My research trip to South of France would not be possible without the help of my wonderful friend, Su Mariani. We’ve been buddies for 30 years and she is like my Italian sister/mother/friend all rolled into one. She cooks fabulous meals, she reads drafts and even gives shoulder rubs – just the most generous, kind, loving person.
I rented a small apartment in Antibes which is not far from where Su lives with her lovely husband, Joe and daughter, Stella (my character Joe in ‘The Olive Sisters’ was named in his honour). Even though as a writer you need and enjoy time alone, to be in an apartment on my own for a month knowing not a soul would be very testing.
When I arrived, Su set me up with a care package and announced there would be a place for me at her table every night. Every writer needs a friend like this. Every human being needs a friend like this. I count myself very lucky.