An Interview With Sandy Barker - A Wedding In Tuscany - Armchair Travel #3
Today I'm delighted to be chatting with Sandy Barker whose latest novel, A Wedding In Tuscany, the fifth book in her Holiday Romance series, whisks readers away to beautiful Italy ...
Me: Hi Sandy, and welcome to Armchair Travel. Can you tell us what inspired you to write A Wedding in Tuscany?
Sandy: Hi Lynne. I knew some time ago that I wanted to bring all the characters from this series back together for one final story. This is Book #5, and includes the protagonists from Books 1-4, Sarah and Cat Parsons, and Cat’s friend, Jaelee Tan.
I had originally planned to set this story in France – we were supposed to travel to wine country in 2020 during a European trip and I was going to set this story there. Then, when we couldn’t travel anywhere, I had to consider where I could write that would feel as authentic as my other books, as I only write places I have lived in or visited enough times to make the setting authentic.
And the answer was Tuscany!
It was a destination on the tours I ran in my 20s, so I knew a lot of the ‘city states’ as they’re called – Orvieto, San Gimignano, Sienna – but I decided to set the book in a town called Montespertoli. That’s where we stayed in 2016 when we travelled to Italy with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. We stayed in an apartment at a castle( yes, really!) – it was a converted outbuilding and as well as being a castle, the property was a winery. Much of my description of the accommodation in the book is based on the castle, but I changed its name.
And Tuscany is such a beautiful part of the world. We have so many wonderful memories from there, so it ended up being the perfect setting for this book.
Me: What do you love most about being an author?
Sandy: Hearing from readers who have loved my books. It still feels surreal to me that there are thousands of people around the world reading and enjoying my stories. So, if you have read something of mine that you’ve enjoyed, I’d love to hear from you – tag me on social media or send me a message. You will make my day.
Me: What has been your author highlight over the past year?
Sandy: ‘Re-starting’ the Holiday Romance series. There was a 20-month gap between Books 3 and 4 (due to shifts in publishing schedules and other factors) and it has been wonderful seeing readers pick up that series again.
Me: What are you working on now?
Sandy: I have just finished The Christmas Swap 2: The May Ladies’ Christmas, which is out this October. Draft #2 will be off to my publisher, One More Chapter, by the end of the month and it is currently on my agent’s desk. Once that’s done, I will be working on launching this book (Tuscany) and drafting an outline for my next series (very excited about this one).
Me: What do you hope readers will take away from A Wedding in Tuscany?
Sandy: For readers of the series, I hope they will feel like it is a resolution – that they know where everyone ends up and can then imagine their futures clearly. For all readers, I hope it is a chance to escape, to laugh and to armchair travel. There are some deeper themes in this book, although (as usual) handled with a lighter touch, so it may also be an opportunity for some readers to reflect on their own lives.
Thank you so much for having me and thank you so much for being an early reader of A Wedding in Tuscany. As someone who admires you and loves your books, it means the world to me.
Me: I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Wedding In Tuscany and meeting up again with not only Cat and Sarah, but also the other characters we have come to know and love over the Holiday Romance series. The book really is a fabulous finale to the Parson sisters' story.
Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog.
A Wedding In Tuscany
The Parsons sisters are all loved up.
Sarah is living in Sydney with Josh and their cat, Domino, but is anxious about her fast-approaching fortieth birthday.
And Cat is still living in London with her flatmate, Jane, but is in a long-distance relationship with Jean-Luc, her childhood sweetheart and recently re-discovered love.
One of the sisters receives a surprise wedding proposal – it’s a yes! – and everyone heads off to Tuscany for a destination wedding.
Reunite with favourite characters from the Holiday Romance series in one of the most beautiful locations yet for love, laughter, wedding vows, and just a smidge of sisterly mayhem.
Out June 2022 (ebook) and September 2022 (print).
To purchase A Wedding In Tuscany, please click (CTRL + right click) the links below:
About Sandy Barker:
Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob.
Sandy lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the five-book Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins.
The series continues in Paris, Sydney, and Bali with Tuscany the final destination in the series. Sandy's standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrates her favourite time of the year, and her romcom, The Dating Game, is set in the (fascinating) world of Reality TV.
For more information about Sandy and her books, and to follow her on social media, please click (CRL + right click) on the following links: