Writing and Researching during a Pandemic

At the Brancati Olive Farm

It has been a strange eighteen months to say the least. Many people have suffered – physically, mentally, with the loss of a loved one and more. And what of writing?

Writers are a mixed bag and so it seems are their reactions to the pandemic. Some have cherished their increased ‘me-time’; time in which to write, reflect, enjoy a quieter time in their environment. Others have found themselves stuttering to a temporary halt, creatively speaking. It is not always easy to immerse oneself in another world when the world we are living in seems to be suffering so very much.

For myself, the pandemic has come at a time when I had already planned to take longer to write my next book. I feel fortunate. There have been times when I have gained huge inspiration from a natural landscape that has often seemed so much more peaceful than usual. And there have been other times when I have felt simply unable to write, due to various pressures or anxieties, and then, I have been able to take a break, without too much concern.

Trulli houses in Alborello

From a more practical standpoint, my next research trip to southern Italy was postponed three times in 2020 and 2021… This has made it impossible to write scenes in situ and I’ve been forced to write the story with huge gaps – to be filled in later.

But I’m pleased to report that I have now visited Puglia, done all my research and am well on the way with the book at last. It was wonderful to go back to Italy and to see all the places that I wanted to write about up close and personal.

The working title for the book is ‘The Lost Garden’ and here are a few research photos from my trip.


At the Masseria

In Ostuni

Stunning Polignano



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