Categories
Corsica France Historical Fiction

Fictional Versus Real Settings in Novels

Saint-Florent, Corsica
Saint-Florent on the island of Corsica appears in my books under a different name.

A sense of place in fiction is very important to me, both in my own work and in the novels I read. Some of my favourite authors, such as Hannah Kent, Helen Dunmore and Tracy Chevalier, excel at weaving the setting seamlessly into the story. Novels are about people, of course, but they are the product of their environment and culture, so the setting is an indispensable part of the story.

But should you write about real places or make them up? There is no right answer. Both of those alternatives have pros and cons.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction

‘The Corsican Widow’ reduced for a short time

 

The Corsican Widow Cover MEDIUM WEB

My second novel in the Tales of Corsica series, The Corsican Widow, is taking part in an Amazon Kindle Countdown deal today and over the weekend. *Please note that this applies only to the US and UK Kindle stores.* It will remain at the full price in other Kindle stores.

The countdown starts today at 8 am in the UK and at 3 am PST/6 am EST in the States.

The book will be reduced from the full price of £2.99/$3.99 to 99p/99c, rising to £1.99 or equivalent on late Saturday and Sunday and then back to the full price on Monday 19th November.

The Tales of Corsica novels are stories set on the beguiling island of Corsica. They are linked by being set in the same house in the fictional village of Zaronza.

In The Corsican Widow, Valeria Peretti must marry a wealthy man twice her age whom she doesn’t know. She is later accused of a serious crime she didn’t commit. Friendless and isolated, can she escape from her enemies and make a new life?

To buy in the UK, click here.

To buy in the US, click here.

Copyright © Vanessa Couchman 2018, all rights reserved.

 

Categories
Corsica

Of Mountains and Men: How Corsica’s Landscape Shaped its History

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The Tavignanu Valley in Corsica’s central mountains

Corsica’s terrain is a feature that has had a significant influence on its history and culture. The island is one big mountain range that rises 2,706 metres from the sea at its highest point, Monte Cinto. These are comparatively young, jagged mountains, not yet rounded by erosion.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction

Iconic Corsican Places: the Church of San Michele, Murato

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Pisan church at Murato

Open any guidebook about Corsica and you’re likely to come across a picture of this exquisite Romanesque church in Murato. Prosper Mérimée, who was Inspector of Public Monuments, said in 1839 that it was “the most elegant and the most attractive church he had come across on Corsica.” We visited the site in 2014 and I heartily agree with him.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Zaronza! Win a Signed Copy to Celebrate

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My first novel, The House at Zaronza, is four years old and to celebrate I have one signed paperback copy to award to a lucky winner. Read on to find out how to enter.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction

Iconic #Corsican Places: the Paoline Tower, #Nonza

Nonza - Paoline Tower
The historic Paoline Tower in Nonza, Corsica

It’s no secret that I’m a Corsicaphile. I’ve visited six times (not nearly enough!) and never cease to be inspired by its history, culture and landscapes. This is the first in a series of posts about inspiring places on the island. Some of them appear in my books; others don’t yet.

I’m starting with a monument that has appeared in both of my Corsica novels: the Paoline Tower in Nonza on Cap Corse, the finger-like projection at the north end of the island. It’s often been described as “the island of the island” and has its own distinctive feel. The village of Nonza is on the rugged west coast.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction Novels

An Excerpt from ‘The Corsican Widow’

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The Paoline Tower in Nonza, Corsica, built in the 18th century. It features in The Corsican Widow.

With less than two weeks to go before the publication of the second novel in my Tales of Corsica series, here’s an excerpt from the beginning of The Corsican Widow. Set in mid/late 18th-century Corsica and Marseille, the novel concerns a young Corsican woman, Valeria Peretti, who must marry a wealthy widower she does not know. A quiet, respectable life apparently awaits her, but a prophecy on the eve of her betrothal spells misfortune ahead.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction

5 Facts You Might not Know About Corsica

Corsican landscape cropped
Inspiring landscape

Corsica, that captivating, mountainous island in the Mediterranean, conceals many mysteries. It has a fascinating culture and a turbulent history. Here are some facts about the island that you might not know.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction

Cover Reveal: The Corsican Widow    

 

The Corsican Widow Cover MEDIUM WEB

I have been itching to show you the cover for the next in my Tales of Corsica series, The Corsican Widow, which will be published on 10th May 2018. The Kindle version is now available for pre-order on Amazon. The designer was, again, JD Smith, who has designed previous covers for me and I’m delighted with it. She has really captured the spirit of the book.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction

New Horizons: Tales of Corsica

The House of Zaronza Cover LARGE EBOOK

April will see the reissue of The House at Zaronza, my novel set in early 20th-century Corsica and at the Western Front during World War I. It was first published by Crooked Cat Books in 2014, and I’m eternally grateful to them for taking me on and for everything I have learned in the process. They tell me it was their 4th bestselling eBook and I’m pleased and proud that it did so well in its first edition.