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Talking Location With author James Bailey – Europe

28th November 2020

#TalkingLocationWith… James Bailey, author of The Flip Side, a romantic romp across Europe.

James Bailey

The Flip Side follows Josh, a man who decides to spend the year flipping a coin to make all his decisions, looking to find himself and love. The novel is predominately set in Bristol, my home city, but also features London, the city in which I attended university.

It is not long before Josh and the coin set off on a quest through Europe to find a girl he met in the National Gallery in London. The only thing he knows about her is she works in an English language bookshop near to where Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ are displayed.

As someone who loves to travel, I decided I had to recreate Josh’s journey for research and so I set off on my own trip hunting down bookshops and art galleries.

Amsterdam, home of The Van Gogh Museum, is such a cool, lovely city. During my visit, I stayed in the bohemian De Pijp area which is full of markets, gardens, and some fantastic eateries. I particularly enjoyed Omelegg, Sir Hummus, and CT coffee & coconuts. I always like to take a walking tour when I arrive in a new city, and Sandemans offers a couple of great options here.

In Munich, I visited the Neue Pinakothek and it was so quiet that I could admire ‘Sunflowers’ all by myself. I also really enjoyed visiting The Residenz, and English Garden, two things I’d missed on my previous visit to the German city.

Without giving away too much of the plot, Paris and Rome also feature in the novel, and I wasn’t going to say no to a trip to either. Whilst both cities are better known for more obvious tourist attractions, they both have beautiful cemeteries. I greatly enjoyed wandering through the Père Lachaise Cemetery (Paris) and the Protestant Cemetery (Rome).

Unfortunately, taking this trip in late November, I seemed to get drenched everywhere I went, as illustrated in the photos, so much so that my notebook was soaked through.

I’ve decided I will have to set my next book somewhere hot!

A big thank you to James for this…

Tony for the TripFiction team

The Flip Side by James Bailey is published by Michael Joseph, and is available in paperback from 26thNovember 2020.

Read our review of The Flip Side

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