Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Literary Lure of Portugal with Isabella May...

...Kate Clothier’s Salvation…
My debut novel, Oh What a Pavlova launches in just a few weeks and features no less than twenty-two travel destinations (trust me somehow it really does work…).  So when fellow Crooked Cat author, Angela Wren invited me to appear on her blog, I decided to take the opportunity to zone in on just two of these places (I can hear Angela breathing a sigh of relief from afar!): the stunning city of Lisbon, and its much overlooked neighbour, Oporto.

But how exactly did they come to appear in the book?
Well, first off, a little back story courtesy of the blurb:

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy. Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.
Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there is a better future.
And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…
But will she escape before it’s too late?

Kate lives in the small, rural Somerset town of Glastonbury, but works in a highly specialised field of publishing known as Foreign Rights, for a children’s publisher in Bristol (much to her abusive partner, Daniel’s dismay). Essentially, this means that every six weeks or so, she is on a plane to visit either her overseas clients, or to attend a book fair. Portugal is one of her favourite markets, not least because she adores the opportunity to scoff copious amounts of Pasteis da Nata, in all their eggy-vanilla glory… partly because she dreams of trading book sales for cake sales in her future book-encrusted café - and partly because it numbs the pain that is her domestic reality.
Some of Oporto's blue tiles
And yet Portugal offers Kate so much more than just pudding. Its place in ‘Pavlova’ is almost sacred. For in Portugal, many of Kate’s questions about the double lives she is leading are brought to the fore, and for once, she is unable to escape them.
Eduardo, her longstanding client/luxury dining companion seems to be carrying messages direct from the universe as to her real worth as a woman.  As do the flashbacks of another ‘Edward’, he's better known as Munch; whose work, ‘The Scream’ is impregnated in Kate’s brain following her recent trip to Oslo, causing her to wake up in several cold sweats. Perhaps she is finally realising that horror-filled face really is her mirror image captured on canvas?
Everywhere Kate turns in petrol-blue tiled Oporto, life is filled with dizzying colour and liberation – as well as chocolate mousse. She begins to realise every day could be this way, that she needn’t live parts of her life in inverted commas. From the port barrels to the unshackled Douro bridge, the laid back aura of this city pervades her soul.
Lisbon’s regal, marzipan-topped Pestana Palace only confirms the same (stuck-up businessmen hogging the couches in the day room, to one side). Kate is worthy of great things (infinity pools, decadent breakfasts and rose petals on the bed), and the simplest of things beside: freedom, respect, love: Self-love.

Monumento aos Descobrimentos, Lisbon
Oh! And how could I forget to mention Piers Middleton? The Golden Boy who used to work for her company, ‘She Sells Sea Shells’, is mysteriously hanging around the Portuguese airline check-in desks, swigging on a bottle of Fijian water, eyes panning the vista, in case a European Vogue Editor should be recruiting for cover models… Kate guesses, anyway.
Well, Kate might be sure it’s nothing more than a far-fetched coincidence, but I don’t think I’d be as naïve.
The question is though: will Portugal’s insights be enough? Or will the dreaded P word: procrastination, rear its ugly head until Paris o’clock… and beyond?
You’ll just have to buy the book to find out!

... about the author  Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains.  When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls - www.theglasshousegirls.com - she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).

She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative 'drops'!
Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel... and her second novel has already been submitted to her publishers: watch this space...

You can follow Isabella May on her website, on Twitter - @IsabellaMayBks Facebook
 and Instagram - @isabella_may_author

No comments:

Post a Comment