Monday, August 6, 2012

Sign of the Times: Meet Holly!

Holly from Sign of the Times is here with me today.  She has graciously answered all of my prodding questions and more.  She is such a sweet character, I think you will all just love her!  She loves to travel, write and eat.  Keep reading to get to know Holly more.  She is the main character in Sign of the Times, a novel by Susan Buchanan.

Me: What about traveling do you enjoy the most?
Holly: I love meeting new people and learning about different cultures and cuisines.  I love food, so understanding how other nationalities use ingredients is very interesting to me.  I also just love to explore and am very interested in history and architecture.

Me: If you could go to just one place, and stay there for the rest of your life, where would it be?
Holly: That's a very difficult question as I love to travel, but if I couldn't move again, it would probably be Italy and not only because  I love the language.  The people are lovely, warm and inviting.  The men are sexy...and a certain someone who shall remain nameless, but who owns a vineyard lives there!  The food in Italy is second to none.  I would actually like to live in Tuscany someday, or at least somewhere in the Italian countryside.

Me:  What is your favorite food - I bet you've tried so many different ones while traveling!
Holly: Would it surprise you if I said all things Italian?  I love pasta!  I love the fact that Italians have 'primi' or 'first courses' which are always pasta.  I particularly like linguini with prawns, broccoli, peppers and pesto. Yum!

Me: If I gave you an unlimited shopping budget, what would you buy first?
Holly: An airline ticket somewhere I've never been, like Malaysia, New Zealand or Australia.  Followed by books and lots of them!
Me:  What or who inspired you to become a writer?
Holly: Well I think the natural combination of loving to read and travelling made my job a bit of a no-brainer. I was approached to write a travel article one day and I did it, not really thinking about it, but then I was told it was very good.  Then I did another and eventually all roads led to Rome as they say, and I ended up writing full-length travel books.  I love it and can't imagine ever doing anything else.

Me:  Lets chat about you and your sister - you two are very different. She's a serial man-eater whereas you settled down much easier...what do you think caused the big difference?
Holly: Ah, well, Lucy is just Lucy.  Gemini has two sides as you may know.  Lucy is a great sister and would do anything for me and our family and never judges me.  But she is a nightmare where men are concerned. She bores easily.  She falls in love easily (or in lust at least!) and then tires of them just as easily.  But it was different know.
My sister is very competitive.  She has always wanted to be the best and she IS the best at what she does, career-wise.  She is simply striving for that same level of perfection in her private life.  She needs life to be exciting.  She's certainly had more than her fair share of that recently...

Me:  So, are you and your sister friends or just siblings?
Holly: No, we are very much friends, as well as sisters.  Of course, we also have our own friends, but there's not that big an age gap between us and although our morals are decidedly different, we get on very well.  She is the first person I call when I am in trouble and likewise when I have something good to share.  Maybe that's telling in itself. Maybe my sister shouldn't have been the one I turned to each time.

Me:  Okay, just one more.  And this might be a *bit* tough.  If you had to pick just one person and five items to take with you on a trip, where would you go, what and who would you take?
Holly: One person, eh? Well, you didn't say male or female, so I am going to say Bill Bryson.  I like to think I have taken inspiration for my own travel books from Bill and that I inject humour into them, albeit my own personal style, just as Bill does.  Reading Bill's Down Under made me want to go to Australia, as I had read his other books and been to most of those places, but Australia has eluded me so far.  We would probably go to Australia and travel around in a campervan.
I would take...
Maps & GPS- I have no intention of getting lost in the Australian outback and it's a huge country!
Cameras & tripod - don't go anywhere without them - you never know when you might come across a seriously amazing shot.
Books - as many as I could carry and my Kindle (which is also a book isn't it, so that's still only one item!)
Protective clothing - of every shape, size and material - here in Scotland we moan about the midges, but in Australia, they have a lot of spiders, frogs, snakes and other nasties that pack a serious punch. I'd want as much protection as possible
Food to put in the campervan (I love food - I am having food as a collective item, but it would include pasta and some sauces, ciabatta bread, salami & prosciutto crudo/cotto, cambazola cheese, dolcelatte and pecorino for over the pasta, some buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes.  OK, sorry, have I gone on about food too much? Food also includes wine, right?  Lots of that, especially Cannonau from Sardinia and Barbera d'Asti and for white, I suppose a good pinot grigio.  I realise this isn't terribly practical, but I would be a long way from Italy and would miss good food.  Ahem, not that Aussie food isn't good I hasten to add.
Holly: Thanks for having me on your blog, Hilary - I've really enjoyed it!
Me:Thank you Holly for joining me today!  It was so much fun learning more about you and your love of food, writing and traveling!

Read more about Sign of the Times here ( I gave this novel 5 stars!).  Now, I'm going to go eat some Italian food and have a travel channel marathon.  Who's with me!?  Happy Character Day!

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