Today it’s my turn to interview another Ocelot Press author’s character. And I’m so pleased that it’s Fra’ Lorenzo, the gentle friar from Sue Barnard’s The Ghostly Father. Here he is above in a lovely drawing by Sue’s friend, Kay Sluterbeck.
Sue’s novel is an alternative version of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Like many people, she wasn’t happy with the ending, so she decided to write her own. Fra’ Lorenzo, otherwise known as Friar Laurence in the Bard’s play, becomes a Franciscan friar, which allows him to pursue his interest in medicine. But he harbours a secret and some lifelong regrets. Let’s hear what he has to say about them.
Also, The Ghostly Father is on offer at a reduced price this week. AND Sue is offering a prize of another of her books. Read on to find out more.
Charming, witty, handsome. All of those adjectives fit Frédéric. But he also harbours a secret that he wants to keep from his family at all costs. He’s not the protagonist in Overture: that’s Marie-Thérèse, who has a burning ambition to become a singer. For the daughter of a modest farming family in rural France in the 1890s/1900s, that’s a dream which isn’t at all easy to fulfil. But Frédéric plays a crucial role in her life.
Today, he’s being interviewed by fellow Ocelot Press author, Cathie Dunn, on her website. Find out what makes Frédéric tick, what his childhood was like, his likes and dislikes and maybe a clue or two about his secret.
Here’s the start of the interview. Click the link to read the rest.
Bonjour, Frédéric. How lovely to meet you! I have heard many great things about you from Marie-Thérèse. Please make yourself comfortable. May I offer you a refreshment?
Frédéric: Thank you, Madame, or may I call you Cathie? You wouldn’t by any chance have a glass of champagne? I do find it lightens one’s mood, don’t you?
You are so right, and yes, please call me Cathie. There we are. You are a man of the world, and you’ve travelled far and wide. What do you make of my salon?
Frédéric: Delightful. A very restful but refined ambience.
Oh, thank you. You’re very kind. Now, to yourself. What triggered your love of music?
Frédéric: My parents engaged a piano teacher for my sisters so that they could learn an accomplishment suitable for young ladies. I was very taken with the sound of the piano, although the keyboard didn’t always sing under my sisters’ fingers! I pestered my parents to let me take lessons, too. I also took singing lessons, but I will never be more than competent in that line.
Do you play any instruments?
Frédéric: The piano, as I mentioned before. I was fortunate enough to inherit a rather wonderful Erard baby grand from my grandfather. It now has pride of place in my Paris apartment.
I can imagine. What a beautiful piece to inherit. But tell me, what took you to Berthe’s restaurant that first evening you heard Marie-Thérèse sing? You are not from Aveyron, so wasn’t your visit somewhat unusual?
I’m delighted to welcome back Katharine Johnson, whose historical mysteries make engrossing reading. She’s already told us a little about her latest novel, The Secret, when it was a work in progress. Now, publication day is approaching on 1st June, and I’m looking forward to The Secret popping onto my Kindle that day. The book blurb tells you more about it below. In the meantime, Katy whets our appetite with some insights into the inspiration behind the book and the history on which it’s based.
Fellow Crooked Cat author Margaret K. Johnson has invited me onto her blog today to take part in her ‘Write Despite‘ series, in which women writers talk about their writing challenges and how they address them. So I’ve focused on a topic close to my heart – procrastination – about which I wrote on this blog not so long ago.
Margaret is a novelist who explores the theme of women triumphing over adversity in her writing. She also runs courses that focus on triumphing over adversity in order to write, or using writing to overcome adversity.
On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Tim Taylor
My latest victim guest on the chaise longue is author Tim Taylor. We share some things in common: a first degree at Oxford University followed by a career in the public services (although I worked in book publishing in between). We also have publication by Crooked Cat Publishing in common. Tim is a versatile author who can step seamlessly between periods of history. He tells us today how he came to write and about the genesis of his latest novel, Revolution Day.
On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author Sue Barnard
I’m very pleased to welcome back my friend and fellow Crooked Cat author Sue Barnard – who is also my editor! She is a lady of many talents and has a range of short stories, poems and three published novels to her credit. She wrote a great guest post for me a while ago about the role of the editor. Now, let’s hear a bit more about her writing and, in particular, her latest novel, The Unkindest Cut of All.
On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author @JuneGundlack
My guest today is another Crooked Cat Publishing author whom I had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s CC get-together. Despite working full time and commuting to London, June finds the time to write short stories and novels. And her amusing observations from her commuting experiences have regularly been in a mainstream newspaper’s ‘Scribbler About Town’ column. Let’s find out how she juggles all this.
On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author @Lizzie_Koch
Joining me today is bubbly Lizzie Koch, who has just published her first novel, The Adventures of Katie Button, with Crooked Cat Publishing. It’s shot up the Kindle charts and already has excellent reviews. Every author’s dream, you might say…
Joining me today is a lovely lady whom I had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s Crooked Cat author bash. Nancy Jardine is a prolific author who squeezes more out of each day than anyone else I know. She wrote a great guest post for me about using photos and I’m delighted to welcome her back for a session on the chaise longue.
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.