On A Bookish Word or Two, we have a guest post from Donna Fletcher Crow, author of Going There: Tales from the Riviera and Beyond. Enjoy!
The Inspiration Behind Going There: Tales from the Riviera and Beyond
By Donna Fletcher Crow
For many years I had wanted to go to France with my daughter-in-law Kelly. She speaks French, has a Cordon Bleu Grand Diplome, and has visited France many times. In other words, the perfect guide to a fabulous country I wanted to get to know better. But somehow, the adventure never worked out for us.
Until the summer of 2021. Granddaughter Jane was to study at the Princesse Grace Dance Academy in Monaco. There would then be a ten-day gap between the end of her program in Monaco and the beginning of her final year at the Ballettschule of Basel. Chaperoning Jane was a perfect excuse.
After more than a year of severe lockdowns around the world the restrictions had eased just enough to make it possible. With all the proper documentation of vaccinations and tests, along with an ample supply of masks, we set off on the amazing itinerary Kelly had planned: A week on the Riviera, a week in the Loire valley, then on to Switzerland.
It was all to be pure pleasure and family time. This was for fun, not work.
But the characters from several of my series disagreed. To my surprise, they wanted to come, too. Looking back at my trip journal, I see it was on day 6 that Lord and Lady Danvers from my Lord Danvers Investigates Victorian series showed up on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Then Elizabeth and Richard from my literary suspense series joined us on the boat to St. Tropez. Felicity and Antony from my Monastery Murders series showed up in the wine caves in the Loire valley the next week… and so it went.
My biggest surprise, though, was two summers later. My husband and I were fulfilling a long-held dream and celebrating our sixtieth anniversary with a crossing on the Queen Mary 2 when we were joined by a bevy of my characters. Really? On a romantic anniversary getaway? It’s little wonder I was surprised.
But then, surprises and adventures are some of the nicest things about the writing life—along with being able to share all of them with my readers.
About Donna Fletcher Crow
About Going There: Tales from the Riviera and Beyond
In the summer of 2021 my daughter-in-law and I slipped through a brief window of sanity in a world driven mad by the Covid pandemic. Our purpose was to see my granddaughter Jane to a summer program in Monaco, then back to her ballet school in Switzerland. In spite of restrictions, protests, and nail-biting worries, the result was a marvelous experience. I invited characters from my mystery series to join me in my imagination and have their own adventures in each setting. Their encounters are: Nice: “The Crime of Passion”; St Tropez: “The Mother Decrees”; Villefrance-sur-de-mer: “The Ghost Boy”; Monaco: “Fracas in Monaco”; The Loire Valley: “The Old Winemaker”; Saint Gallen: “Whispers of Legend”. The final coda is “Home Another Way” As 2 years later I return from quite a different trip aboard the Queen Mary 2 and my characters join in the celebrations as worlds coincide. More information on the book GOING THERE: TALES FROM THE RIVIERA AND BEYOND can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Going-There-Tales-Riviera-Beyond-ebook/dp/B0CPHBRVJH?ref_=ast_author_mpb.