We’ve visited Corsica six times. L’Île de Beauté is a captivating place, with a savage beauty and a culture all its own and I strongly advise a visit. In 2014, we went to Olmeto, once the home of a woman who was the inspiration for Prosper Mérimée’s Colomba. His novel is about vendetta, an integral feature of Corsican history and culture.
This blog has been a bit quiet recently, but there’s a reason for that. Along with countless others, I emerged from National Novel Writing Month on 30th November, having just about snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. I hit the requisite 50K words on 25th November, but I’m still feeling a bit shell-shocked.
Should you go back to places that have a special significance in your memory, or where you have found inspiration? It can turn out to be disappointing. They might have changed beyond recognition, or the magic you experienced might simply have dissipated.
So, it was with some misgivings that I recently revisited the Corsican village where I found the inspiration for my novel House at Zaronza. But something rather exciting happened while we were there.
Is it that time of year again? Well not quite, but it comes upon you before you know it. Having spent the past few months on paid work, my fiction-typing fingers are tingling and the ideas are flowing. I need space to write and I can’t do it with clients and deadlines snapping at my heels.
But now the next deadline is looming – National Novel Writing Month (NaNo for short). A recent, and timely, conversation in a Facebook group made me think about it.
On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Sue Barnard
I’m very pleased to welcome back my friend and fellow Crooked Cat author Sue Barnard – who is also my editor! She is a lady of many talents and has a range of short stories, poems and three published novels to her credit. She wrote a great guest post for me a while ago about the role of the editor. Now, let’s hear a bit more about her writing and, in particular, her latest novel, The Unkindest Cut of All.
I loathe promoting myself and always have done. I was brought up not to boast, not to push myself forward and never to ask for things for myself. Not a good training for an author these days, eh? With gritted teeth, I have launched myself on social media and, while I do enjoy blogging, I find Twitter and Facebook difficult to get to grips with, although strangely addictive. But I have a secret weapon…
On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: an Interview with Emma Mooney @EmmaMooney21
Today, it’s my great pleasure to welcome fellow Crooked Cat author Emma Mooney to the chaise longue. Emma lives near Edinburgh with her husband and three children. Despite these distractions, she published her first novel, A Beautiful Game, in 2014, which has had excellent reviews. She says she enjoys ‘exploring the grittier side of fiction’.
A tongue in cheek post today, but with a grain of truth. Readers I meet at parties or other events usually have very interesting and perceptive things to say about books and writing. I love having the opportunity to talk with them, which doesn’t happen often living down here in la France profonde. You learn so much from it, and they are an excellent sounding board.
I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow Crooked Cat author, Sue Barnard, to the chaise longue this week. Not only is Sue an author in her own right, but she’s also an editor. More precisely, she is my editor. And a cracking job she did, too, of The House at Zaronza. She saved me from many a howler and smartened up my prose no end.