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.
Have you read The Corsican Widow yet? If not, for a limited time, you can enter this autumn giveaway to win the book plus 25+ other Book Club Fiction novels from a great collection of authors, including Patricia Sands, Kate Braithwaite and Laura Bradbury.
In this contest organised by BookSweeps, there’s also a chance to win a brand new eReader – along with a collection of FREE reads just for entering.
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?
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →