Have you ever visited and fallen in love with a place whilst on holiday so far removed from your life at home? Would you upsticks and move to that idyllic place on a permanent basis? Well, my guest and his wife did just that over 20 years ago! Please welcome onto the blog my guest, author Anthony Stancomb – Anthony & his wife discovered the beautiful Croatian island of Vis over 20 years ago, and decided to move there from the UK. Following his best seller novel “Under A Croatian Sun”, Anthony has written a sequel “Notes From A Very Small Island”. These novels mirror his own life on Vis …. And after reading the hilarious yet thought provoking stories, I couldn’t wait to catch up with Anthony to find out more ….
Hi! I’m Anthony Stancomb. I’m a retired art dealer who now writes books about life on the Croatian island I live on.
“Notes From A Very Small Island” is the sequel to your best seller, “Under A Croatian Sun”…. a continuation of the story of a British couple who are attempting to integrate into a rustic Croatian community, whilst the local population are attempting to handle its newfound EU membership. So what gave you the inspiration to write these novels?
I never thought of writing until after the first year when I realised that island life was so bizarre and so full of extraordinary goings on, that it was material for a book.
The book is fun, humorous and yet it does provide a sobering food for thought for those looking at upping sticks and moving to a rustic community abroad that is vastly different from their homeland. The tale itself is full of the joys of living – the feasts, wine making & budding romances – but does feature sorrow, hardships, local politics & government red tape. What 3 main pieces of advice would you give to somebody looking at making such a move?
It’s important that :
- You mix well with people.
- You don’t expect life to go on as it did at home.
- You need to find a place that inspires you.
As a child what books did you enjoy reading? What genre of books do you enjoy reading now?
I loved GA Henty and books of derring do! Now I read a lot of memoirs and travel writing such as William Dalrymple, but I still read many of the great new novels. It’s a wonder that we never seem to stop producing the most amazing pieces of literature that astound the world.
You discovered the Croatian Island of Vis over 20 years ago and moved there permanently with your wife. What attracted you to Croatia, and specifically the island of Vis?
My wife, although born and brought up in South America, is Croatian by blood, but most of all, the island is one of the most unspoiled and beautiful places in the Mediterranean.
As much as you like writing travel books, is there any genre you would like to dabble in that you haven’t yet tried?
I am working on the bones of a novel that traces the life of an island family over four generations.
You have worked in film & TV for many years as well as running your own business promoting British artists to galleries abroad and now you are a successful author – so, when you’re not writing what hobbies/past times do you enjoy?
I love DIY, boating, swimming, reading, and talking a lot!
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
All year round I wear shirts with collars and trousers that have pockets. My shoes are always lace-ups unless I’m wearing sandals on boats or beaches.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
Amazon for books! I don’t really buy anything else except food and drink.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I will need one more pair of black shoes this coming year, as my one pair is disintegrating, and maybe in the following year I will have worn through my pair of blue corduroys and will have to replace them. (I will probably spill paint on my brown pair of chino’s at some point, so I’ll most likely be replacing those with another)!
Boots or Shoes?
Boots aren’t really me. I’m more like Alec Guinness playing the British Consul in crumpled linen and a panama hat.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you and your books.
Thank you so much for joining me on the blog, Anthony – your little Croatian Island looks breathtakingly stunning and I look forward to visiting Croatia in the future! So dear readers, have you visited anywhere that was your little piece of paradise? Would you leave your homeland and start elsewhere anew? Where would you go? Or have you done the same as Anthony? Please do tell – I’d love to know!
All photos have been published with kind permission from Anthony Stancomb.