Today I have the pleasure of Kendall Talbot’s company on my blog. Kendall Talbot is an award winning author, thrill seeker and hopeless romantic. She’s travelled extensively, some 36 countries so far and she’s addicted to experiences that make her scream… white water rafting, scuba diving with sharks and hang gliding are just a few. Her stories reflect her sense of adventure and her love affair with her very own hero.
Her debut novel Lost in Kakadu (Escape Publishing, 2013) has resulted in a clutch of award nominations and most notably won the exclusive title of Romantic Book of the Year 2014.
Kendall collects junky jewellery and expensive perfume, her favourite night out is with great friends and a fabulous bottle of wine or two, and she rarely watches TV. She lives in Brisbane with her hubby, her two grown sons and her fluffy little dog, Josie McLuvin.
Thanks, Bernadette, it’s great to be here!
This book is such an adventure, taking readers from Tuscany to a yacht off the coast of Greece. Where did you come up with the plot idea?
One of the major inspirations behind Treasured Secrets came from my 20th anniversary holiday to Tuscany. Florence is a treasure trove of history and architecture, bustling with tourists and little café’s eager to serve you bread and wine within seconds of finding a table to sit at. My husband and I went on a couple of city tours and one such tour took us to the Church of St Apostoli, a small insignificant church compared to many of the other magnificent churches dotted throughout Florence. Inside the church, inlaid in the mosaic floor tiles, was an oval pattern. Our tour guide told us it was the trap door where they tossed the bodies during the 13th century plague that killed 50 million people in Europe. My mind went crazy thinking about entire families being wiped out by that horrible disease. Then I began to wonder what happened to all their precious things they left behind. On the plane flight home, I began plotting my Treasured Secrets action adventure romance.
The way you research the books is kind of off the charts! (Witchetty grubs? You are a braver woman than I!) What type of research did you do for TREASURED SECRETS?
I was really lucky with those witchetty grubs I just happened to find them in my garden. How else was I going to get the flavour right in my scene? It’s important for me to write about and draw from actual experiences. Obviously many of them are pure fabrication, and thank goodness too, some of my characters go to hell and back. Treasured Secrets is as much a treasure hunt as it is a culinary adventure. Rosalina, my Italian heroine in Treasured Secrets is a talented chef, so food and flavours abound as much as the treasure hunt action. Every one of the meals she makes in my books I made for myself. In fact, recipes from “Treasured Secrets” debut in their own book “Rosalina’s Treasured Treats” you can find this on my website and cook along as you read the book if you like. In addition to the cooking, Rosalina’s home in Treasured Secrets is a 700 year old villa that I holiday in in Tuscany. Villa Pandolfini is in Signa, a little village just a fifteen minute train ride from Florence. This spectacular historic villa with extremely high ceilings, magnificent frescoes and original antique furniture was surrounded by vineyards and olive-groves and offered an extensive view of Arno Valley.
What are you working on now? Any new books on the horizon?
Book two in this series, Treasured Lies will be out in October 2015 and book three, Treasured Love, will be released April 2016.
I used to daydream about robbing a bank that I worked at in 1992. So guess what? I robbed that bank. In a book of course. Double Take my first crime novel, is a gritty Quinten Tarantino meets Nora Roberts story set in that bank I worked in. I also chose 1992 as the year its set, a time before the internet, mobile phones and electric windows. It was also a time of Cheers, Cagney and Lacey, boom boxes and Carrington Blush fake champagne. It was so much fun writing in that era.
Tell us about the cookbook:
Treasured Secrets is as much a treasure hunt as it is a culinary adventure. Rosalina, my Italian heroine in Treasured Secrets is a talented chef, so food and flavours abound as much as the treasure hunt action. Every one of the meals she makes in my books I made for myself. In fact, recipes from “Treasured Secrets” debut in their own book “Rosalina’s Treasured Treats” readers can find this on my website and cook along as they read Treasured Secrets if they like.
What inspires you to write?
The story. Once I get an idea for a story in my head it won’t leave me alone. I dream about it. I think about it constantly, even at work when I’m trying to do my boring bookkeeping job. It’s like I’m possessed and the only way to rid it from my brain is to write about it. My bank robbery stayed in there for 22 years, so when I finally sat down to write it, it took just 3 months.
Thanks Kendall, it’s great to get an insight into your writing life!
You can purchase Treasured Secrets here:
You can find Kendall here: