Newly Inspired in St. Jean Cap Ferrat
The inspiration flooded back the moment I smelled the jasmine. Two years ago, Paul and I had visited the Euphussi de Rothchilds Villa in St. Jean Cap Ferrat and the setting for my novel sprang to life. It imprinted on my writer’s mind. Immediately I knew that this was the place for the Draker’s safehouse. Merci Ruby, I thought, for inviting me back to refresh that image.
My novel, Finding Ruby, was stuffed into my purse, but Ruby’s character manifested at my side as Paul and our friends Ingrid, Andre, Lyse, and Guy joined me to explore the original surroundings of my story of a contrived family of spies hiding out in an exotic location – a very tropical one at that, the azure Mediterranean visible from both sides of the villa, the villa stately and towering on the steep cliffs that looked down on the Bay of Villefranche where yachts floated scattered in the bay. Yes, yachts. The French Riviera is abundant and ripe with the very rich and famous.
The mansion is a work of art. How could a writer not be overwhelmed with the details of its exclusivity? The exquisite furnishing of the house would make my character Rachel Draker, a family member, drool. Decorated all in French period, the house tells a story of its own. For me, a highlight feature is what I call the silo staircase located in a side vestibule with enormous windows that boasts views of the bay below. A delight to the eyes each time one of the Drakers climb to the second floor where their bedrooms were located.
And then there are the exotic gardens! But that will have to wait for tomorrow’s post. Till then my darlings (as the matriarch in Finding Ruby would say). Au Revoir mis amis.