A thriller writer attempting romance? Surely not!
(What would I know about slushy stuff anyway?)
Well, La Vie En Bleu was one of the most enjoyable books that I’ve ever written. My approach for the book was to fill it was as much light, laughter and my own daftness as possible.
One of my favourite works is Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. (I love him, he rocks.) I loved the film with Rupert Everett and so I wanted to take that high energy feel. The kind that makes you want to watch a film over and over again. If you like Notting Hill, or Imagine Me And You, this book was aiming to encompass all that wonderful British daftness… then place it in the South of France.
Pippa, the main character, burst out onto my page with such energy that it was hard to keep up with her. Her bubbly, scatty and one-hundred-mile-an-hour brain made me giggle out loud and have tears in my eyes. Most of the moments, I hadn’t planned. Pippa and her best friend Rebecca just seemed to hurtle off at their desire while I tapped away furiously trying to keep up. I love these girls.
If you read my blogs or are used to my style then you may have come to the conclusion that Pippa tells the story her way. It is her story, just as Aeron’s follows her own adventures and the two women couldn’t have more different voices. From a laid-back Missourian to a wired Englishwoman. Still, they both have to go on that journey of self-discovery, of realising their own worth and being comfortable in their own skin. Pippa doesn’t have it easy either but she’s not dodging bullets, just flying Frenchwomen. Most of all it is a celebration of my love for France and the folk who live there. It’s a place very close to my heart (and genes) so I hope that you enjoy the visit to Ajoux-Sur-Rhône as much as I did.
Writing Pippa challenged me to find a style that matched. She taught me new things about characterisation that fed into my other works afterwards. She taught me how it was possible to move the reader without bumping any characters off…
For that, I earned a new level of respect for romance writers everywhere. It gave me new understanding of how I could build a story and setting and I revelled in the fun of trying to make the reader laugh, love and smile. It’s a book that I adore. Pippa and her friends make me smile and it’s filled with little anecdotes from my own experiences.
So, this side of summer will see the launch of Blind Trust and the next instalment of Aeron’s adventures. Then, Pippa will be ready for you to jet over to the sunny South of France for some laughter, romance, friendship and two very unforgettable French women.
La Vie En Bleu
My name is Pippa Saunders and I have a BIG secret. You see I am engaged to Prince Charming, AKA Doug Fletcher, (Well unless it’s a golf day,) and my best friend and I, Rebecca (The one with the terrible haircut) live in our pokey little flat and are wonderful underachievers. My life is pretty simple, I go to work in an office, go out to dinner with the handsome Doug and enjoy girlie DVD nights with Rebecca. It’s how I like it. Simple, uncomplicated and… well… Rebecca says boring.
Unfortunately I’m not quite as boring as she thinks. I’ve been holding a secret since I spent a year in France when I was nineteen. And, thanks to an odd series of events that involves a trip to the local Italian in my pyjamas, I have ended up back in the very same country I’ve been trying to get out of my head. Not only that, Doug, (bless him) thought it was a great idea to bring me right back to the actual town. Oh, and he’s hired a stonemason called Berne Chamonix. The very same mysterious, intriguing, gorgeous… ahem… well she’s the same… well… person that I’ve been trying to forget, (without much luck) for over a decade. You can imagine how funny Rebecca finds that, can’t you?
Not that it matters because I’ve promised Doug that I’m going to marry him. It doesn’t matter that the thought of breeding a rugby team terrifies me or that I can’t seem to stop gawping at the beautiful, strong, enchanting… anyway… you get the idea. So I’m stuck in France with my past about to take a chisel to my well built up façade…
…In a word… oh, Merde.