Many writers I know write about their own local areas and places. I love to write about far-away places. The pull and lure of the unknown always intrigues me. So I either write about the past - a different kind of far-off place where manners, customs, fashions are all different, like my medieval and ancient world books - or I write about distant lands.
I love Yorkshire as a place to live. It's where most of my family are. I love the landscape and the people. Yet, in my writing, I find I am most excited by the glamour of the different. For me, the grass over the other side of the fence really is greener!
Having studied European history, I tend to be drawn to the lands of the classical Greeks and Romans. The light and dry heat of Greece always amazes me and the wild-flowers and ruins and the fiercely passionate people all inspire me. Italy is a country I love for its culture, food, mix of ancient and modern and sense of family. Both places to me seem ripe for romance and adventure: their men folk are often impossibly handsome and open and engaging. Very appealing!
I wrote about the Greek island of Rhodes in my sweet romance, A Secret Treasure and about Italy and especially Italian bread and sweets in my newly published Holiday in Bologna. This Christmas we had panettone as a cake, with soft mascarpone cheese. Delicious!