Posted in: Bernini, Diana Gabaldon, love stories, love story, magical realism fiction, magical realism novels, romance novels set in italy, romantic time travel, sarah addison allen, susanna kearsley, time travel fiction

Interview with the Main Character – The Renaissance Club

Today I’m interviewing May Gold, the character in my time travel romance novel, The Renaissance Club. Perfect for fans of Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon, the story has been called “enchanting, rich, and romantic”!

May a young art historian whose career ambitions are frustrated and whose love relationship is disintegrating, goes on a tour of Renaissance Italy with her teaching colleagues. When she steps through a fold in time she meets her 17th century artist hero, Gianlorenzo Bernini, face to his handsome face and falls into a passionate dilemma. Can love conquer time, and can it span the centuries between them?

In order to find out more about her and how she might react to this challenge, I asked May a few questions

Q: What did you eat for breakfast? Did you make it yourself? What time do you eat breakfast? Do you wash the pan after you cook the eggs or do you leave it for the maid to clean? Do you have a maid?

A: I rushed through the bar of the Grand Hotel in Rome, grabbing a stale roll and a fast espresso, because all of Rome was out there, especially the Bernini sculptures and buildings! Who has time to eat breakfast on their first day in a fabulous, ancient, Renaissance city like Rome?

Q: Are you an only child?

A: Yes, and I think it’s unfortunate because my intelligent, ambitious parents have too much advice to give to just one child. Especially career advice. They’re steering me along the lane of their profession, making documentary films. But I love poetry, art, and imagination! If only they’d had another child who was more interested in facts, they might leave me alone to explore what I want to do. I’m twenty-six. Should I know all the answers by now?

Q: Do you call your mother every day?

A: No, but if I don’t text her every day, even from Italy, she calls me.

Q: Do you put both socks on first, or one sock, one shoe?

A: Sandals whenever possible.

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: I have a pet 17th century artist, the focus of my master’s thesis, Gianlorenzo Bernini. Sometimes he feels like a pet, because thoughts of him go everywhere with me. He’s tucked into the pocket of my heart, like a small hamster you can carry around. Of course, he was a lot more like a lion!

Q: If you could go back in time for one day, where would you go?

A: Ask me something hard! Rome, St. Peter’s, to watch the magnificent Bernini creating his first masterpiece, the enormous three-story tall altar of bronze called The Baldacchino. No one had ever seen anything like it! I’d like to watch him getting ideas and supervising his workers.


Do you bite your fingernails? Do you have any bad habits?

A: I pick at bits of history about Bernini. I have the bad habit of imagining his art studio, and me in it, perhaps modeling for one of his beautiful statues, and then perhaps he comes over to adjust my arm … Yes, definitely a time-wasting (or time

traveling) habit.

A: See, that’s the problem.