zoe and Em but she’s never had much luck with boyfriends, having kept them at arm’s length since she feels they’re only interested in one thing; her virginity. Her parents bribe her with 500 euros to go on holiday with them instead of staying at home alone but after discovering the lack of young people her age holidaying at the hotel, Caylin soon regrets her decision. Feeling desperate, her impulsive side, kick’s in and she sneaks away from the hotel and hitchhikes to the city of Siena to look for something more exciting. Over the few days that Caylin spends away from her parents, she’s thrown into various situations experiencing hate, friendship, lies, sadness, illness, and her first love. Each day that passes, is a day closer to the reunion with her parents at the hotel with the dread of what punishment her dad, an ex-army Major will dish out.
How I was inspired to write Tuscany – a novel
The area where I’m living in Italy is based around tourism so I was struck with the idea of writing about a holiday tour to Tuscany. I’d seen many tour groups being escorted around the towns and cities with bored-looking teenagers in tow, some I was sure were wishing they were doing something more exciting with friends rather than looking at architecture or seeing how cheese is made. This led me to making the decision that the story would focus on a teenager’s point of view, that of a teenage girl. It wasn’t difficult for me to create the character of Caylin, firstly as I’d already brought up two teenage girls and secondly, I too was once a girl with a strong mind, so putting these points into the mixing pot together with some imagination, Caylin comes to life.
About the Author
Tuscany – a novel, published in April 2017 is Fay’s debut novel. Word has it that she has two books in process at the moment, saying that she feels she just can’t drop and forget Caylin after her return from Tuscany to Bristol. The other book is being written through the eyes of a sixty-one-year-old woman – a character from the original holiday group, who after her return to Wells, receives an invitation to go and stay with an Italian man she briefly met in Tuscany.