Laura Florand’s BLAME IT ON PARIS came out last Fall and sounds like the perfect Labor Day read. Transcontinental romance, comedy, bidet survival tips (I made that up but if I were writing such a tale, the proper care and feeding of the bidet would be right up there with un café et chocolat et Absolut, si vous plais.) The last time I went to Paris was my honeymoon, in the good old days before the Euro kicked our currency’s ass, and even then we were connassiuers of ne pas expensive, si vous plais. Now we’d be crying. Might as well stay home and be transported the way I love best, through a textual teleportation device otherwise known as a book (un livre). Since the comic pivot of Diana Lively’s adventures in Arizona were based on the whole fish-out-of-water thing, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the spectacle of Georgia peach (avec neck de rouge) meeting a sauve Parisian male and wowing him with her family’s version of Can This Romance Be Saved via MAD DOG 20/20 and other bachannalian faux pas.
Okay, here’s what other writers said about Laura’s book:
“Laura Florand offers up an outsider’s oddly inside view of Paris, and she does so in a narrative that is by turns witty and touching, but always charming. Best of all, she turns the tables and lets us see our own culture through the fresh, French eyes of the man she loves. Do yourself a favor: Read this book.”--Joshilyn Jackson, best-selling author of Gods in Alabama
“I haven’t laughed so hard over the course of an entire book in a long time.” DearAuthor.com
“A fabulous romp from Paris to Podunk and back again. Loved it. Laura Florand’s reluctant heroine is adorable, and her perfect Parisian amour can wait on my table anytime.”--Haywood Smith, New York Times best-selling author of the Red Hat Club series
“A romantic, hilarious soufflé of a story! Move over, Bridget Jones. Charming and laugh-out-loud funny.”--Deborah Smith, New York Times best-selling author of A Place to Call Home
“This delightful book should come with a warning label: do not read while traveling, otherwise other passengers will wonder why you keep laughing aloud and shouting ‘Vive la Laura Florand!’”--Cassandra King, author of The Sunday Wife
Here's our interview:
1. If I had to offer two bumper sticker explanations for my novel, they’d be “Appearances are deceiving” and “Mean people suck.” Tell me what your slogans would be, and why.
“You should always go for it” and “What people can do for love will surprise you.” Because this is a story about daring to risk it all—job, home, country, culture, lifestyle—and finding out that, when two worlds pitch in to help, everything is possible. And also hilarious. Especially when those two worlds meet.
2. Your two favorite movies over the past twelve months and why?
I have not seen two movies in the past twelve months. I had a baby 15 months ago. However, I did manage to see ONE movie by playing hooky from work one day, and it was Ratatouille, which was wonderful. Paris and the world of food were so keenly, beautifully observed and rendered, and the characters were superb. And, of course, it was as funny as it was moving. I love that combination.
3. What was the one thing you learned in getting your book published that you were really surprised to find out?
That the first few weeks of sales can decide your entire future! I didn’t know that. It’s very scary. Also, that publishing houses don’t realize an author needs to know her pub date. The date they published it was SIX MONTHS earlier than the date they had told me it would appear, and they didn’t warn me. One of my friends noticed it on Amazon, or I probably wouldn’t have realized it was coming out until the first magazine called for an interview. Publishing is a very weird world sometimes.
4. If you had to pick one and only one condition (beyond computer or pen and paper) that would allow you to write would it be: a. solitude b. caffiene c. sleep d. food e. sex or f. ______.
Well, for most of the last year, I would have said “sleep” because of the baby mentioned before. But, really, I think “lack of internet connection” would be better over the long term. I love it, but it sure is a distraction.
5. Do you have a favorite genre? If so, who are your three favorite writers? If not, who are your three favorite writers and how have they influenced your work?
I love memoirs, and in that field, Haven Kimmel springs to mind. I also love really well written fantasy, and I have three authors for whom I have boundless admiration in that genre: Patricia McKillip, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Martha Wells. But I’m not sure how to pinpoint their influence in my work; I wouldn’t say I write at all like any of them. But I like that. I think that’s a writer’s ideal: to digest the great masters and learn from them, yet have our work remain our own.