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Photo: Ruth CraferBest selling author Kate Mossechats to Janine Marsh about herfavourite places in FranceKate Mosse is an international bestselling novelist, playwright and non-fiction writer. Theauthor of eight novels and short story collections - including the multimillion-sellingLanguedoc Trilogy (Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel) and Gothic fiction The Winter Ghostsand The Taxidermist’s Daughter, which she is adapting for the stage – her books have beentranslated into thirty-seven languages and published in more than forty countries. She isthe Founder Director of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and a regular interviewer for theatre& fiction events. Kate divides her time between Chichester in West Sussex andCarcassonne in south-west France.Many of Kate Mosse’s books feature France, so we thought we’d find out her favouriteFrench places and ask how they’ve inspired her…
Photo: Sebastien Carles, Carcsassonne TourismeHow does your love of France and some ofthe experiences you have translate intoyour books? I remember reading that thegreat writer Victor Hugo visited to a towncalled Montreuil-sur-Merin northern France,he saw a tearful woman leave a church -and she became Fantine in Les Misérables!Well, that's a lovely question and it's also areally lovely example because my son isplaying Marius in the current UK &International tour of Les Mis! All my storiescome from “place”, the landscape itself is akey character. It's exactly like that VictorHugo example of my being somewhereparticular and seeing something startling...It could be the way the shadow falls on theside of a church or a solitary tree set on itsown in the middle of a field, so I'd startwondering where the rest of the woodwent! Or an old stone shaped like a chair…The landscape of Languedoc in the southwest of France - Carcassonne in particular -is the landscape of my imagination. I firstvisited Carcassonne more than 30 years agoand fell head over heels in love. Now, asthen, it feels like a magical place, a stage set.Everywhere, there are vibrant stories of thepast being whispered in the landscape andjust waiting to be told.Carcassonne and Toulouse feature prominentlyin my Languedoc Trilogy, as well as mynew series, The Burning Chambers. I supposemy Fantine moment was seeing all the roadsin the heart of the Bastide (the 14th centurytown of Carcassonne, across the river fromthe City of Carcassonne) had been renamedfor members of the Carcassonne Resistancewho were executed on the same day inAugust 1944. Out of that, came theinspiration for Citadel, the third novel in myLanguedoc Trilogy.
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