Posts Tagged 'writer'

Author Interview: Laura Furman

Photo credit: Ave Bonar

Laura Furman is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction writer and teacher. Her new collection of short stories, The Mother Who Stayed, out last month, is already receiving rave reviews.

Short story writers the world over also hope to catch Ms. Furman’s eye, as she is the editor of the prestigious PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories series featuring some of the best short stories written in the English-language today.

I caught up with her after a recent reading at the American Library of Paris to talk about publishing, Paris, and not trying to please anyone with your work until it’s done.

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Author Interview: Kristin Espinasse

Kristin Espinasse at Shakespeare & Co (photo by Adrian Leeds,

Kristin Espinasse is the writer behind the popular French-Word-A-Day blog and the author of Words in a French Life. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kristin in Paris a few times now and can report she is just as warm and wonderful in person as she is on the web.

Thanks to Kristin for answering a few of my questions.

You’ve created your own unique style of writing – real-life vignettes infused with French vocabulary. I would recognize a Kristin Espinasse story anywhere! How did the idea for French-Word-A-Day come about and how has it evolved over the years?

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Travel by the Books

Before the Reading (Upstairs at Shakespeare & Co)

Hello all,

I’m pleased to report that my interview with writer Janet Skeslien Charles that first appeared on this blog was republished in a neat online literary journal called Travel by the Books.

Literature + travel. What could be better?

Feel free to check it out again if you’d like.

Speaking of travel and literature, it’s my last full week in Paris before flying off to the States for a full month. So I’m leaving my hermitude behind for a bit and getting out and about the city before I leave.

Notre Dame and Blue Holiday Tree

Tonight my friend Christine Buckley read at Shakespeare & Co, along with Michael Scott Moore, who wrote a book on the history of surfing. And guess who I sat next to? Janet Skeslien Charles! Paris is starting to seem very small – in a very good way!

The creative crew pointing to the chalkboard announcing Christine's reading. These are all fabulous women.

This was a really great evening that gave me warm fuzzies (wow, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually used that term before!) for just that reason: I feel more and more like there is a community of creative folks that I’m getting to know. I love showing up to events and knowing people, meeting friends of friends, and then we all become friends.


After those first few years of struggle, it’s so wonderful to feel that I have a place here. Paris can be a lonely city. Beautiful, but lonely. When you cross over though, and really start to find your people, everything changes.

The reading itself was interesting. I can’t say I’m much of a surfing aficionado, but the first author took us behind some of the cultural history of the movement in France, Germany, and Cuba. (Who knew? Apparently France has the biggest surf scene in Europe).

Christine then read part of her essay in the Best Women’s Travel Writing 2010 anthology and an excerpt from her memoir-in-progress about her Vietnamese family. (She has also co-authored the book Slave Hunter: One Man’s Global Quest to Free Victims of Human Trafficking).

Christine is a hoot. Her essay about finding herself in the middle of Vietnam when she spoke barely any Vietnamese was hilarious. With an old dictionary in hand, she surmised that her Vietnamese name either meant “beautiful velvet” or “lovely young antler.” The misunderstandings continued from there.

Continue reading ‘Travel by the Books’

Paris Author: Interview with Janet Skeslien Charles

Janet Skeslien Charles

I am pleased as punch to feature my first interview with a real, live Paris author!

Janet Skeslien Charles has lived in Paris since 1999. Her first novel, Moonlight in Odessa, was voted one of Publisher’s Weekly top 10 fiction debuts of Fall 2009. This year it won the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance.

Just in time for the paperwork release of her novel, Janet agreed to an email interview with me. Seeing as she is also known as a great teacher – having taught writing workshops at Shakespeare & Co for four years – I put in a few questions that I’m particularly interested in. You know, as someone who is, erm, kind of, sort of, maybe working on a novel of her own.

Thanks, Janet, for answering my (idiosyncratic) questions!

People have all sorts of romantic myths about being a writer in Paris. I actually find it incredibly difficult to write in Paris. How does living in Paris affect your writing?

Continue reading ‘Paris Author: Interview with Janet Skeslien Charles’

paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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