Dead in Venice with Fiona Leitch
Fiona Leitch transports you to the Italian city of Venice via Audible
A unique authors on location today as we are Dead in Venice with Fiona Leitch. This is a title exclusive to audio at the moment, so that means you can take it with you as you travel to city of the canals and never be at risk of getting your book wet. Audio books do take that travel experience that little bit vivid since the voices and background noises are in your ears…inside your mind.. closer to your imagination…
What is special about the locations you feature in your books?
Venice itself is special! I love the city because it is very ‘people friendly’ – no cars (apart from on the Lido island) mean that everything is smaller and within reach by walking. It’s quiet too, even in the height of summer (once you get away from the tourist spots like Piazza San Marco). And instead of exhaust fumes it smells of the sea and food – lots of food!
How did you research setting?
Went there on holiday – twice – before I’d decided to set a novel there. So inadvertently researched by having a lovely holiday! After I’d decided to write the book I read up on the city’s history and refreshed my memory using Google Earth.
I visited (and ate at) everywhere in the book, apart from the island of Poveglia as it’s off-limit to tourists unless you charter your own boat.
Do you have a link to the places?
No, but I want to live there!
Any stories you can tell us about the writing of your novel?
I wrote it originally as a screenplay – my background is in screenwriting and Venice is such a beautiful, atmospheric place I could envision the story on screen. I’ve done the same thing with my next novel, Priceless, which is set in Paris and also started life as a movie script.
Travel tips for visiting the setting in your work?
Be prepared to walk everywhere (comfortable shoes are a must) and don’t be surprised when you get lost, because even the residents get lost. Do all the tourist stuff, but don’t just stick to that – explore the back streets and passageways and take the waterbus to different parts of the city. Go on a gondola! It’s a cliché but it does let you see parts of the city you can’t get to any other way. Eat like a native – ditch the pizza and don’t go to McDonalds… Make sure you spend time just wandering around and soaking it all in, rather than ticking off a list of attractions.
What does wanderlust mean to you?
That ache you get when you see photographs of amazing places and you HAVE to go there. The Germans have the best word for it – fernweh, which literally means ‘far-sickness’.
Where’s the most memorable place you’ve been to?
Venice – and Barcelona – and Paris – and British Columbia – and the whole of New Zealand!
Ever had a weird travel experience?
I did a trip around Canada years ago and there were several slightly weird but memorable moments there. I visited Banff, up in the mountains, and I remember sitting on the balcony of a restaurant overlooking the main street, eating pizza as a very large elk walked along the road beneath me. Later, I sat in the park watching a family of deer crossing the river as the guy on the next bench played the didgeridoo. A completely bonkers but totally happy, peaceful moment.
Best travel advice you have had/could give –
Travel light; only take carry-on luggage, you won’t wear half of the clothes you take – rent an apartment, rather than a hotel, to experience the location like a native.
Thanks Fiona. That is quite a booktrail and excellent travel advice too!