My novel, The House at Zaronza, to be published by Crooked Cat Publishing

Saint-Florent, Corsica

Saint-Florent, Corsica

I’m thrilled to announce that my novel, The House at Zaronza, will be published by independent publishers Crooked Cat Publishing, probably this summer. The novel is based partly on a true story, which we discovered on holiday in Corsica in 2012. It is set against the backdrop of early 20th-century Corsica and World War I. You can read more about it here.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a number of people. First, my colleagues on the online, ex-pat writing group I belong to, Writers Abroad. Their constructive critiques helped me to improve and tighten up the manuscript. I’ve also had a lot of support from the Parisot Writing Group, led by Anita Goodfellow.

Secondly, author Lorraine Mace (who also writes as Frances di Plino) provided a wonderful opportunity when she added a Novel Opening Competition to her popular Flash 500 fiction and poetry competitions. Crooked Cat were the judges. Although my novel didn’t make the top two, Crooked Cat asked to see the full manuscript and the rest, as they say, is history.

Finally, the SF did his best not to talk to me while I was immersed in writing it. Once it was finished, he read it and declared that he couldn’t put it down. Maybe it was the superglue I smeared it with. His encouragement was invaluable.

Now you all have to buy it when it appears. Watch this space.

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About Vanessa Couchman

My husband and I moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I am fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs and enjoy seeking out the reality behind the myths. I run my own copywriting business and write short stories and the occasional novel in my spare time. My husband appears here as the SF, which stands for Statistics Freak, owing to his penchant for recording numbers about everything.
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30 Responses to My novel, The House at Zaronza, to be published by Crooked Cat Publishing

  1. Pingback: Meet My Main Character from My Novel ‘The House at Zaronza’ | Life on La Lune

  2. Anita says:

    Congratulations Vanessa! I am so pleased for you. I can’t wait to read it.

  3. pfornari says:

    Tis is such good news, Vanessa. I knew this one would end up as a published novel!

  4. Osyth says:

    Ooooh! Enormous congratulations …. thrilling and can’t WAIT to read it.

  5. lizgyooll says:

    Congratulations! Such a lot of time, energy and brain power is invested in writing such a book, that it’s really wonderful news to know you have a publisher. I’ll look forward to reading it, especially as I have now had a taste of Corsica.

    • nessafrance says:

      Thanks, Liz. I actually wrote it in white heat during National Novel Writing Month in November 2012. The writing bit wasn’t too hard – and (most unlike me) I planned it out properly before starting. The harder thing was to edit it. And I’m willing to bet there’s a bit more of that to come!

  6. Well done Vanessa, look forward to reading it
    love val

    • nessafrance says:

      Thanks, Val. I will keep everyone posted about the details. I may also do a couple of local readings, in which case I will give you a heads-up for TAGlines.

  7. amelie88 says:

    Congrats! I want to read this book. Will it be available in e-book format on Amazon at all? Or somewhere similar?

    • nessafrance says:

      Thank you for saying you’ll read it! I hope you’ll enjoy it when it appears. Yes, it will be in both e-book and paperback format on Amazon. I’ll keep everyone posted about publication date etc.

  8. Hi there! Really impressed to hear your news and very pleased indeed for you. Sounds a fascinating read and well done for finding the story and having the gumption (if that'[s the right word!) to make it into a novel. Coincidentally, I’m also working on a book based on a collection of letters but mine is non-fiction. Very best of luck with sales etc. You deserve your success. (And many thanks for the email re the FMN letter.)

    • nessafrance says:

      Thanks, Melissa. Your book also sounds interesting. Please let me know more about it: have you got a publisher or are you not yet at that stage?

      • Hi again. My book is based on a collection of letters that were sent to my grandmother in the 1920s and 1930s from her closest friend, Ethel North, who was travelling companion to Lady Burghclere, the sister of Lord Carnarvon (of Tut fame). The letters are amazing and it is all very “Downton Abbey” as well as a fascinating period travel guide to lots of places. I’m still ploughing through all the letters and postcards (there are about a hundred altogether) so not quite at the publishing stage yet!

      • nessafrance says:

        What a wonderful story and a great project! The stuff of novels, in fact, although I’m sure your book will be fascinating as non-fiction. Best of luck with it. I look forward to reading it.

  9. Tina Nystrom says:

    Fantastisk Vanessa! Congratulations! I will buy several of course.

  10. Super news! I loved your short stories published in the Writers Abroad book, so am really looking forward to reading this novel and I do love a book set in France.

  11. Maggie says:

    Congratulations, Vanessa. I am looking forward to reading it. If it is as interesting as your blog, it must be great!

  12. Fabulous news! Looking forward to reading it.

  13. Vanessa that’s brilliant! Well done and many congratulations!

  14. susancarey says:

    Wonderful news, Vanessa. I’m thrilled for you. So well deserved as well. I’m looking forward to buying the book!

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