Q. Before meeting the characters, can you tell us a little about where the story is set?
A. Most of the story is set in the mountains of northern Tuscany, Italy in the comune of Fivizzano. The featured village of San Giorgio, where the hero and heroine live, is entirely fictitious, being drawn from several nearby hamlets, but all the other places mentioned in the book are real.
Q. In what time is the book set?
A. The main story is set in the August of 2014 but there are several sections that look back to earlier events with the main understory taking place in the same month seventy years earlier.
Q. So, who are the hero and heroine?
A. Celeste Bonfigli is the heroine. She’s an art historian who grew up in San Giorgio and later inherited the house from her grandmother. She was born in Paris but grew up in San Giorgio after her mother, Lucrezia, left her in the arms of her grandparents. The hero is an English expat called Harold Bliss who moved to San Giacomo in 2007. The two strike up and, between them, get to the bottom of a mystery that unearths a number of truths along the way.
Q. You talked about Celeste’s mother and grandparents. Do they have important parts to play in the book?
A. Very much so. One way or another, Lucrezia Nobili and Mariza Martinelli, her mother, are responsible for Celeste and Harold getting together, without which the story would never have been told. Celeste’s grandfather, Sandro Nobili plays a smaller but nonetheless important role.
Q. Are there any other key characters you haven’t told me about yet?
A. There are three other important characters. Daniil Möller, who is a male model employed by Lucrezia; Klaus Möller, his great-grandfather, who was an SS officer in the Second World War; and Captain Michael Mason, who was a British Special Operations Executive agent during the Second World War. The latter two both being stationed in northern Tuscany in August 1944.
Q. Finally, when will Captured in the Shadows be in print?
A. My target date for finishing the first draft is the end of 2016. The finished version should be ready for publication in early 2017.