by Maggie Sefton
Ile Sainte Louis with Notre Dame in the distance
My goodness----Mary Kennedy has done it again. Her great post yesterday awoke some old memories of the wonderful opportunities I had years and years ago to wander freely about the beautiful city of Paris. Plenty of memories of wandering about that picturesque area "Le Marais" filled with bakeries and wonderful specialty food shops----cheese and desserts to die for. I loved simply poking among those shops and choosing lunch, Parisian style.
My favorite luncheon spot was that 17th Century jewel of a park, Place de Vosges. Surrounded on all four sides by those gorgeous buildings from the 1600s, it was truly a special spot. I was writing historical novels back in those days, and I was submerged in what I refer to as my Musketeer Swashbuckler. Brave Musketeers, a scheming Italian Cardinal Mazarin, plots to kidnap the Queen----it was great fun to write. The heroine was a widow who had a winery in the Loire Valley where she produced a wonderful white wine popular during those days----Vouvray. "The finest Vouvray in France, monsieur." :)
And that beautiful jewel from the 1600s----Ile Sainte-Louis---hosted many scenes from the novel. So I had lots of reasons to wander about Paris, gathering ideas and capturing settings. This was early in my writing career---early 1990s, and England and Scotland were the preferred historical novel settings in those days. So, my Musketeer Swashbuckler didn't stir any editorial interest. In fact, I still remember what one NY editor said when I had a 10 minute "pitch session" with her. "France. I really don't like France. Why don't you set that novel in Scotland instead." I managed to keep from laughing out loud, since there were....ahem.....no Musketeers in Scotland. :) Needless to say, the Musketeer Swashbuckler never found a home back then and it went into the bottom of my file cabinet.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. . .but now it's 2018, and we have an entirely new world of Fiction. And----thanks to the part of that world which is Independent Fiction, all sorts of Historical Novels are available. So, those feisty Musketeers my have their time in the sun after all. I will keep all of you wonderful Cozy Chicks Blog readers and fans posted.