Friday, July 15, 2016

**GIVEAWAY** Interview with Eleanor Brown The Light Of Paris

Today I'm interviewing Eleanor Brown about her sophomore offering The Light of Paris. And for one lucky entrant US ONLY I have a copy to giveaway. Details below.

ISBN-13: 9780399158919
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Release Date: 07/12/2016
Length: 320pp
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/Kobo/IndieBound/Audible


Madeleine is trapped—by her family's expectations, by her controlling husband, and by her own fears—in an unhappy marriage and a life she never wanted. From the outside, it looks like she has everything, but on the inside, she fears she has nothing that matters.
In Madeleine’s memories, her grandmother Margie is the kind of woman she should have been—elegant, reserved, perfect. But when Madeleine finds a diary detailing Margie’s bold, romantic trip to Jazz Age Paris, she meets the grandmother she never knew: a dreamer who defied her strict, staid family and spent an exhilarating summer writing in cafés, living on her own, and falling for a charismatic artist.
Despite her unhappiness, when Madeleine’s marriage is threatened, she panics, escaping to her hometown and staying with her critical, disapproving mother. In that unlikely place, shaken by the revelation of a long-hidden family secret and inspired by her grandmother’s bravery, Madeleine creates her own Parisian summer—reconnecting to her love of painting, cultivating a vibrant circle of creative friends, and finding a kindred spirit in a down-to-earth chef who reminds her to feed both her body and her heart.
Margie and Madeleine’s stories intertwine to explore the joys and risks of living life on our own terms, of defying the rules that hold us back from our dreams, and of becoming the people we are meant to be.

The Giveaway is for One Print copy
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Thanks Penguin!
Good Luck!

Eleanor, Hi! Welcome to The Reading Frenzy. I really enjoyed The Weird Sisters and am looking forward to reading your new novel, The Light of Paris.
Can you tell my readers a bit about it?
Thank you so much for inviting me!

The Light of Paris is the story of two women: Madeleine, in 1999, who is trapped in an unhappy marriage and an even unhappier life, and her grandmother Margie, in 1924, who escapes her own difficulties for one delicious summer in Jazz Age Paris.
It’s about family patterns and how to break them, it’s about mothers and daughters and the expectations we put on each other, it’s about art and friendship and rediscovering the person you meant to be, and it is about making your own Paris, wherever you are!

With such amazing, immense success of The Weird Sisters did you feel any extra angst about writing your sophomore offering?
Tons! I know it sounds like weeping from the deck of my yacht to say that it’s hard to follow up aNew York Times bestselling book, but it is. Success is, in many ways, just as difficult as failure.
I was also very determined not just to publish the “next” book, but to publish the “right” book. And it took a while to find that book, but when it did, it basically arrived carried by fairies with a choir singing behind it (more on that in a minute).

Congratulations on the early reviews of The Light of Paris. Library Journal’s reviewer says “For all fans of intelligent women's literature”.
Even though that makes this right up my reading alley do you feel that your read would appeal to men readers also?
One of the greatest gifts stories give us is the opportunity to try on someone else’s life for a while, and from that, to learn and increase in empathy for what it’s like to be someone who is not like us.

What that means is that we have to read stories about people who are different from us – at least on the surface. So I think men should read stories about women, and white folks should read stories about people of color, and we should read stories from people in different cultures, and on and on and on.

Does it bother you to be put on a genre shelf like women’s fiction instead of lets say, literary fiction?
Only in terms of what that signifies about the importance our culture places on women’s stories, which is to say very little.
“Women’s fiction” as a genre is helpful to readers because it says to us, “Hey, you might like this story!” But it also says to men, “You don’t have to read this because it’s by/about/for women,” (which is no excuse, see my answer above), and it puts women in the position of excusing or diminishing the stories that reflect their lives.
But for what it’s worth, I have never seen women’s fiction on its own shelf in a bookstore or library – I live right next to Dan Brown on most shelves!

Eleanor your partner J.C. Hutchins is also an author.
What’s the best thing about living with another author?
He understands what it means when I’m struggling, and he understands story and character, so we can talk through problems together.

What’s the worse thing about living with another author?
I think people always expect me to say something like jealousy or competition, but there is none of that in our relationship. We are each other’s biggest fans and supporters.

The story I like to tell about this is that when The Weird Sisters hit the New York Times bestseller list, he cried, and I didn’t. That’s how much he supports me.

This book is also like The Weird Sisters about family.
Do you draw from your own family relationships when you write about them?
Yes and no! Literally, this book was inspired by my own family – I discovered that my grandmother had lived in Paris in 1923 and 1924, much to her family’s disapproval, and I built the story around the letters we had of hers (though the vast majority of Margie’s story is fictional).

But as far as the actual relationships, not really. The Light of Paris is a lot about expectations, but I think I put more expectations on myself than my family puts on me. I am, like many people, my own worst critic!

Your first novel The Weird Sisters was written in 1st person.
What about The Light of Paris?
The Weird Sisters is actually a 1st person plural narrator (the three sisters narrating together), though I broke into 3rd person a lot to keep that from getting too precious.

The Light of Paris has alternating storylines. Technically it’s Madeleine narrating the entire thing in 1st person, but Margie’s chapters start in Madeleine’s voice and then just slip into the Parisian story without Madeleine’s interference.
I think I just made both sound more complicated than they actually are!

Eleanor writing a debut time wise is at your own pace and in some/most cases started years before publication. I’m sure for your 2nd novel you had a more structured timeline.
How did that or did it affect your writing?
I had the idea for The Light of Paris and had gone to Paris to research the story ages before I actually wrote it. I’d also written a bunch of failed novels along the way, which had taught me an incredible amount about story.

So when I finally sat down to write The Light of Paris, the first draft took me a little under two months, I think. Which is insanely fast, and I don’t expect to ever be able to replicate that!
Along the way, I’ve learned to plan a little more than I did with The Weird Sisters. That really helps. If you don’t do any planning at all, you’re likely to spend half your writing time driving into dead ends, and I far prefer to minimize that.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Good luck with the new novel.
Will you be attending any author events for fans to meet you and where can we find out if you’ll be in our neighborhood?
Yes! I’ll be out on the road quite a bit. Readers can visit, and you can also sign up for my mailing list there, and check out my Facebook page ( where I keep folks up to date!

Eleanor's Debut novel

Connect with Eleanor - Website -Facebook - Twitter

MEET Eleanor:
is the author of The Weird Sisters. Her writing has been published in anthologies, magazines, and journals. She holds an M.A. in Literature and has worked in education in South Florida. She lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.


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  1. This sounds like a wonderful read. Going on my TBR list.

  2. Loved the author's answer to whether or not this story would be good for men as well because it was brilliant and so true!
    Thanks for sharing this Debbie!

  3. Weird Sisters was captivating, wonderful and memorable. Beautiful story and writing. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  4. I had read a blogger's review of this one and put it into my wish list to read. Great interview, I love that her husband cried when she got on Times best seller list. Interesting thoughts on women's fiction, things for it and against it. Nothing is ever black or white!

    1. Yes one of my favorite interview for the answers Kathryn!

  5. Aw her partner. Bless his heart. That's so sweet.

  6. Now I am curious about both books. I love the settings for this and the way their stories intertwine. Great interview Debbie!