I Ask Myself

In the blogosphere there are lots of groups of writers who have joined together and hold Q&A sessions to help promote each other's work. There aren't many for travel writers, well not that I've found. Maybe I haven't really searched that hard but at the moment I am out here on my lonesome. That is not going to stop me having a Q&A session though, oh no! I have decided to ask myself...

Today I'd like to welcome Deborah Cater to my blog and to talk to her about her work. Deborah has published two books in her City Chronicles trilogy, A Tale of Nine Cities and A Little Bit of Italy, and maintains several blogs relating to travel, food and literature.

Welcome Deborah. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you, it's a pleasure to be here, I admire your blogs.

I live in Spain with my two dogs, Charlie and Jake, and have done for the past two years. I call myself a writer (which takes some doing, to have that belief in yourself as such) though I have had several incarnations as an accountant working in practice and industry and as a Local Government Officer. This is definitely my favourite incarnation.

What do you write about?
Travel writing is the genre in which I predominantly write. I love exploring, even if it is only walking down a path I've never walked before, to find something new and possibly exciting. Combining my two loves of travel and writing is a dream come true.
However, I am not limiting myself and I am about to dip a toe into the murky waters of fiction writing.

Interesting! Which genre will you be writing in?
That's a good question but genre is not the first thought that crossed my mind when deciding to write fiction. I have the outline for my first novel planned out and it involves obsessive love, a murder and a peek at the relationship between and artist and his muse. So I suppose it will sit quite comfortably in the crime genre.

That is quite a departure from travel writing.
Well, it is set in the Italian region of Veneto - Venice, Mestre, Ferrara - so I will be drawing on my experiences of having visited these places for creating atmosphere and setting the scenes.

Your second book in the City Chronicles trilogy, A Little Bit of Italy, was entirely set in Italy. Was it your inspiration for the novel?
No. (laughs) My boyfriend is Italian and hails from Veneto so we go there a lot, but it was his finding a picture of a girl by the bins that was the inspiration. I won't say anymore as it will spoil the surprise!

Where is the third book in the City Chronicles trilogy?
In notebooks, on scraps of paper and in my head at the moment. I will have it completed by the end of the year as I have my designer - Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics - waiting in the wings to design the cover and book trailer. I've already delayed her once, I can't do it again!

What is the third book about?
It is about a short trip I made from Sofia, Bulgaria to Istanbul, Turkey with two friends. It's amazing what you can squeeze into five days. It is also a look at the differing attitudes of the three of us to the Asian, particularly Turkish, side of Europe. We all hail from within a 50 mile radius in the south of England but life experiences really do shape one's outlook. I explore that quite deeply, but it is still fun in places. Honestly, you can't do what we did without there being humorous interludes.

So there is a progression in your travelogues?
Yes, but it wasn't intentional. I read a quote the other day on Facebook about how you don't start out writing good stuff, you write crap that you think is good. Then your writing improves through practice and you produce good stuff. I paraphrase, it was put far better than that, but it is absolutely true. My first book was not as good as the second and I think my third will be better still. That is not to say they are not readable, just that I am learning and honing my craft. Also, as a self-publisher I have not availed myself of an editor, primarily because I cannot afford it, and an editor would help polish my skills. Still, life is one big learning curve and I am enjoying the journey.

Speaking of learning and journeys, what next for you?
I have just embarked on a Masters in English. Goodness all the Theory and theory I have to learn, it's mind-boggling. As for journeys...Christmas time I will trip over to the western side of Andalucía for a quick exploration. Next year I hope to go to Romania on a train journey and perhaps combine that with a look at mythology, and I am bound to return to Italy.

Well good luck with your future writing and the Masters and I look forward to seeing your final instalment in the City Chronicles trilogy.

Thanks. Crossing the Bosporus will be out early in 2013. Follow me on twitter (@DeborahCater), my blogs or my website to keep abreast of the lastest news.



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