I’m really delighted to be joining the blog tour today for Dreaming of Venice by T. A. Williams, published as an e-book by Canelo on 24th April. It’s not without a sense of guilt though, because I still haven’t managed to squeeze one of Trevor’s books into my reading schedule – yes, I know I’d love them! Just take a look at this:
Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice.
Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.
It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.
But can dreams come true?
But I have had the immense pleasure of meeting the author a couple of times – and a warm and thoroughly charming man he is. But I never had the chance to ask him the obvious question – how hard is it to think yourself into a woman’s head? Over to you Trevor…
My male friends divide pretty much into three groups as far as my books are concerned. One group is convinced I write pornography. This is probably because my very first book to be published by Carina (now part of Harper Collins) was called Dirty Minds (not my choice of title). It isn’t a dirty book, in spite of the name. The second group think I write “girly” stuff and make less than flattering remarks about my sexuality, while expressing grudging admiration for the fact that I manage to make a living doing this. The third group and, alas, the smallest group, actually read and enjoy my books. They at least get it. I am writing books where the main protagonist is a girl, but it’s my voice inside her head.
As far as my female readership is concerned (I would estimate that probably 80% of my readers are female) I regularly see comments in reviews similar to one I read only last week, written by the lovely Anniek at withloveforbooks.com – “Can’t believe that a man wrote such an awesome romantic book.” Many reviewers come up with comments expressing surprise that I, a man, manage to get inside a woman’s head.
Now we all know the old joke about Prince Charles running over one of the Queen’s corgis, don’t we? He prays to the Almighty for help but the dog is so splattered even God can’t fix it, but he gives Charles a wish anyway. Charles tells him Camilla was very quiet and frosty at breakfast that morning. When Charles asked her if everything was all right, all he received was a positively gelid, “Fine” in response. So he asks God if, maybe, he could explain what women mean when they say that sort of thing. After a pause, God replies, “Let’s take another look at that dog, shall we?”
But, all joking apart, we really aren’t that different. Yes, you lot do have a habit of overthinking stuff, compared to us men. My editor (female, in her 20s) is constantly telling me to put in more introspection, more self-analysis, more internal debate, but, when all’s said and done, fundamentally we all react pretty much the same way to the same stuff. Or, at least, the big stuff.
The birth of my daughter was every bit as amazing for me as for my wife. All right, I wasn’t actually the one doing all the pushing, but it was the most wonderful experience of my life (and my figure’s never been the same since). When I held my daughter in my arms and saw her look up, check me out, smile, and then close her eyes again, I was as deeply emotionally affected as my wife, I’m sure. When my mum died, we both cried. When our beloved Labrador died, we both cried. When my business looked like it might be going bust, we were both equally worried. All right, I admit I don’t have the same attraction to shoes as my wife, but then she has absolutely no interest in the fact that my new bike has a compact chain set. But she could have. The main female protagonist of What Happens at Christmas is an engineer with a love of classic cars and one of the men in the book designs women’s underwear. And why not?
My girls aren’t shrinking violets. My heroines have to put up with terrible tragedy in their lives (a husband killed in a climbing accident, the loss of a job, discovering a boyfriend’s infidelity etc) and they react as I would like to think I would react in similar circumstances. They dust themselves off, take a deep breath, and get on with it. They aren’t tomboys. They are definitely feminine, but their outlook on life isn’t that different to my own. In Dreaming of Venice, Penny is struggling to make ends meet, trying to make a long distance relationship with her boyfriend in Australia work, and taking on an unusual challenge in the process. She’s prepared to try her hardest and she’s determined to see it through.
So, when you’re reading my books, remember that, although it’s a man writing, we aren’t that different. Really.
Trevor, that was wonderful – thank you, and I wish you every success with the book. My thanks to Faye Rogers PR for including me in the tour. Here’s the full schedule…
Meet the author
My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.