Ellie Murphy takes a contract teaching English at a school in Venice. There she meets the sexy, enigmatic Professor Piero Contarini, from an ancient Venetian family, and agrees to help him in his work curating a new edition of the memoirs of the famous seducer, Giacomo Casanova. Taking their task seriously, they start to enact his adventures with each other, ecstatically revealing their own kinks as they do so. But who is watching them from the shadowy alleyways of Venice?
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I don’t have a fixed place. Often it’s the dining-table. In summer it’s under a vine-covered pergola on an old marble-topped table (I live in Italy, and though I live in a city flat I also have a tiny hideaway in the country). I can happily work on trains and in airports (but not on aeroplanes – that’s for reading). During lockdown I’ve done a lot of writing propped up on pillows lying on my bed, because it feels like a sort of safe place, a nest. Mark Twain wrote in bed so I think I’m in good company!
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really, except that I write every single day. I also do manuscript assessments, review for a magazine, and study German, so I have a daily list I have to tick off, but the order doesn’t matter.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Green tea and various other herbal teas some of which taste so horrible they really must be good for you.
– What is your favourite book?
That’s a difficult one. I’m going to go for Far from the Madding Crowd. I read it first when I was thirteen, and many times since.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Yes. In addition to romance/erotica under the Kate Zarrelli name, I also write historical fiction as Katie Hutton. Under my own name, Katherine Mezzacappa, I’ve published short fiction which ranges from contemporary stories for family magazines, paranormal themes, literary erotica. I think it can be good as a writer to try different genres, and sometimes I deliberately enter competitions where the brief is a genre I’ve not tried before.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Oh yes! Usually they are buried very deep, so they probably wouldn’t recognise themselves. An exception is the villainess in my other Kate Zarrelli romance for eXtasy Books, Tuscan Enchantment. She is based closely on a fellow-student from years ago, but I think she won’t ever find out as she’s probably far too snooty to read a romance.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
No, but I know I should. I have a notebook by the bed in which I write what I can remember of dreams. These have been the starting point for some short stories. By the time I’ve written the story, I can’t remember the actual dream, because the story has taken its own path.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Pure science fiction. The exception to that would be dystopia, because that’s usually based in some way on ‘normal’ life, which makes it even more terrifying.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book whom would it be with?
Hard to say, as I’ve never done this. It might be Elizabeth Woodcraft, who is an author at Zaffre Books (where I am Katie Hutton). She mines her diaries from the 1960s to write her books; we could probably come up with an interesting parallel narrative.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Am I allowed two? I have two partly-written historical novels (I usually write more than one book simultaneously), one where the hero comes from the Sorb minority in Brandenburg in Germany, so I want to visit the Sorb Museum in Cottbus. The other book is set in the Siebenbürgen in the 19th century – where the German-speaking Saxon Transylvanians lived, in what is now Romania.
Thank you, Kate Zarrelli and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Kate Zarrelli is the romance and erotica pen-name of Katherine Mezzacappa. Kate is Irish but now lives in Carrara in Northern Tuscany, between the Apuan Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea, with her Italian husband and two teenage sons. She is the author of Tuscan Enchantment (eXtasy: Devine Destinies). Kate/Katherine writes historical, erotic, feel-good and paranormal fiction, set all over Europe, and in her spare time volunteers with a used book charity of which she is a founder member.
Win an Inky black pendant of Portoro marble, with a golden streak at its heart, from the quarries above La Spezia
*Terms and Conditions
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.