Juliette Sobanet, the author of a set of sassy Parisian-themed contemporary romances has a new release, Dancing with Paris, that will be available on Tuesday, July 16th, but I was lucky enough to get an ARC (I'm spoiled like that sometimes) and after reading it in two sittings, I knew that a simple book review wouldn't be enough. You see, dear readers, over the last couple of years, I've read three of Juliette's novels and am now moderately obsessed with her (in a very PG kind of way, obviously) so I thought that it would be cool to do a little interview with Juliette before posting my review so that you can have an idea of how Dancing with Paris came together, thereby further reinforcing my
demand thoughtful suggestion that you should read it. Ha!
First up, here's Juliette's bio. You know, so you can be properly introduced.
Juliette Sobanet bio:
Juliette Sobanet earned a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in France, living and studying in both Lyon and Paris. She worked as a French professor before turning a new page in her career, penning romantic women’s fiction with a French twist. She is the author of Sleeping with Paris, Kissed in Paris, Midnight Train to Paris, Dancing with Paris, and the upcoming novel Honeymoon in Paris. Today she lives with her husband and two cats in San Diego, where she devotes her time to writing and dreaming about her next trip to France. You can find her on her website, Twitter, or Facebook.
And now that introductions are finished, on with the interview!
1. You’ve been a busy little beaver lately, how about giving everyone a summary about what you’ve been up to?
Thanks so much for having me, Jennie! It’s true…I have been crazy busy! Last fall, I signed a four-book deal with Amazon’s Montlake Romance, and soon after, I was contracted to write a Kindle Serial for Montlake as well. Needless to say, I have been writing like a mad-woman ever since.
My Kindle Serial novel, Midnight Train to Paris, released on April 30th and was my very first novel to come out in print! Holding that first print book in my hands was a dream come true, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be at this point in my writing career.
On on July 16th, I’ll be celebrating the release of my fourth novel, Dancing with Paris, along with the re-release of my first two books, Sleeping with Paris and Kissed in Paris! As if that weren’t enough Paris book excitement, I’ll be signing at the RWA Literacy Autographing at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta on Wednesday, July 17th. It will be my very first book signing, and I am beyond excited!
2. Incredibly imagery is a trademark of yours and Dancing with Paris has just as much, if not more of it. The 50s cabaret scene is captured so perfectly, it’s almost like you were in the front row during a performance, taking notes. Now, we both know that you didn’t really travel back in time (or did you? Ha) so what kind of research did you do to make sure you got things picture perfect?
I wish I could’ve traveled back in time to 1950s Paris to research this book! Instead, I did a ton of research on what Paris was like in the 1950s—the clothing, the cars, and the jazz/cabaret scene. I was lucky enough to take a research trip to Paris last fall, which helped tremendously! I retraced my main character’s steps to make sure my setting details were accurate and that I was truly capturing the sights, sounds, and smells of Paris. I also created a Pinterest board to give me a visual feel for 1950s Paris and for my characters. For the dancing part, I grew up dancing and performing, so my time on stage helped me create Ruby’s life at the cabaret club. (Of course my experiences as a ballerina were more PG rated than Ruby’s life at the cabaret club!).
Here’s the link to my Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/juliettesobanet/dancing-with-paris/
1 3. Kissed in Paris and Dancing with Paris both have mystery intertwined with their steamy romances. Where did the inspiration for adding that extra element come from? (and how the heck did you get so good at it with Dancing? There were many times I was all: What the WHAT?”)
Thanks, Jennie! After writing my first novel, Sleeping with Paris, as a straight-up contemporary romance, I was ready to expand as a writer and bring in more exciting plot elements. Dancing with Paris was the first true mystery novel I’ve written, and it was not easy! After completing the first draft, I literally re-wrote every single scene in the novel to make the mystery more complex. It was taxing, but it was so worth it. Now I can’t imagine writing a book without some sort of mystery weaved into the story!
4. Generally, I found that the characters in Dancing with Paris were edgier and darker than ones in your previous Paris novels. Was that a conscious decision or did it just happen?
It was definitely a conscious decision. I wanted to create characters who were a little rougher around the edges, a little scarier than those I’ve written in the past. Contrary to what readers may think based on my first two books, my own life is not all rainbows and croissants and romance! Of course, my life isn’t a murder mystery in 1950s Paris either, but I do have some darker inspiration from my own life to pull from when writing these flawed, darker characters.
5. If you had the chance to live in Paris in the 1950s or now, which time would you choose? Is there something major that sways you in one direction?
While I would love to visit Paris in the 1950s, I would still choose to live in present-day Paris. I love how much freedom women have now to follow our career dreams, and while Paris in the fifties sounds glamorous, the traditional male/female roles of the fifties don’t appeal to me. Ruby’s situation in Dancing with Paris demonstrates this on an extreme scale, but still, it’s something to consider before stepping on the time machine J
6. There’s no other way to say this: Antoine is arguably your foxiest male character ever. (Seriously. I love him.) Is there an actor/celebrity you envision him as?
I am totally in love with Antoine too, and I’m so happy you asked this question! My inspiration for Antoine is an actor named Jean-Pierre Martins. He played opposite Marion Cotillard in the film, La Vie en Rose, and the minute I saw his dashing, handsome character, I knew he would make the perfect Antoine. Here’s a picture of him from my Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/pin/414331234437595645/
7. And one final question for the other writers out there: would you share a bit of your creative process? What do you do when the inevitable writer’s block hits you square in the face? Or are you one of the lucky ones who manages to dodge its tricky sucker punches?
Lately, my creative process looks something like this:
An idea comes to me, sometimes totally out of the blue, sometimes inspired by events or people in my own life. I take a few weeks to develop the idea, fleshing out the characters’ goals, motivations and conflicts, the plot, and the story arc. Early on, I create a Pinterest board for the book to have visual inspiration for the setting and characters. After creating an outline, I get started on Chapter 1 and hope I won’t have to re-write it ten times!
I don’t normally have writer’s block per se….more like writer’s burn out. From December through April, I was writing two books on deadline, which meant I was at my computer seven days a week, non-stop. The trick to getting through the rough points was knowing what needed to happen in the next scene. I didn’t need to know the ending or the big picture. Just write the next scene, the next line, the next word.
And eat chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.
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Soooo, how great were Juliette's answers, eh? Not only is she a fantastic writer but she has a great sense of humour, which basically reinforces my
And if you want to connect with Juliette, here's all of her info!