Hi, I'm Santa Montefiore and I've been writing a novel a year for twenty-six years now, which is quite astonishing as I didn't really think beyond the first book, which took me five years to write. I didn't think I had another in me, but here I am, celebrating my twenty-first and polishing my twenty-second for publication next year! Most of my novels are set partly in England and partly in a beautiful location, like Argentina, Italy or France. I write primarily for myself so I figure, as I'm going to be living in my imagination for the best part of six months, I might as well choose somewhere lovely. I adore nature, so I tend to plant my characters in rural settlings - by the sea or in the countryside - and most of them are stand alone, except Last Voyage of the Valentina and The Italian Matchmaker, and my recent trilogy, The Deverill Chronicles, which is set in Ireland from 1910 to the sixties. It started out as three books, but is now five: The Secret Hours is number 4 and The Distant Shores is number 5. I suppose I just loved writing about that family so much, I didn't want to stop. But I have now... I think The Distant Shores is the last! I love writing. I've always enjoyed stories, both reading them and writing them. I can't imagine life without them. Not only are they entertaining, but they teach us so much about life - and enable us to live vicariously through characters who experience more drama than we do! I'm emotional. I love to be moved. There's nothing better than sinking into a novel and empathising with the characters as they journey through the novel, experiencing both ups and downs...I love to laugh and cry and I want the book to stay with me after I've turned the last page. I don't need a happy ending, but I need a satisfactory one. I hope I deliver satisfactory endings in my own novels. I also write children's books with my husband, Simon Sebag-Montefiore. The series of four books is called The Royal Rabbits of London, about a secret society of MI5 style rabbits who live beneath Buckingham Palace and protect the Royal Family from evil. Our son came up with the idea when he was six years old and it's now being made into a movie by 20th Century Fox, which is beyond exciting. To see our characters in animation will be magical. In 2020, during Lockdown, I wrote the first of a new comedy series, Flappy Entertains, which was published in spring 2021. The second, Flappy Investigates, will come out spring 2022. I live in London but rent a cottage in Hampshire, which is where I bolt to when I can no longer take the pace of the city and need to spend time in nature to find peace. We have two children, our daughter Lily and our son Sasha. We also have a Labrador called Simba who is definitely the most spoiled member of the family. My husband Simon is a historian, novelist and broadcaster. We manage to live and work in the same house without killing each other. My favourite place to write is at the kitchen table because it's near the kettle and the fridge. If I start a packet of biscuits I can't stop so I try not to start... but marmite toast is another matter, and a very serious one; nothing can separate me from that. Visit me at www.santamontefiore.co.uk, @santamontefioreofficial on Instagram and @SantaMontefiore on Twitter, and sign up for my newsletter on my website which I try to write every month, but sometimes struggle, so please forgive me if I miss one or two! If you read any of my novels, I hope they sweep you away and give you a warm feeling inside.Read more Read less
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