Location is one of the most important things for me as a writer. I need to be able to picture exactly where the action of each scene is set. My characters are always from my imagination, but the settings are real.
The locations for all but my first two novels have been inspired by holidays, but unlike the Fiona Mason Mysteries, our holiday to Morocco was never intended as a research trip. It was only because I had finished the final draft of Blood Across the Divide and had a three month wait before the research trip for the next Fiona Mason novel that I decided I would try writing a new series. Our holiday to Morocco had exceeded all expectation and was still fresh in my memory. What had helped make it so special is that the travel company was working with the Royal Academy who provided an accompanying history lecturer who pointed out things we might well have missed and who gave us lectures in the evenings. The idea for a novel began to take shape, though suffice it to say, our lecturer was nothing like Aunt Jessica.
Although I had made no notes, I did have literally hundreds of photos to help me when I came to write.
Here is the group’s hotel with balconies on each floor looking down into the foyer. On first evening the tour group is taken for dinner at the villa of the city’s former governor.
The next day, they visit the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Hassan Tower and go for dinner on a dhow.
Chefchaouen and Fez
The beautiful blue and white city of Chefchaouen turns out to be an adventure in more ways than one! And in the weavers workshop in Fez, Harry is given a Touareg turban and Aunt Jessica is dressed up as a desert Berber.
The Desert Camp
The trip into the desert was one of the great highlights of the tour, but Harry did not enjoy the camel ride!
The fateful dinner and evening entertainment around the campfire that ends in a fatal stabbing.
The picnic and the lad at the pottery who melted the hearts of the ladies.
The Argan workshop
After watching the ladies extract the precious argan oil from the nuts, Jessica and Harry do some more sleuthing.
The market and the farewell dinner