One summer in Umbria led to this wonderful novel by Sue Moorcroft

THE VIRTUAL ITALY BOOK FESTIVAL day eight: Umbria #ItalyBookFest



My final guest at this festival is Sue Moorcroft who’s here to talk about her beautiful book One a Summer in Italy which will be published next week.

And you can also find out about writing retreats in lovely Umbria, the green heart of Italy:


One Summer in Italy is set in Umbria, roughly in the middle of Italy, in the fictitious town of Montelibertà. For several years I’ve worked for an organisation called Arte Umbria running writing courses or writing retreats. Last year I wrote about a quarter of the book while I was there. I made the venue into a hotel and created a town around it, but the view out over the valley and the neighbouring peaks is exactly the view from Arte Umbria’s terrace. It was fantastic to be able to describe my hero painting what I could see as I wrote.

If you’re interested in joining a writing retreat in 2018, click here.

I wanted to set a book in Umbria as I’ve had such wonderful times there, and have characters working abroad for the summer. I made Sofia half-Italian, so I could be pretty sure she’d be OK to get a job in the town of her father’s birth, even if we got a ‘hard Brexit’. I gave her a young companion, Amy, part of an ex-pat family living in Germany, because Germany’s the country of my birth.

As so often happens, something anecdotal that I either remember or I’m told plays a pivotal role in the book — this time it’s a man who shoots out and tells teenagers off when they take a shortcut over his garage forecourt. I’m lucky just to have the kind of plotty mind that can use these scraps of information . . . and I made that man the dad of my hero, Levi Gunn.

How does a small family garage in a Cambridgeshire town turn out to be a crucial link to what happens One Summer in Italy? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

One Summer in Italy will be published on the 17th May. You can preorder/buy it here:

IMG_6752Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has been nominated on several other occasions, including for the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.

Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared all over the world.


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