Today we welcome Jennifer Bohnet as we travel to the Mediterranean coast in the depths of Finistere, Brittany in France discovering how a quirky cottage, a utility room, the Cote d’Azur, Coco Chanel, and Ernest Hemingway have roles in Jennifer’s life and imagination. We’re stepping into the jazz age with this one, let’s go …
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Villa of Sun and Secrets was published by Boldwood Books on 8th August.
In which genre do you write?
I write contemporary women’s fiction – sometimes with unexpected themes.
How many published books do you have?
Villa of Sun and Secrets is my 13th!
What does your ideal writing space look like?
Ooh this is fantasy right? I’d have one of those lovely wooden cabins you can buy now built in the garden and have it kitted out with lots of bookshelves, an old fashioned wooden desk with a leather top, comfy Lloyd Loom chairs, a bean to cup coffee machine and a really comfy dog bed for Django our collie and Gus our cat to snuggle up together in. In real life my writing space is in a converted room at the back of our quirky cottage that doubles up as a utility room.
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading two books – one is a non fiction book about writing – The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr which I have to say is fascinating and informative. The novel I’m currently reading is Rosanna Ley’s, Her Mother’s Secret which is set in Brittany where I live but much further down off the coast of Morbihan.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
I read, walk with my husband, Django our collie dog and Gus the cat, in the countryside around our cottage and I like having friends to lunch. But I mainly write!
If you could have a fantasy date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I’m fascinated by the history of the Cote d’Azur in the late 1920s and 30s so I’d like a party in the Provencal Hotel, Juan-les-Pins with guests from that period. Cole Porter, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Picasso and all their friends. I’d interrogate them about what it was really like to be down there during the jazz age – lots of questions about the supposedly wild parties that were held. And then I’d write my definitive Riviera novel using all the gossip they’d told me.
Do you journal write or keep a personal diary?
I keep thinking I ought to start a journal – or at the very least a gratitude diary but somehow I never get around to it.
What is the most crazy and inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?
The most crazy thing I’ve – we’ve – ever done has to be getting on our bikes and riding down through France – and not going home. It has also turned out to be the most inspiring for my writing.
What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?
My Old Lady starring three of my favourite actors – Maggie Smith, Kristen Scott Thomas and Kevin Kline. It’s set in Paris and has a brilliant script.
If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?
I’d ask Django 1. Why do you bark when there is nobody at the door? 2. Why do you steal my washing off the rack? 3. Why do you take up so much room on our bed every night. (Of course I already know the answers: because he’s an attention seeking collie puppy!
What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
I love beaches and the seaside out of season. The old Port of Roscoff up on the north coast of Brittany is a favourite place to visit in winter.
Thank you Jennifer for being a part of MTA! Congratulations on your 13th book being published! I love that you and your husband went on a bike ride and never went home! HA! Brilliant! And now I’ve requested the Science of Storytelling and My Old Lady from the library. I adore Maggie Smith. All the best to you! –Camilla
Blurb for Villa of Sun and Secrets
Carla Sullivan’s 50th birthday is fast approaching when her whole world is turned upside down. Discovering her feckless husband is having yet another affair and following her mother’s death, she is in need of an escape. Finding an envelope addressed to her mother’s estranged sister Josette in the South of France gives Carla the perfect plan. Seizing the moment, she packs her bags and heads to Antibes to seek out the enigma known as Tante Josette. But as the two women begin to forge a tentative relationship, family secrets start to unravel, forcing Carla to question her life as she has always known it.
Where to find Jennifer’s latest book:
It’s available in all formats from Amazon and other book stores.
US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Zz56G5
UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ZwHbau
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/@
Amazon.com author page: https://amzn.to/299rvVv
Facebook Author page: goo.gl/PDKQ8D
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And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …