A Majorca Romance: A Conversation with Anita Hughes

Island in the Sea by Anita Hughes sweeps readers away to yet another paradise and a couple falling under the spell of love. In Majorca, music executive Juliet grapples with love: the love of music, the love of her job, and the love of the men she meets there. Readers find themselves both rooting for Juliet as she faces the challenge and jealous of her beautiful clothes and the fabulous things she gets to eat.

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I'd love to begin with the most obvious question: Why Majorca? What draw you to this place? Did you get to spend time there?

I have been fascinated with Majorca since I was a child. When I was a teenager, we were going to move from Australia to the Costa del Sol in Spain- I went to school there for a day! We ended up not staying, but I have always loved the region. Majorca, especially, is such a gorgeous island. It has a lot of history - George Sand and her lover, Chopin, famously spent a winter there - and the scenery is spectacular.

Juliet and Gabrielle seem to grapple with the idea of having it all, each perhaps taking a different side in the debate. As a mother five and a novelist, do you think it is possible to have it all?

One first has to ask what is the definition of having it all - I believe it is leading a fulfilling life, and trying to make others happy. Being a mother comes first - once you have children, there really is no question. But if you know they are doing well, then you can indulge in what you enjoy - and writing is the most important thing for me.

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I found myself impressed both by Lionel and Juliet's wardrobe and the stunning meals they found in Majorca. I wanted to be on the plaza with them in fabulous heels with tasting the local delicacies. What inspires your clear appreciation of fashion and food?

I believe that beauty in anything - fashion, scenery, food presentation, makes life more enjoyable so I put it in all my books. I love to describe food because it is such an important part of our lives. Surprisingly, in real life I wear flip-flips most of the time but I appreciate gorgeous clothing. I love fashion magazines and think clothing can be a type of art form.

Love songs, and their creation, form a huge portion of the back story of this novel. What do you think love stories and love songs have in common? What does it take to write a memorable love story?

I just finished my ninth novel for St. Martin's Press and for me it always comes done to the same thing: boy meets girl, they fall in love, there are obstacles in the way, and ultimately they overcome them. I think it is the same for love songs.

To write a memorable love story you have to have characters the reader really cares about. Then you put them in situations that are dramatic and hold the reader's interest. It never hurts to have a few plot twists! I hope I accomplish all that in my novels.