I like those books that can disrupt your tightly-plotted schedule. I hate them too, but mostly I like them. We sometimes chance upon them, and we have to drop everything else and just read.
It happened me this weekend, via a strange discussion wit some online friends about, of all things, wrestling, and an ultra-cheap paperback offer from Amazon.
And so, I took a much needed break this weekend and got in bed with The Sweetheart, the first novel by American writer Angelina Mirabella.
It was a good choice on my part.
And yes, with that cover, I was for a briefest of moments afraid I was going to wade into MadMen territory – but thankfully I was not. Continue reading →
When I started writing The Corsair, the idea of setting the stories in the Mediterranean area was one of the main premises of the series.
I wanted the glamour, exoticism and variety of the Mediterranean coast, along which three continents meet.
As part of the research for the series, I collected a number of travel posters from the 1930s (the era in which I originally planned to set the series) and the 1950s.
The posters were useful both in determining the main tourist destinations in the area in those years, and in defining a certain atmosphere and style.
Here’s a very small selection.
The first comment I got when I shouted “Wow! This is just great!” was along the lines of “Sounds like the sort of junk Clive Cussler writes.”
Talk about feeling alienated.
But let’s proceed with order.
One of the few perks of living smack in the middle of Southern Piedmont is, in two hours I can be on the Cote d’Azure.
The sun, the sea, acres and acres of nubile, scantly clad young women stretching on the beaches…
And I normally end up in some antiquarian bookstore.
They even publish (or used to) a map of antiquarian bookshops in the Nice area.
So a few years back I was browsing the stalls of one such small Alladin caves of librarian wonder, and I caught me the three volumes of the Born Free series, first edition, and to round up the bill, I threw in a weird little book called Treasure Diving Holidays, by Jane and Barney Crile.
The book – a 1954 first edition – once bought and brought home, was placed on a high shelf together with other sea-oriented books, and soon forgotten.
Which is all right – I’m quite convinced books should be read at the right moment, so sometimes forgetting them on a high shelf is just what’s needed.
Then, when the time comes… I need some color and information for some seafaring stories I’m planning, and I go and rediscover this hidden gem.