Research Journal: Amanda Hampson
In February 2015 I rented an apartment in Antibes for a month and documented my journey to research the places and history behind the fictional story of Iris’s adventures 60 years earlier.
While a storyline and characters spring from the imagination, the settings are drawn from real locations on the French Riveria.
An area steeped in history, this has been the home for artists such as Signac and Matisse as well as Picasso who lived and worked in Antibes. Hemingway wrote ‘The Garden of Eden’ on the Cote d’Azur and F.Scott Fitzgerald based himself in Juan-les- Pins where he set ‘Tender is the Night’. And, of course, Grasse, the perfume capital of the world for two centuries.
So, this is something of a scrapbook to show the process of researching and writing a novel in real time. I hope it will add another dimension to the story as it unfolds.
An unworldly young Englishwoman arrives on the Cote d’Azur to take up a secretarial role and finds herself drawn into an extraordinary situation. Initiated into the sensuous world of perfume, she falls in with glamorous wealthy aristocrats but soon realises nothing is quite what it seems. Beneath the glittering surface there lie dark secrets. None more intriguing that those of her mysterious employers. With each new discovery, she becomes more deeply entangled in their predicament.
An enthralling new story in the tradition of ‘The Olive Sisters’, set in the fragrant and exotic world of 1950s French Riviera.