andrea venice 003-1Chasing the Rose - portraitThis is my interview with Andrea di Robilant.

Which situations influenced you to start writing? A serendipitous encounter with a box of 18th century letters found by my father in the attic led to my first book, ‘A Venetian Affair’.

What’s the hardest part of your job? I write my books in English and then translate them into Italian. That’s the hardest part.

What was the best thing about writing this book? Meeting unusual people and seeing unusual places.

Did you have much interaction with the illustrator, Nina Fuga? I took her on a road trip to see the places and the roses and the people I was writing about.

What was the most interesting fact you discovered when writing this book? The influence of Chinese roses in the development of roses.

What was one of the best things that happened because of this book? Taking the book on tour around the world.

Do you grow roses? I like to have a few old roses in the garden but I am not a collector.

Do you have a favourite rose? Madame Alfred Carrière.

Do you have a favourite garden? Charles de Noailles’ garden at Pompadour, in Fontainebleau (France).

What are you working on next? A book on Hemingway in Italy.

Read my review of ‘Chasing the Rose’ here.

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