Cities as Inspiration
An awful lot of my stories take place in London because 1) I spend a lot of time there or have done 2) I know parts of the city well and they inspire good ideas for stories and 3) I love that city, so even when I’m not there I like to spend time visiting via my imagination. I set Swan Prince in Hyde Park and most of the Chastity Flame stories in parts of the city from the National Gallery to the Millennium Bridge.
But I’m putting the finishing touches on my new novella for Tirgearr which takes place in Rome. Ah, the eternal city! After many years of admiring the ancient world, I visited there for the first time just a couple of years ago with my friend (and fabulous poet) Alessandra as guide.
I cannot imagine not enjoying Rome but seeing the city with a Roman guide is sine qua non.
She took me to the Jewish ghetto where we had the most exquisite roasted artichoke — a flavour that lingers yet in my mouth, nutty buttery perfection. We saw the Caravaggios that never travel, hidden in small dark churches, turned a corner and stepped through a small doorway into a tiny church full of golden Baroque splendor that the outside never betrayed and she made sure I experienced that golden afternoon light that painters had sought to capture in oil and watercolors for centuries, a treasure that exists no where else.
And the food! Should I even try to describe the food? No. You have to experience it for yourself.
What’s your city? Why? What magic does it hold? What keeps you coming back?
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