At the turn of the 20th century, the world of agricultural labour in France was a patchwork of different métiers and social positions. Wherever you were on the social hierarchy, your life was governed by the tasks associated with the different seasons.
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.
Where’s Parisot? It’s a hilltop village in Tarn-et-Garonne, Southwest France. You could be forgiven – but would be mistaken – for passing it by. Mistaken, not only because it has some interesting historical sites to see, but also because it hosts an Anglo-French literary festival every October.