Blog of crime and supernatural writer Tony Richards, author of more than a dozen novels and creator of the fictional town of Raine's Landing, Massachusetts, where the real witches of Salem fled.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
A SIGHT FOR TIRED EYES
Even writers have it tough sometimes. It's been a pretty busy year so far. There've been the various edits of my new supernatural thriller -- TROPIC OF DARKNESS from Pocket Star/Gallery -- to deal with. I've a new horror novel on the boil. And to add insult to injury, I honestly thought that I was getting near to a final version of my fifth Raine's Landing novel -- SPEAK OF THE DEVIL -- only to realise it needs a couple more drafts at least before it's properly complete.
Ah, the joys of being a perfectionist!
Throw in an absolutely terrible British winter which has lasted right until the end of April, and by the middle of that monthI was absolutely drained and needed, very badly, to get away for a while.
A couple of days scootching around on the Internet and Louise had come up with an inexpensive one-week deal in, of all places, Ibiza. You know, hangout for hippies in the Sixties and Seventies, now the favoured destination for all-night clubbers. But we went for it.
We wound up in a nice hotel which was a little isolated and was, frankly, pretty quiet. Very early in the season, you see ...it had only just opened, and I doubt if a quarter of its rooms were occupied. But right outside the entrance was a bus stop, and in ten minutes you could get into the heart of the island's capital, Ibiza Town, and what a joy that was. The harbour was nice enough -- face it, they always are. But heading away from that, you come into the Old Town, all tall, gaily-painted old houses with wrought iron balconies, and leafy, cafe-lined squares. Absolutely charming. But the best was yet to come.
Past the Old Town is the mostly 16th Century walled city of Ibiza Town, founded -- I think -- by Philip II of Spain. We're talking huge walls, massive fortifications, cannons at the top. To defend against whom? I'm not quite sure. Pirates? Corsairs? Even the Perfidious Brits?
You go in through the main entrance -- across a drawbridge, no less -- and suddenly realise that you've wound up somewhere very special. And it's not just the lovely old architecture. The whole of the walled city is built on the slopes of a very steep hill, so that the streets running acrosswise are normal lanes, but the streets running upward are not lanes at all but flights of stone stairs, hundreds of them, heading in every which direction. And the place is no museum -- people live there by the thousand. I could have wandered there for hours, and I generally did.
I hear that Luca in Italy is built along similar lines but, never having been there, I found Ibiza Town's walled city quite unique, a place of special magic. There's a lot more to that island than just clubbing.