NaNo or NoNo? How to Survive National Novel Writing Month

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 myContinue reading “NaNo or NoNo? How to Survive National Novel Writing Month”

My Biggest Lesson on my Book’s First Birthday

  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 theContinue reading “My Biggest Lesson on my Book’s First Birthday”

Relatively Speaking…

Relatively Speaking…   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 enjoyContinue reading “Relatively Speaking…”

Location, Location, Location: the Importance of Setting in Fiction

Location, Location, Location: the Importance of Setting in Fiction Novels are clearly about people and their stories. But I have always been a great believer in the importance of setting in fiction. It influences characters in so many ways and can tell you a lot about them. You also have to create a believable worldContinue reading “Location, Location, Location: the Importance of Setting in Fiction”

10 Things Not to Say to an Author

  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. YouContinue reading “10 Things Not to Say to an Author”

What Happened to the Art of Letter Writing?

The noble art of letter writing seems to have gone into freefall. I think this is a shame, although I am the first to admit that I rarely find time these days to write more than the tersest of emails. As a literary device, letters are a gift for authors, as I know from myContinue reading “What Happened to the Art of Letter Writing?”

A #Corsican Easter Procession

Religion in Corsica is just as important as in the rest of France – if not more so. You get the sense, though, that the Roman Catholic faith overlays deeper currents of belief, stretching back beyond the birth of Christianity. It’s more elemental, like Corsican music. There wasn’t a place in The House at ZaronzaContinue reading “A #Corsican Easter Procession”

Ten Inspiring Things About #Corsica: Part 2

Here’s part 2 of my post about aspects of Corsica that I find inspiring as a writer. Some of them appear in my novels The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow, but all of them are things I want to keep experiencing. In writing this post, I have realised that 10 is far tooContinue reading “Ten Inspiring Things About #Corsica: Part 2”

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Maria Orsini, Main Character in ‘The House at Zaronza’

  Normally, I interview real live people. But today, I thought I’d let one of my characters have her say. So joining me on the chaise longue today for some Corsican vin de myrte (myrtle berry wine) and a bit of bean-spilling is my main character from The House at Zaronza, Maria Orsini.

Ten Inspiring Things About Corsica: Part 1

Restricting this to just 10 things has been difficult. Below are five of my favourite Corsican things, places or experiences: find the next five here. They are all part of the landscape/history/culture that inspired my novels The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow and will continue to inspire my future writing about Corsica, whetherContinue reading “Ten Inspiring Things About Corsica: Part 1”