A chat with Nancy Barone

DessertedDelighted to be joined today by the lovely Nancy Barone who has let me interrogate her for my site.  I read Nancy’s book The Husband Diet last year and LOVED it!  So I was delighted when she asked me if I’d like to read a copy of her self-published book Desserted in Sicily.  I really enjoyed reading it and I have never wanted to visit a country more in my life. The descriptions of Sicily, made me want to jump on a plane and a boat and go there right away. It sounded divine and I could picture every scene that Nancy described so beautifully as if I was there.

I wanted to swap lives with Gillian as she began her journey of reinvention after finding her husband of twenty five years in the arms of another woman. She changed both physically and mentally and it was truly inspirational to read about her. And I was definitely routing for Mattia, maybe one day I may find a Mattia of my own! He sounded like my perfect man!

So to sum up, what more can you ask for? A gorgeous hero, delicious food, plenty of cake and a woman who turns her life around! What a perfect combination for a novel!

So, you’ve heard what I thought about Nancy’s book, now it’s time for some questions!  

How would you describe your writing and your books?

Hi Kim, hello everyone and thanks for having me!

I’ll start off by saying that my writing is colloquial and straightforward, but also full of asides that we always have in our heads, considering pros and cons, what-ifs and all those things most men never bother with and will never understand! My books mostly feature women of Italian descent or visiting/ living in Italy and struggling with either body, middle age or relationship issues. There’s always a hunky man in the background, but it’s usually her own sense of humour and determination that save her. Sometimes she can be under-confident but her optimism always pulls her through!

Can you tell me a bit about Desserted in Sicily?

Desserted In Sicily came to mind while I was planning my trip to the Sicilian island of Lipari, the largest of the Eolian Islands. With the intention of surprising her husband away on business in Sicily, my heroine Gillian discovers he has a younger woman on the side. But rather than catching the first plane home, she decides to stay on the island for a while until she can decide her next move in life. With the help of a few friends, an insane amount of desserts- and a younger man, she discovers her inner-strength and her business acumen.

What made you write this book?

The beauty of Lipari just grabbed my heart and I started wondering what it would be like if my holiday didn’t have to end, and if I could stay. What would I do on an island with a population of ten thousand people? But first I had to give my heroine a reason for coming on her own as she’s afraid of flying. And once the rough winter winds started beating the island, what would make her stay? Gillian gradually came to life with her zany personality, so much that when I boarded the catamaran back to the mainland, I actually turned to give her one last wave and a thumbs-up for good luck… but I have a funny feeling we’ll be seeing her again soon!

I absolutely loved The Husband Diet. I hear that there is also a sequel out. Can you tell us about both of these books and what we can expect from them?

Thank you, Kim! The Husband Diet was a real labour of love and I absolutely fell in love with Erica Cantelli, the overweight and under-loved mom of two. As her husband grows more and more distant, Erica fights a gazillion battles against her lack of confidence, her weight, her demanding career and her over-bearing gorgeous mom. Erica’s dream is to escape all this and go back to Tuscany where her Italian roots are. Luckily she has her BGFF Paul on her side. And her kids’ hunky headmaster Julian Foxham…

The sequel, My Big Fat Italian Break-Up, sees the amazing Erica Cantelli finally in Tuscany with her kids and Julian. They have big plans. But things are not going well at all. She is so determined to make things work that she messes everything up… big time!

thumbnail_dis author photoWhat or who inspires you to write?

I’m inspired by honest women. It makes me cringe when I see perfect pictures of perfect families and women with perfect relationships. If you’re anywhere near human, you have as many issues as the next gal. So let’s not put on a farce and let’s supprt each other instead! I’m lucky to know and have many great women as close friends- ladies who have been to hell and back- and thanks to their strength and sense of humour, are now smiling about it all…

Where do you write?

I have a lovely study, but I prefer to write from the comfort of my sofa. Stephen King would shake his head if he knew…

What do you like to read? Who are your favourite authors?

I love wimfic with smart, flawed, funny and honest women. Which means I love Jennifer Weiner, Jennifer Crusie and Sue Watson.

What advice would you give to a budding writer who has yet to get work published?

I know everyone has the same advice- but it’s true:

1. Write every day, even if it’s just a page.

2. Become market-savvy, but stay true to your own voice.

3. Don’t waste your time on the internet unless it’s for research. Turn off FB, Twitter, etc.

4. Write what you know- let it come from your heart.

5. Read everything, not only in your genre. And when you find an author you like, support her/him.

6. Get yourself an agent- a good one- as soon as you can. She will help you get your foot in that One Big Door you’ve been trying to access.

7. Never give up!

So what’s next for Nancy Barone?

After Desserted In Sicily and My Big Fat Italian Break-Up, I’ve got Book 3 of The Husband Diet series. And a prequel that harks back to Erica’s single days (and oh, the trouble she gets herself into!). Can you tell how much I love Erica Cantelli?

Also, I’m currently writing a story about a difficult relationship between two sisters- not as light-hearted as my other stories, but it has touched my heart in ways I’d never even considered.

Well, I guess that’s it for now! Kim, I wanted to thank you for having me on your coolest-ever blog! Your love of books and writers shows in your every word and smile!

Also, I wanted to thank all those people who bought The Husband Diet and wrote fantastic reviews asking me for the sequel! I wouldn’t be writing if it wasn’t for you and that’s the truth. I’d have given up- the one thing you should never ever do. Cheers!

About Desserted in Sicily

Buy via Amazon.UK

In an attempt to resuscitate her twenty-five year-old marriage, GILLIAN DOBSON knocks down a few tranquilizers and takes the dreaded flight to the Sicilian island of Lipari to surprise her husband, away on a business trip. Big mistake- he has Alternative Female Company.

To preserve what’s left of her dignity, Gillian has no choice but to dash out into the street in her bathrobe, her life practically over. In her drugged, confused state, she is (almost) hit by a car.
The driver turns out to be the younger, sex-on-a-stick local playboy, MATTIA SPADARO, a cross between Adonis and Rudolph Valentino. And a flirt extraordinaire. If simply looking at him gives her electric shock, anything more would surely give her a heart attack? What’s worse, they share a wild passion for Sicilian desserts. Just what she needs- another man who’s bad for her.

But between the cannoli and the Sicilian ice cream, when Gillian must make a few life-changing decisions, will Mattia really be there for her or will she once again be… Desserted in Sicily?

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Kim Nash