- Books, Literature, and Writing
Expat Living as a Writer
Writers and Expat Life - Always Up For The Challenge
Perhaps all writers are misfits of a kind. Many relish standing outside the herd to commentate on what happens within it. And what could be a better way of taking a distant view of one's own culture than by moving to another country? Becket to Bogarde, Greene to Rowling, Fleming to Coward . . . they all spent years abroad in their prime. The beauty of travel is that it not only broadens the mind with fresh experiences but it also begs you to study how cultures and habits differ. The focus is sharpened and for the first time you begin to realise that what you had always thought to be the 'right' way to do something, or react to an event, or express an emotion is nothing of the sort. Finding choices in these areas for the first time can be a delight: there are numerous ways of slicing a loaf . . . or greeting a friend, or enemy.
The Carcassonne Affair
A Contemporary Thriller
In 1989, Peter Mayle set publishing records with A Year In Provence, a well-written but often unpleasant account of settling in a new country, France at that time (his books understandably prompt frequent personal moves), and meeting the locals. Ever since, publishers have been attempting to ride on the back of his success with a string of books, most of which have sunk without trace. No wonder . . . the majority are of the 'poor me' or the 'oh so clever me' variety that would have flopped even as letters home to bore friends and family.
One of the tricks of writing a successful book, any book for that matter, is to take the ego out of the narrative and let the place, people and events rule rather than for ever harping on about how clever or stupid the writer thinks he or she is. Autobiographies are often crashingly awful because writers forget that their esteem and brilliance is not what readers wish to know about; what really interests them is putting themselves in the place of the writer and imagining how they might have performed better or worse, faced with the same predicaments. This is a tricky thing to get right, but it can be done. The two books below, one about France, the other set in Tuscany, Italy, show how this can be achieved.
Jonathan Veale's latest offering, the 2012 thriller, The Carcassonne Affair, is a Kindle gem that describes the fate of a writer who moves to France to continue his successful career. The tranquillity he relished is soon rudely shattered, however. An amoral financier who fears the writer, in his next book, is about to expose shady dealings in his business is prepared to go to any lengths to stop the book's publication. The expat world receives more than it bargained for . . . and a death in its midst.
Laura Graham's 2011 book, Down A Tuscan Alley, is less turbulent but deals intelligently with old and new relationships that all expats encounter when they first settle in their new habitats.
Both these books offer insights into expat life . . . but always obliquely. Egos are kept muffled. These are stories that readers can relish as they put themselves into a life abroad.
The Plot Thickens
It started going pear-shaped for Mark Brayfeld on the day events in three countries coincided. But to an outside observer, indeed to Mark himself, no danger signs flashed. A New York publisher with more money than sense decided to offer a staggering sum for Mark’s second novel; a yearling colt was entered for his first race at Newmarket in the following flat race season, and a feisty English woman running gites in South West France received a writ threatening the future of her business
The Carcassonne Affair - A New Kindle Book on Amazon
Making a new life abroad in a new country with a new language is never going to be easy. But when you have some nasty Irish henchmen on your tail set on ruining your plans at any cost things can quickly become very complicated.
A look at expat living through the genre of a fictional mystery thriller.
Mark Brayfeld inadvertently threatens to expose corruption in the horse racing world
The Carcassonne Affair
A contemporary thriller or a bit of a damp squib?
Down a Tuscan Alley - by Laura Graham
A new life in a new country, but this time it is Italy. The main character is a women separated from her husband at a time when life should be a series of contented episodes. With no money and few possessions Lorri heads for Italy with her two cats and faces the challenge of expat living and all that it throws at her.
Now a single woman, Lorri has to learn how to make a living and new relationships in a new country where she cannot even speak the language.
Recommended Reading - Fiction and Non Fiction
The Kindle has overtaken printed book sales on Amazon and provided a platform for new authors to launch their books into the public domain as independent publishers. Below is a selection of some of the more interesting offerings.
eBooks on Amazon, Smashwords and eBookIssues - Multiple formatted eBooks
Both fiction and non-fiction reference eBooks.
- Alien Abduction - A Science Fiction Story
Abducted by aliens to the interior of the moon, a small group of tsunami survivors have to prove that the human race are worth their place in universal life.
- A Romantic Story of Women In Love - Lonely Mirrors
A story of women in love, of mothers and daughters, their relationships and how an affair from the second world war has impacted all their lives. Romantic fiction.
- Website Design Guide for Private and Business Users - Concepts and Techniques Demystified For Beginn
Ever wondered how websites are put together? Or whether your present website is working as well for you as it should? In this ebook reference gem, a website designer and ebook publisher, lifts the lid on the concepts and techniques that can make all
- Growing and Caring for Tomatoes, An Essential Tomato Growing Book
The tomato is a wonderfully versatile plant that repays any care and attention it is given. Following the simple guidelines in this book and adopting the tips and tricks described should ensure you can grow and enjoy a splendid crop of tomatoes, even
- The Zanzibar Affair on iTunes
A contemporary romantic suspense thriller available for iPhones and iPads from the iTunes store.
- Jerseys Secret Assassin
A great story from an expat living in Cyprus and the Far East, fast moving suspense thriller that once picked up you will find very hard to put down. I didn't, I read it all in one sitting.
For a Holiday in France - Self catering or catered the choice is yours
If the Caracassonne Affair gave you a bit of a hankering to take a holiday in France then here are a few links to sites you may find of interest.
- Self Catering Apartment in France
Le Moulin de l'Argentouire - A Gite in France, a former watermill which is approximatley 300 years old and is set in an idyllic French countryside location. The apartment can easily accommodate 8 people and 9 at a push.
- Castelnaudary France, For Cassoulet and Cathar History
Castelnaudary France, the capital of the Pays de Lauragais, sits on the Canal Du Midi and is located 40 minutes from Carcassonne and 20 minutes from Revel & the Lac De St Ferreol
- European Travel Advice & Tips
European Traveller offers general travel advice for Europe, including cheap flights to Europe, ferrys to France, rail travel and bus travel for Europe
What Has eBay Got for Expats
There are expats living all over the world so anything could turn up in an eBay auction. I just thought that seeing what does might be a bit of fun and you never know it might just be something useful.