I am working on a scene in the Ravenscraig sequel which takes place at Eze, an incredible Medieval Village that is known as the “Eagle’s Nest” for it’s view of the Mediterranean. We had the good fortune to visit this stunning place on the French Riviera some years ago and we enjoyed a most elegant lunch at the Chateau Eza.
Today I came across this beautiful video that will give you a sense of why I chose Eze as location for a very important dinner in 1914. Luxury is always inspiring. Eze is a few miles away from Monaco.
For someone raised on the prairies, like me, I can tell you it is a bit of a hair-raising ride up that mountainous road to get to Eze, but worth every pounding heartbeat.
For the last couple of weeks I have been researching gambling in the famous Monte Carlo Casino in the early part of the 20th century. It’s fascinating reading and I am learning about the luxurious lifestyles of the rich and titled who flocked to Monaco to play, be treated royally, and hob nob with others of their high social standing.
The Monte Carlo
The Monte Carlo Casino was a most impressive gambling venue, where spectators and social climbers would come to be in the company of these illustrious members of the upper class, some pushing forward to rub elbows with them, perhaps even to take their money at the gaming tables.
The Monte Carlo continues to be one of the grandest venues for gambling complete with updated and unbridled displays of wealth, but naturally, slot machines, electronic games and a relaxing of the dress code has made today’s casino visit a much different experience than it would have been in the days prior to the start of the first World War.
My new novel, a sequel to Ravenscraig takes RJ Wilkesbury to Monaco to enter a new phase of his life. (No spoilers!) He is hoping to find his way to a poker game, but alas, roulette is all the rage and he can’t help but succumb to the seductive charms of the spinning wheel rattling a tiny marble home to make–or ruin–a fortune in a single landing.
History of Roulette
You may be interested to learn, as I was, that the history of roulette goes back several centuries. Here’s a very entertaining short video produced by supercasino.com I found to share that will give you the background.
I am happy to share the news that at long last I am seriously at work writing the sequel to Ravenscraig. This story is settling into the world of art forgery and starts in 1914.
For me, fiction writing starts with serious research and for this novel, I have been learning about the exclusive world of art collectors, dealers and auctioneers. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get to such a a fascinating field of study. Rife with scandal, and steeped in tradition, the art world makes for delicious reading. Please feel free to share your reccomendations.
There is nothing quick about my approach to writing a novel, so I am not ready to say when this book might be available. I can tell you that I am at my happiest on days like this when I can wander through history, and in this case luxury to see where the story goes.
So as not to spoil the fun for the readers who have not yet finished Ravenscraig, I will tell you only that the new novel opens in Monte Carlo just before the Great War. Gambling, luxurious living, and the particular challenges of the world of the fine art market set the path for the new adventures of some familiar characters and some new friends who join the fun.
Like Ravenscraig, the new book will be based on historical truths and will be driven by the appalling yet frequently charming behavior of my favorite imaginary friends.
From time to time I will share some of the images I find inspiring, like these of the Monte Carlo Casino and the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, from a fantastic website on all things fashionable called Zsazsabellagio.
I have a small favor to ask: If you have finished Ravenscraig, please don’t spoil the fun and tell anyone about the ending! I recently gave a talk for a large group and one dear lady couldn’t help but stand up and blurt out some information that should not have been revealed. Ugh. No spoilers please!