I had so much FUN writing Murder in Nice last summer! Especially after my visit there. In fact, I outlined the latest Maggie book to largely follow the steps (or more accurately the miles) I traveled down the Côte d’Azur. From Nice to St-Buvard (fictional, but largely tracing the drive from the Riviera to Aix), and then back to Nice and down the coast all the way to Marseille and Arles.
Sunset view from the Promenade des Anglais of Niçoise coastline .
I tried to insert as many little cafés, restaurants and idyllic moments that I experienced, myself, this summer.
While I enjoy photographing any unusual or just slap-down delicious meals on vacation to post on Facebook, I love even more describing some of these exquisite culinary experiences in a novel and then having Laurent either whip it up in context to the plot or find it in a hole-in-the-wall bistro or brasserie.
This dish (top photo above the tomato salad which was omigod-don’t-remind-me- so-awesome) was actually black pasta with squid (and clams and so on) and my husband and brother listed it as one of the highlights of their trip! (I had plain garlic pasta and I would’ve photographed it too but it was such a transcendic experience that I think I blacked out for awhile so sorry no photo.)
One of the things that I love about travel (as a writer especially) is that I get ideas for plots or story lines that would NEVER have occurred to me otherwise. Walking through the Arles Amphitheatre
Arles Ampitheatre…lovely cool walk on a hot summer day.
or the eerie and hauntingly beautiful Abbaye de Montmajour right outside Arles…or coming across a series of beautiful and totally unexpected Roman aquaducts outside Frejus…is the sort of serendipity that not only makes life sweet–but rings all kinds of bells as to what kind of danger to next place Maggie Newberry!
Mid-11th century abbey outside Arles, Montmajour Abbey, is a gorgeous ruin beautifully maintained. It was the setting for the film “The Lion in Winter.” Spent a spell-binding hour wandering its ancient and cavernous halls.