Murder and Mayhem in la France Profonde: Angela Wren’s Merle

A street in Mende, the French town which features in Merle

It gives me great pleasure to welcome author Angela Wren to the blog today. Angela is a Francophile and writes a series of detective novels set in the Cévennes, featuring investigator Jacques Forêt. Merle, the latest in the series, is published on 5th July by Crooked Cat Books. Continue reading

My Main Character Has Her Say…

The Corsican landscape Maria loves so much

When you’ve spent months, or even years, with your characters they somehow take on a surprising reality and a life of their own. I felt a bit empty when I typed ‘The End’ to The House at Zaronza since  I had become very fond of my main character, Maria Orsini. Continue reading

Views of #Corsica

View from our window at Nonza

View of the sea from Nonza

Come with me on a photo journey through some of the places and views on Corsica that have inspired my writing during our six visits there. I have taken hundreds of photos on Corsica, but these are among my favourites. I can feel a seventh visit coming on… Continue reading

Vendetta in Corsica: Myth and Reality

Olmeto - Colomba Carabelli plaque

Olmeto – Colomba Carabelli plaque

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. Continue reading

NaNo or NoNo? How to Survive National Novel Writing Month

Nano logo

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. Continue reading

My Biggest Lesson on my Book’s First Birthday

Front cover final

 

Where does it go? Time, I mean. It’s not so long ago that I was slaving over a hot computer to write The House at Zaronza (actually, it will be three years in November). And surely it’s only yesterday that it was published? No, today it’s my novel’s first birthday. Now it enters the terrible twos. Continue reading

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Tim Taylor

Author Tim Taylor

Author Tim Taylor

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Tim Taylor

My latest victim guest on the chaise longue is author Tim Taylor. We share some things in common: a first degree at Oxford University followed by a career in the public services (although I worked in book publishing in between). We also have publication by Crooked Cat Publishing in common. Tim is a versatile author who can step seamlessly between periods of history. He tells us today how he came to write and about the genesis of his latest novel, Revolution Day. Continue reading