I was seventeen years old and as I watched my step on the suicidally thin strips of footpath, I never imagined that I would marry one of the Italian boys on the Vespas that shot up and down the tiny, medieval streets of Florence.
But one year after arriving in Florence to study Italian, I did fall in love. There followed eighteen years of going back and forth between Italy and Sydney, trying to decide where to live. During these early years of oscillation, I won a scholarship to the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. After graduating, I became a radio journalist and reported for 2GB, Kiss FM and corresponded for the ABC, 2UE and the American Radio News Network. Ultimately I moved into television news and while Associate Producer with Channel 10 I wrote my first book – Walking Sydney, A Guide to 25 of Sydney’s Best Walks.
During those eighteen years I always, always went back to Florence to see my gorgeous Italian boyfriend.
The move to live permanently in Italy and marry brought me two beautiful babies. Three books followed – The Promise, Death in the Mountains and Naples: A Way of Love. My current work in progress keeps me busy travelling all over Italy. Join me on that journey as I discuss writing tips, formulas, travel updates, publishing ideas and manuscript developments on my blog.
After four decades of living in and writing about Italy, I decided it was time to share what I have learnt here in Tuscany by helping other writers achieve their dreams. My Art of Writing retreats are held in the heart of Florence. Guests stay in the beautiful Palazzo San Niccolo. My retreats are for beginning, emerging and established writers, in the first week of June every year. I fly famous publishers and published authors in to teach, share their journeys and appraise manuscripts. That way each writer and their project receives extremely close and personal attention. Early morning appointments with agents or publishers gives you the opportunity to showcase and sell your work. Each morning is dedicated to learning and honing your craft. Please, don’t think your work is not good enough. One of my life’s greatest joys is helping you know in your heart that you and your writing are wonderful. Why can’t it be you? Why can’t your work be published? My team is here to help you grow, learn and publish.
I hope you can join me. I’d love to meet you and help you take your idea to novel, in what I think is the perfect environment for creativity.
— Lisa Clifford