Soon I will return to full-on Blogging. But not now, not quite yet. Cause I'm busy. My new book is happening soon I promise. Or should I say booksss. Yesss. It's a long story, both to explain and the story itself. I'll try to be brief:.
I've been coaching writers this last year and the main complaint I get is about time. They want to write, they really do. They love to write. Writing is their life. And they will get right down to it ... that is after they clean the neighbor's cat litter, launder the draperies, vacuum the ceiling, wax between their knuckles etc. No guys, I tell them. You'll vacuum the ceiling later.Writing needs to come first. Then there is the other complaint: the writers for whom writing comes first. They tell me that they produce a ton. It's all a joyous mess and they don't know how to organize.
Looks like I belong to category #2.
It's kind of a funny story, really. I warned my agent that it would be a long book. 500 pages long. And she had that annoying idea Literary agents get to ask me how many words long it was exactly.Because everyone knows (or should know) that a page means nothing because it depends on the font you use and the margin etc.
WORDS?! I had not counted the Words!
Yes. I am possibly an idiot.
So it turns out that in real life, the life where people count in words, not in pages, my book was over 1000 pages. Unsellable. Unreadable. Undigestable. And I was crushed for about three days. Until I had an epiphany on the fourth day when I realized that what I had, in fact, was a trilogy. A tri-frigging-logy people! I went from being an idiot, to being a sad idiot, to being very, very happy one.
So now I'm organizing the beautiful mess and I am so excited about it I cannot wait to share it with you.
See, I tried to be brief but could not. I think I have graphomania. It's a real thing, look it up.
Originally I was trying to tell you about my other good news, which is that Hidden in Paris was published by Colibri in the Bulgarian language!
Here is my little stash. So pretty. And the recipes are published after the story, which I love.
There are very nice reviews here and here. and jasmin did an interview in both Bulgarian and English. Here is an exterpt of the Interview, go here to read the whole thing. They asked me about the secret to a good marriage. You know I will have an opinion about that. And about everything. Being the queen of unsolicited opinion they did not have to twist my arm very long.
English version of the interview
Your main character Annie is a woman who has left her home country to follow her loved one and start a family across an ocean. I couldn’t help but notice that this resembles your own story – moving from France to the USA for the family life. Do the other two women characters, Lola and Althea, resemble women you know or their life stories are more a creation of your imagination?
I have known women who faced difficult life circumstances such as an eating disorder, the death of a spouse, depression, a bad relationship, difficult children, but they did not react the way my characters do when faced with those situations.
Fictional characters have their own way of handling things that surprise me sometimes. For example I have known women in bad marriage who could have and should have ran away but did not. So writing the novel was a little bit like me whispering in their ear: Go for it! In the end, the events and the people in the book are not real, but the emotion always is.
Do you think that there is a secret ingredient to a good marriage? If yes – what do you think that is?
I have been married for 28 years and my marriage is surprisingly loving and supportive considering that we are both opinionated, stubborn, emotional people.
This might not be something you want to put in your blog, but the number one ingredient, I think, is physical attraction. That goes away with resentment, unfortunately.
Often one of the partners can’t be intimate when he or she is mad, and the other cannot stop being mad until he or she gets intimate. That’s a bad loop.
The other secrets are this: detect and eradicate any expression of contempt for the other. Contempt is subtle but a real killer.
And the third secret is that you can be right, or you can be happy. Not both. If the real goal for both partners is to be happy (not to be right), then it’s easy to extend an olive branch after a fight. Every day is an opportunity to create trust and good will, which are the foundation of a good relationship.
The foundation that is built on many little kindnesses and attentions can withstand the occasional unkind word or disagreement. But first, you might have to sit down and figure out if your partner is on the same page about of all those things.
Some people just want to be mad, and they want to be right, and they want to express contempt because they feel contempt and because they are unhappy with themselves. They want this more than they want to be happy. You have to look at the situation and be honest with yourself. Sometimes you might find that you are the one who stays mad, expresses contempt, retaliates by withholding intimacy etc.
Is there something typically French that you miss in the USA, except for your mother’s cooking, as you share in the book? What would that be?
What I miss the most is the sense of the humor and the conversations where we French people mentally redo the world. Of course, Americans have a sense of humor and are capable of great conversations, but my sensibility is French and Americans sometimes wince when I say something they consider outrageous or too opinionated. Even my children think that my sense of humor is too dark. I tell them it’s not too dark, it’s maybe too French.
Is there something that you definitely do not miss? ... more here