I am often asked why Paris is the muse for my novels. It's a question that I find easy to answer.
For a start it is very beautiful.
It's buildings are graceful, elegant and considered. They lie along broad, often tree-lined avenues which allows the city space to breathe. The overarching beauty and grace of Paris is echoed in its people. The quirkiness of style and extra effort that everyone puts into what they choose to wear, and even how they walk, speaks volumes for a strong sense of culture and even a corporate street knowledge found elsewhere, but truly understood in this particular city.
The richness of the city's architecture throughout the centuries has set Paris apart. From the elegant Haussmann boulevards to the stark, clean lines of La Defense the city says I am organised, I know myself, I am self-assured. Perhaps that's why its people have such self-knowledge, and, as the saying goes, why they are relaxed in their own skin. I think that's why it makes them so easy to like.
The history of the city whispers from every crevice and crack. Large churches loom over cowering half-timbered houses; the warm green waters of the Seine lap against cool marble of the quays and tiny doorways promise a glimpse of the long forgotten past.
Yet beneath all the suave glamour and alternative design is a dark, dangerous side, an underbelly that broods and shifts restlessly. Paris does high fashion and grafitti side by side. It does Hérmes and and homelessness on the Champs Elysées like they were intended to be cheek by jowl. It has a dirty side that street cleaners and refuge collectors will never remove.
Paris draws me to it every year and I know that the minute I step outside into its wayward streets, weaving among the elegant and stylish citizens, chasing after inspiration for my stories that it will give me what I searching for. It's about observing, listening and of course loving. By harnessing all three I find that it takes no time at all to find intrigue, passion and history and what more could an author ask for?