Tell us about the location of your SUNLOUNGER 2 story… I chose Saint Emilion in the Bordeaux wine region of South West France. It’s a beautiful region with vineyards, sunflowers and fabulous chateaux. I visited a chateau whilst I was there and couldn’t think of a more wonderful setting for a wedding.
Have any of your books featured exotic locations? My first book The Oyster Catcher is set in fabulous Galway on the west coast of Ireland where I lived for three years. The city of Galway is so vibrant and lively and Connemara is wild and rugged. My second book The Olive Branch is set in Puglia, right down in ‘the heel of the boot’ in Southern Italy.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I like to think I’d live either in Bordeaux or Puglia, but if I’m honest the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales is a wonderful place to be. We have great beaches one way, fabulous hills the other way, great pubs and our own vineyards!
Which destination have you returned to the most? Probably Bordeaux. I first went there when friends of mine bought a big old town house and started running writing courses and retreats there - www.chez-castillon.com. It’s not far from Saint Emilion. The big blue door on the typically French main shopping street, with bars and restaurants and a Monday market, opens into a huge wide hall and leads you into the walled garden at the back of the house where you could be in the middle of nowhere. We write, eat, drink and laugh there, what more could you ask for? Oh, and when we’ve eaten too much we walk along the banks of the Dordogne.
Favourite cuisine of the world? I think it would have to be the simple, but so flavoursome food of Southern Italy. I once had roasted peppers, cooked in an outdoor forno, with the chef’s own olive oil, sprinkled with breadcrumbs. So simple and yet probably one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever eaten.
Favourite holiday cocktail? In France there is a small bar across the road from Chez Castillon and there Monique makes the most fabulous gin and tonics. Really hits the spot after a day’s writing. Or a kir, in a frozen glass, on the morning of market days.
Song that most makes you feel like summer? Tracey Chapman ‘Fast Car’. A friend and I went to the south of France and got jobs waitressing in a restaurant down there in our gap year. We had this cassette and played it over and over.
Best holiday romance? Best holiday romance was meeting my husband on a May bank holiday weekend at a music festival in Wales. The sun shone, the lager was cold and I got chatted up by the lead singer in the band and ended up marrying him.
And the worst holiday romance? A May bank holiday weekend in Wales for a special birthday, the sun didn’t shine and the lager was warm. In fact, it poured with rain onto the roof of our caravan and we ended up leaving early in a frosty atmosphere. The following morning I woke up in my own bed, warm and happy with tea and toast and the rain hitting the window outside. Sometimes holidays at home are just perfect.