The Literary Locations of Kerry Fisher
The Rome Apartment and its Secrets
Kerry Fisher talks about her locations in The Rome Apartment series
I lived in Florence and Tuscany for five years in my twenties, working as a grape picker, a holiday rep, a guidebook researcher and a personal assistant to the director of an art school. Most of the ex-pat friends I made while I was living there have eventually found their way back to their home countries, but we have remained united, thirty years on, by our love for Italy (and each other!).
We all agree that there is something magical about that country and all of us over the years have returned regularly.
In 2022, my husband and I finally had the opportunity to spend a month in Rome. I hadn’t planned for our time there to be a research trip, viewing it instead as a chance to live in the city and experience it in a different way from my usual approach to sightseeing (which is to get up at the crack of dawn and race about trying to see everything in four days!).
I had dipped a toe in the water writing scenes against an Italian backdrop before – the country has a cameo role in After the Lie, The Silent Wife and The Woman I Was Before – but I’ve never set an entire book there.
However, as soon as I arrived in Rome, the creative possibilities started jostling for attention – it’s hard to ignore the inspiration offered up by all those eye-catching doorways and the enticing courtyards beyond, the little curiosities around every corner.
It was an absolute privilege to experience a month away from ‘normal life’ – the luxury of time to dream, to wander and wonder without the daily urgency to get things done. Rome has an energy all of its own – I walked miles and miles every day and could have stayed for much longer without tiring of it.
No matter how often I passed through the same streets, there was always something new to see – the gesticulating inherent in any conversation, a stained-glass window catching the sun, olive oil sold from the bonnet of a car, the Swiss Guards emerging in their colourful uniforms from an alleyway, an impromptu dance display near the Colosseum, the stylish hats and gloves…
My husband did get pickpocketed at the Vatican and a wonderful Italian family did find his phone and return it to us. I was delighted by the proof that there are more good people in the world than bad!
I found my whole time there so invigorating. Consequently, it wasn’t a huge leap to come up with a scenario about how a woman at a crossroads in her life might benefit from a spell in a city that radiates vitality and joy to help her change her perspective on life. The Rome Apartment and Secrets at the Rome Apartment were the result and I hope you love reading them as much as I loved writing them.
Thanks for the trip to Rome Kerry!
BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Rome books by Kerry Fisher