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Chatting Up A Storm - Claudia Cragg


Sep 18, 2010

This is Part Two of a Kate Mosse interview special each half conducted two years apart (in Part One she discussed in detail with Claudia Cragg her first novel 'Labyrinth' in detail. In this interview, we hear Kate discussing her next novel with Claudia and, as she points out, several of the major characters in the first work make cameo appearances in the second. 

'Sepulchre' is set in 1891 and Léonie Vernier is a young girl living in Paris until an invitation from her uncle's widow Isolde prompts a journey to the Carcassonne region with her brother, Anatole. Unknown to her, her brother and Isolde have been carrying on an affair, and he is being pursued by Isolde's jealous former lover, Victor Constant. For a while, they live an idyllic lifestyle in the country. However, Constant discovers where they are staying and sets out to exact his revenge.

In the present day, an American, Meredith Martin, is in France to research the life of Claude Debussy for a biography she is writing. She is also trying to find out more about her biological mother. During the visit, she uncovers information that links her lineage to that of Léonie Vernier and discovers the truth about the events in Carcassonne during that period in history.

Most of the action takes place in the Domaine de la Cade, a stately home in Rennes-les-Bains, which in 1891 is owned by Léonie's deceased uncle Jules and his wife Isolde of whom Anatole later marries. The house in Meredith's timeline has been repurposed as an upmarket hotel. There are also parts of the book that are situated in Paris at the same time as well as neighbouring towns and villages in the Carcassonne and the City of Carcassonne.

The story features heavy reference to the occult and tarot readings, and the stories of Léonie and Meredith are brought together by a series of visions that are related to the tarot and a small church, known as a Sepulchre in the grounds of the Domaine de la Cade.

There are current talks with producers of making both Labyrinth and Sepulchre into films.

As of of September 2010, Kate Mosse is taking part on BBC1 in 'My Story, as a judge on a panel with other writers, Fergal Keane, Jenny Colgan, who have chosen 15 finalists from 7,500 entries. The winners will have their stories published.