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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A day with J'ai Lu



The trip of a lifetime has begun!

I’m sitting here in a dorm room with my window open to let in a beautiful, cool breeze on a day when half of the US is buried in snow. And I’m not missing home one tiny bit!

I arrived in France on Tuesday at noon. Bridget and Rhiana met me at the airport and drove me through Paris to Corbeil Essonnes, where I’m staying with my younger son, Benjamin. I was exhausted, but not as bad off as I had imagined.

Wednesday we hit the ground running. Benjamin didn’t have to teach, so we accepted an invitation to meet with the staff at J’ai Lu, my French publisher, part of the Flammarion publishing group here in France. It’s a connection I’ve wanted to make for a very long time.

I love languages, and I’m not a huge fan of borders. I love the connection with other cultures that happens when you simply reach out. That’s one reason I have tried to connect as much as I can with readers from around the world. Having direct contact with the publishers who put out my book in translation is a pieces of that. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have the chance to meet the women and men who work hard to get my books out to French readers.

What a wonderful experience it was—far beyond anything I had imagined!

J'ai Lu sent a cab, which drove us to Gare du Lyon in Paris, where we joined the staff members who work on my books for lunch. They all introduced themselves and met Benjamin, and we sat down for a two-hour long meal and conversation that I won’t forget. The food was exquisite, the millefeuille with caramel that I had for dessert blowing my mind.

The restaurant itself was impressive, the decor dating to the Belle Epoch and as ornate and lovely as it could be, with the big train station a minute's walk from our table.

After lunch, we piled into taxis and went to the offices of J’ai Lu, where I got the grand tour and met other staff. It’s an impressive and ambitious operation, and I felt at home there, in part because of my years as a newspaper editor. The people were all very friendly and spoke English for my benefit. Although I can understand spoken French, it’s very hard for me to respond quickly enough to have a real conversation. Benjamin spoke a lot of French with them.

I spoke with the translator who has translated my I-Team stories. Right now, J’ai Lu is hard at work getting Unlawful Contact ready for publication this spring. Its French title translates back to something like “Dangerous Relationship.” They didn't have a cover ready for me to see.

Their marketing people spoke with me for awhile, and I think we’re going to coordinate more than we have on social media and such.

They also explained that my historical romances are so popular there because historical fiction is one of J’ai Lu’s specialties.

I am so grateful to everyone at J’ai Lu for the unforgettable afternoon. Even if I can’t remember everyone’s names — that was a lot of people to meet all at once — I do remember their faces and their smiles and kind words.

When we had a moment alone, Benjamin told me that the experience had blown his mind. “My mom is a celebrity in France,” he said, with a hint of “whoa!” in his voice.

I’m not sure I’d go that far. But I know for a fact that my books, each one of which is precious to me, are in excellent hands here in France.

And, wow, that just gave a whole new meaning to business lunch!

This Saturday is the big book signing and reader event in Paris, and I am so excited to meet my French readers face to face at last!

3 comments:

Cindy O said...

Trip of a lifetime is right.. Looking forward to all your updates..

bridgetw3 said...

Wow, what a wonderful experience! I'm sure the Paris signing will be a fantastic event.

I am so happy and excited for you!! You deserve this once in a lifetime experience. ENJOY!!

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