When a friend asked me out for the evening to a fundraiser at the Oxford Working Men’s Club, I said yes without really listening. By happy accident, it turned out to be an evening with international bestselling author Sarah-Kate Lynch on the first stop of a tour to launch her new book Dolci di Love. Tickets sales along with proceeds and royalties from the evening were donated to the Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake appeal.
For me, an incurable romantic is a person blessed with a limitless supply of hope. They are not brought down to earth by the ordinariness of everyday life. Their joie de vivre is not snuffed by sadness. They are not put off by adversity, but instead see challenge. They use escapism to recuperate. Look for beauty in pain. Seek light where there is dark. They read romance when things are tough.
Sarah-Kate is such a woman. She talks of happy accidents, including her accidental career as a writer, and the “happy” accident that occurred when her husband “the Ginger” lost his job when the film he was working on got cancelled. They used the opportunity to tour around Italy, finding themselves in Tuscany. She thought of Tuscany as overhyped, and was delighted to find it was a “fairytale waiting to happen”, with “hillptop medieval towns like jewels atop a crown”.
Inspired, she decided to return there to write her latest novel. With romantic notions swirling, she arrived in a Fiat Bambino, baby blue to match her cinched-in-at-the-waist suit. She had enrolled in an Italian language school and was ready to eat every meal with her new Italian family.
To her horror, the sun was not shining. No, it was raining, and not just light rain, but a “biblical downpour”. Her suit was soaked and she was freezing. She drove on to the house where her lovely Italian family lived. It was in a run down part of town, with graffiti on the walls, and there was no “family” – just one 80-year-old-lady who didn’t speak any English. Sarah-Kate is a vegetarian, and had to explain this to her host in Italian. The closest she could get was “I don’t eat dog”.
It was cold, there was only a single blanket on the bed, no heating and … well, you get the picture. So, being the incurable romantic, she booked herself into a nice room down the road, and started writing anyway.
So, if you’re an incurable romantic, visit one of the libraries that we have already re-opened and have a chat with one of our friendly staff for some inspring reading, or simply browse our collection of Sarah-Kate Lynch novels.
We hope to have an interview with Sarah-Kate in the next few days – in the meantime read more on her facebook page.