Woohoo, today we have a bonafide man! T.A. Williams is the author an a wide variety of books from thrillers to romance. His specialty however, are romantic comedies (my fave!) He lives in the sleepy village of Devon in Southwest England with his Italian wife and black lab. Check out his new release, What Happens in Cornwall. You won’t be sorry!
To Survive on a Deserted Island:
- A hat to cover my bald head. It’s not easy being bald, although it does have its advantages. For instance, having looked 65 ever since I was 30, now that I am 65, I find people telling me how good I look. What they mean is that I have always looked 65 and now I finally look my age. Do I act it though?
- An unlimited supply of rum punch. Not that I’m an alcoholic, you understand, but my only previous experience of palm trees, white sand and clear blue waters involved quite a lot of alcoholic refreshment, so it would make the place feel more familiar.
- A mask and snorkel so I could go fishing. I do like fish; fried, grilled, whatever. I also like raw fish, but not to excess. I used to have to go to Japan fairly regularly on business and by the time I came home the cats were following me around, so the appeal can wear off. Talking of fishing, do you know the old saying: Give a man a fish and he’ll feed his family for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll loll around drinking beer in a boat all day.
- A black Labrador would be good to have for company, but he would eat me out of house and home. Maybe I could train him to dive for fish.
- A huge pile of paper and pencils. I don’t think I could survive for long without writing. By the way, did you know that more profitable form of writing is ransom notes?
With Me at All Times OR On My Desk at All Times:
- Inevitably, a computer. Being old, I grew up before the days of calculators, computers and mobile phones so the last ten years have been a shock to the system. Now I’m just about beginning to get the hang of Twitter and Facebook but it hasn’t been easy. I love my iPad and take it everywhere. I’m also old enough to remember the time when phones were for phoning people. Now, my eyesight isn’t good enough for me to use my phone for anything except making calls. How can somebody read a book on a phone?
- Tea. The physio told me to make sure I get up every 45 minutes or so, otherwise my back starts to seize up. Inevitably, I then walk into the kitchen and another cup of tea is the result. I take it English-style in a mug, with just a drop of cold milk.
- A calendar. My memory gets worse and worse these days so I have to write stuff down. I suppose that’s a sign of my impending old age. I haven’t yet got to the stage of writing “toilet break” or “put on clothes” but it won’t be long.
In My Wardrobe
My contents of my wardrobe have changed immensely since I retired. My wife took about 10 suits and jackets, 20 shirts and 30 ties to the charity shop a few years ago. Now about all I need is a pile of T-shirts and shorts for the summer and jeans and jumpers for the winter and that’s about it. My hobby is cycling, so I do admit to a large collection of padded shorts, cycling shirts, Goretex socks, tights (yes, ladies, that’s what I said, tights) as well as gloves, waterproofs and so on.
I went to the Romantic Novelists’ Association Spring party a couple of months ago and I had to go out and buy myself a new jacket. Wearing a tie felt really weird…
In My Library
My biggest problem these days is that I have little or no time for reading. I had three books published last year and two so far this year. Book six comes out in the autumn, so I spend almost all my time writing. However, I do try to find at least some time for some reading. My favourite books are (in no particular order):
- Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies (although that one isn’t quite as good as the first).
- Anything by JP Donleavy or Tom Sharpe,
- Shogun and the other oriental sagas by James Clavell.
- Anything by John LeCarre.
- I read a lot of historical stuff and am obsessing about the First World War at the moment. I’ve just finished biographies of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen and am fascinated by the war in northern Italy. Everybody knows about Ypres, Paeschedale and the Somme, but thousands upon thousands of men also died in northern Italy. The White War by Mark Thompson gives a fascinating account.
In My Pantry
When my future wife first came round to the little apartment where I was living in the Alps 40 years ago, I cooked her a few meals. Within a very short time she took over the cooking from me and neither of us have looked back since. My speciality back then was liver or kidneys (because they were cheap), cooked with onions, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and anything else I could find, all thrown into a big pot and cooked until near disintegration. Liberal amounts of red wine did a pretty good job of killing the taste.
Now, with an Italian wife, I eat really, really well and, according to the latest studies, very healthily. About the only cooking I do is on the barbecue. My favourites at present are strips of chicken, wrapped in bacon or skewers of cherry tomatoes, courgettes, red and green peppers along with spring onions.
- The one thing I use a lot of is Tabasco. I love it.