Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life, Travels Around the World

The joy of research by Kate Hardy

Kate HardyI think my favourite part of writing a book is the research. The book I’m finishing writing right now is a cardiac book, and learning about the cutting edge treatment has been so interesting; my mum was a specialist cardiac nurse, so this one kind of feels special (and I brainstormed it in the British Library with lovely Annie O’Neil, so that was an extra bonus).

My next book is going to be set partly in Florence – so you can guess where we ended up 🙂 There were certain iconic places I wanted to visit (and I have to confess to becoming addicted to ‘Medici: Masters of Florence’ on Netflix since coming home – we’re dying for the next season to come out). And one of them was a certain art gallery. My research team balked at the idea of going to a modern art gallery; but this is Florence, so ‘modern’ actually means ‘1750 onwards’, which is his favourite sort of art. (I’ve tried to appreciate modern art, but…) So we enjoyed the Pitti Palace, the Uffizi and the Accademia; we also enjoyed visiting a number of palaces and churches, but my two big highlights of the trip were climbing inside the Duomo and visiting the library at San Lorenzo. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

 

And we had a bonus at the end – we were flying from Pisa airport. We were pretty sure that tickets to climb the leaning tower would be like the Duomo, i.e. you need to book days in advance, but I was in the queue to buy a ticket for the cathedral when I discovered we could visit the tower in 20 minutes’ time. That has to be one of the weirdest experiences of my life – you can really feel the ‘lean’ of the tower, and as you climb the spiral staircase you straighten up and then lean in the opposite direction. The steps are worn in a spiral rather than in a straight line! And I was very glad of the safety railing at the top 🙂

What’s been your strangest experience when visiting somewhere?

imageKate’s latest is Unlocking the Italian Doc’s Heart (set partly in Verona and written there last year!), out in UK/Aus shops now and online at the usual places 🙂 For more information, see her website.

 

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6 thoughts on “The joy of research by Kate Hardy”

  1. Hi Kate

    WOW what a trip and such lovely photos I have done a few cruises and toured some of the love islands around the Pacific I have seen a huge crab on Lifou wow it was big and ugly LOL when we visited a Vanilla Plantation and that was an experience to see how long it takes to harvest a vanilla bean

    I have your new book waiting for me 🙂

    Have Fun

    Helen

    1. I’ve never been anywhere near the Pacific, so that all sounds amazing. Does it really take ages to harvest a vanilla pod? I assumed it would be relatively quick, like coffee or olives… Hmm, most go look that up (don’t tell my editor!!). Hope you enjoy the new one (and thank you for buying it – really appreciated) xxx

  2. Beautiful photos! And what a fabulous research trip. I’m desperately jealous. We went to Tuscany, buried ourselves in the glorious countryside and didn’t get to Florence – or Pisa, although we flew via that airport and were SO CLOSE!!! But I’ve set four books in Tuscany, including the first one one that started in Florence and visited most of the places you’ve described. The power of the internet… or so I hope! One day I’ll go there and find how much I got wrong – or just read your new book that you’re about to write for all the glaring errors I made, because I know yours will be spot-on 😉

  3. I love your research pictures! There are 2 things that stand out in my mind in my travels, and both happened on the same trip, a cruise I tool to Alaska with my sister in 2007. We flew in to Seattle and spent 2 days sightseeing and getting used to the time change. Our last afternoon, we took the bus from the Zoo back to downtown, as someone told us about all the sculptures that were set at some of the bus stops, and we also wanted to see more of the locally painted “pigs on parade” set throughout the town. Right before we got into downtown we heard sirens, car horns and cheering people, and the bus pulled over to the side of the street, to let a 500= group of caked bicyclists get by. Yep, Naked, or half naked, or body painted, part of the summer solstice celebration that happens one day a year.. oh, the things that can’t be unseen stuck in your head, but those hunky male bodies whizzed by too fast! 2 days later we were on a shale watching expedition in Jeauneau, Alaska’s Auke Bay and we watched a pod of about 1 dozen humpbacks cavort off the side of our catamaran. They were so graceful, didn’t even make a splash. I wanted to see a breach, but never did. After 10 minutes, the whales all went underwater in an area where gulls were circling overhead. Seems the gulls spotted a school of fish, and the whales go underwater and circle under the fish and blow them to the top. Then all the whale heads stick out at once and they catch as many fish in their open mouths as they surface. It’s called Bubble feeding…nothing I ever saw before. Since i can’t post pix here, I will put hem on the “Love is the Best medicine” FB page.

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