Last week, I visited the site of the two-month Hong Kong occupation known as the Umbrella Revolution. In recent days, in violent clashes with the students, police have begun to dismantle a secondary site at Mong Kok. Yet this encampment, which has blocked traffic in the main city square for nine weeks , still stands.
KAREN ESSEX, TRAVELLING FOR DRACULA IN LOVE, OR HOW TO ADD NEW GEOGRAPHY TO AN OLD STORY AND RELOCATE A VAMPIRE
Readers often tell me that they take my novels on holiday as travel and history guides. I love giving readers an experience on the page, but I love it even more when they are inspired to leave their armchairs and experience the characters and the history firsthand. As an historical novelist, nothing informs my work like travel. I love to walk in my characters’ footsteps, breathing in the air that they breathed, literally sharing molecules with them.
2011 has passed entirely too quickly, and what a year it’s been! The world has experienced its share of tumult and crises, and for the many, buying holiday gifts will be a stressful experience. Yet it does not have to be so!
Last weekend in Paris, I grumpily agreed to take a bain de foule (literally, a crowd bath) on the Champs-Élyséesto help a friend purchase books for everyone in his family. The Grinch in me wanted to lobby for ordering online, but once at the store, I realized that I’d virtually forgotten the joys of languishing the afternoon away in a bookstore.
More missing sheep, this time in Tuscany! Call it a panther if it makes you feel better…but we know the truth!
Tuscany Trembling over Big Cat
Phantom Panther Gives Italians Paws for Thought
By Hans-Jürgen Schlamp in Massa Marittima, Italy
The village of Massa Marittima in Tuscany, Italy.
A large black cat believed to be a panther is stalking the fields and forests of southern Tuscany, striking fear into residents and holidaymakers. Hunters have angered animal rights campaigners by offering to kill it, but the debate is academic — “Bagheera” is running rings around its pursuer.
Believe it or not, people often ask me, “Karen, was Vlad the Impaler really a vampire?” I finally decided to make a trip to Romania and Transylvania to investigate. The next few posts will be about that journey.
We’d set out for the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania from Bucharest in the morning, encountering a tempestuous rainstorm so severe as to be deafening, lashing the vehicle and obscuring our sight. In the brutal rain teaming from a blackened, ominous sky, it became easy to imagine why Bram Stoker set his novel Dracula in this countryside.