On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author @LizaPerrat
Today I’m delighted to welcome an author who also lives in France, but on the other side near Lyon. Liza Perrat and I know each other only virtually, but somehow I feel I know her better than that already! She is the author of two terrific historical novels set in France. I eagerly await the third in the trilogy, which is due out this summer. Liza tells us more about them below.
Vanessa: You are Australian by birth. Tell us the romantic tale about how you came to live in France.
Liza: Firstly, thanks for interviewing me, Vanessa, it’s a pleasure to be on your blog. I trained as a nurse and midwife, and after a gruelling year of night shift in a busy Sydney hospital labour ward, I’d organised a midwifery job in Saudi Arabia. The plan was to travel for a few months in Thailand, Nepal and India on the way. I met my future husband the first day of that holiday, on a Bangkok bus. After trekking in Nepal for a few months, I arrived in France late in 1988. We lived in Australia for five years, but have now been back in France for over twenty years. The rest is, as they say… history.
The award-winning first two novels in your historical trilogy, Spirit of Lost Angels and Wolfsangel, are set in different periods. What challenges did that pose?
For Spirit of Lost Angels, set before and during the French Revolution, research was done mainly through sources and archives. For Wolfsangel though, set during the WW2 Nazi occupation of France, I was lucky enough to find living witnesses to interview: resistance workers, and those who lived through the occupation. This first-hand experience was far more interesting, and lively!
Vanessa: Fascinating. Some of the elderly people around here are still reluctant to talk about the war. It certainly split communities and introduced a spirit of mistrust.
You belong to the Author Collective Triskele Books. What do they do and how does this differ from a traditional publishing house?
Triskele Books is a group of five writers working together to publish their books to the highest possible standard. We edit each other’s work, though we hire a professional proofreader and cover designer. We share the marketing and networking side of things, as well as sharing the financial cost of joint efforts such as collective promotional material, advertising and indie author festivals. Basically we are independent publishers: going it alone, together.
What challenges do you experience as an ‘ex-pat’ author in terms of both writing fiction and promoting it?
So far, the fiction I’ve written is set in the area in France in which I live, which makes it easier to get the feel and sense of the setting. But since home is a small village, with no English speakers, rather than a large cosmopolitan French city, I’ve found it difficult to sell hand-to-hand. Promoting and marketing is done online. That’s why I’m very keen to have the books translated into French, which is now in the pipeline.
Tell us a bit about your work(s) in progress and your writing plans.
After Spirit of Lost Angels and Wolfsangel, I’m almost finished the third in the trilogy: Midwife Héloïse – Blood Rose Angel. Part of a series, each book is a standalone, following the same family, farmhouse and village throughout different historical periods. This one is set in the 14th century black plague years and explores the origin of the bone angel pendant that binds and allies the women of L’Auberge des Anges, across the ages.
What’s the nicest thing that’s happened to you as an author?
A reader telling me Wolfsangel was the best book she’d ever read.
Vanessa: Wonderful! What a great accolade.
What’s your favourite French dish?
Cheese platter and glass of smooth Côtes du Rhône.
Vanessa: I’m a great cheese eater (which does my cholesterol no good at all) and often prefer it to dessert. I’ll join you. Cheers! And thanks for appearing on my blog today, Liza.
You can connect with Liza on:
Her books are available as follows:
Copyright © Liza Perrat, Vanessa Couchman 2015. All rights reserved.