Although born in Lancashire, I grew up in Derbyshire before graduating in Italian and History of Art at the University of Leeds. Several years in Italy teaching English and writing travel guides were followed by seven years as a Chartered Accountant and then eighteen years teaching English and Media Studies back in England. During those twenty-five years, I spent as much time as possible in Italy, soaking up the culture and getting ideas for stories. In the summer of 2014 I left teaching and my wife agreed to support me while I got my writing career back on track. Since then, I have divided my time between the two countries and never regretted the decision to concentrate on writing.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I started e-reading by downloading a Kindle app onto my laptop a few years ago; since then I've acquired a Kindle Fire and also downloaded several other e-reading apps onto my devices. I still like the feel of a physical book but, a lot of the time, e-readers are just so much more practical.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
When I wrote my travel guides it was all done for me by the publishers and i never really thought about marketing until the first draft of my first novel was almost complete. I have now developed a facebook page (facebook.com/Phil.Whitney.Author) and have taken tentative steps with Twitter and Linkedin. This is, however, an area in which I hope to improve over the next few months.
When unemployed Max Caddick made his way to Italy in 1934, he had no idea that it was the start of a connection between his family and Italy that would last into the 21st Century.
'Relative Values' tells what happens to Max from 1934 to 1943 and then to his grandson, Paul, between 1984 and 1985.
In 'Affairs of State' set in 2004-2005, Paul finds himself entangled in a web of corrupt politicians and organised crime.
Finally, Paul's nephew, Luke, is drawn into the search for a missing Libyan refugee between 2016 and 2018 in 'Unwilling Helper'.
The novels range throughout Italy from Sicily in the South to Tuscany in the Centre-North.
A journalist and a former police officer attempt to track down a missing refugee - a search that takes them from an idyllic Aeolian island to the heart of Tuscany. People-trafficking, the sex-trade and corrupt officials are major obstacles to their quest.
Paul and his Italian wife, Rosa have been living happily in Florence for nineteen years when a dinner invite to Rosa's younger sister leads them into a dangerous world where political corruption and organised crime meet.
'He thought of all the times he'd despaired at the lack of real action being taken against the general level of self-interest, exploitation and corruption in Italian public life'
In 1934, young Max Caddick, blacklisted in England for his left wing views works his way to Italy to view the great art works. There, trouble arises when he becomes involved with the daughter of a leading fascist family. Fifty years later when Paul Caddick travels to Italy to teach English and try to find his Italian family he is surprised to find his enquiries met by silence and hostility.