FIVE STRANGERS IN FLORENCE, EACH WITH A DANGEROUS SECRET. AND AN APOCALYPTIC FLOOD THREATENING TO REVEAL EVERYTHING.
A wife on the run, a student searching for stolen art, a cleaner who has lined more than his pockets, a policeman whose career is almost over, and a guest who should never have received a wedding invite. Five strangers, entangled in the forger’s wicked web, amidst Florence’s devastating flood of November 1966.
In a race against time, and desperate to save themselves and all they hold dear, will their secrets prove more treacherous than the ominous floodwaters swallowing the historic city?
Dive into a world of lies and deceit, where nothing is as it seems on the surface…
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I prefer to write late at night when everyone is in bed. And the house is silent. And the road noise has disappeared. But, for practical reasons, I tend to do most of my writing during school hours. I do write better at night though. And in the month before my book is contacted to be finished. I panic write very, very well.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I panic type for the hour before school finishes.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Coffee and gingernuts during the day. Wine at night. Champagne for book launches!
– What is your favourite book?
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I never imagined I’d be saying that a book with vampires was my favourite book, but it’s more the mystery and the history, and the time travel which I enjoy.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I currently write in two genres – time travel historical fiction, and paranormal thrillers. I love both of them. In hindsight, perhaps I should have chosen a pen name, in order to separate them. But it is what it is now. I’ve started my next time travel trilogy, and this has more of a YA flavour to it. Mainly because it’s something I wanted my 14 year old daughter to be able to read.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
*cough* Yes… Although I try to make them not too obvious. As an author, it’s the one way you can take revenge on people who have treated you badly! You can kill them off, or give them a hard time on the page, and generally only you know. On the positive side, I like using the names of my friends, or their surnames, for my good characters. And then I can assign some personal traits or foibles that I know my friends have.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
When I travel I do. And I have one beside my bed, and next to my computer. When I walk, I’ll quickly type something into my notes app on my phone. But normally, my best ideas only come to me at about 11pm every night… not helpful when you’re trying to go to sleep, but at least it’s consistent!
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Erotica. And worse, erotica involving shifters. It is not something I’ve ever been drawn to. I don’t judge other people for writing it or reading it. But it makes me squirm when I come across it unexpectedly.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I would love to work alongside someone like Ken Follett or Edward Rutherferd, purely to see how they organise their research. They both write such incredibly complex historical sagas, that I feel that I could learn a lot from watching them research and plot their next novel.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I love to travel, and I normally go abroad once or twice a year. Being locked in my own country during the pandemic feels so strange. I would choose to go back to Italy, to visit all the lesser known Roman sites. I was in Florence to do research for ‘The Forger and the Thief’, and concentrated on that when I was there. But there are other sites outside of the main centres which appeal now that The Forger and the Thief is finished, especially as my next book is the first book in my new time travel trilogy. I dream about getting to Syria to visit all the Roman sites there. Oh to be Agatha Christie when she was gallivanting around the Middle East as an archaeologist.
Thank you, Kirsten McKenzie and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
A full time author, Kirsten is a former customs officer and antiques dealer, and who has also dabbled in film and television.
Her historical time-slip series – The Old Curiosity Shop Series, has been described as ‘Time Travellers Wife meets Far Pavilions’, and ‘Antiques Roadshow gone viral’.
Kirsten released her bestselling gothic horror novel Painted in 2017, with her medical thriller – Doctor Perry, following in 2018.
Her latest thriller – The Forger and the Thief, is set in 1966 Florence, Italy, amidst the devastating floods. Kirsten lives in New Zealand with her husband, her daughters, two rescue cats.