Then he came and visited me in Paris, where I was a student at l'Ecole du Louvre and La Sorbonne Nouvelle. Against all odds (and there were many, many odds) I crossed the Atlantic with him, had a daughter, Maïa (also with him), got a Master's in English Lit (all by myself). Besides raising a child, we rose all sorts of animals: sparrows, rats, parrakeets, cockatiels, and today are down to Beckett the conure, Chloe the cat, Colette and Simone de Beauvoir the cockapoos. Some fish serenely gliding in the tank as well.
I added Agatha Christie to Balzac; English to my writing. A painful past would eventually make French too emotionally charged.
My work has been published nationally and internationally in Freedom International, Poésie Première, Confrontation, and other periodicals. I also founded Collages & Bricolages, a literary magazine I edited for fifteen years, which received accolades from the US and abroad.
English would create the distance I needed. Emotions would now be under---more---control and serve my craft.
Chainsaw Jane germinated from a couple of simple facts. I love mysteries, for one. And I know a tiny sixty-something woman who trims her own trees with a chainsaw. Plus, I read Tarot. These elements led to the character of Chainsaw Jane. From that, a whole novel fermented.
From A to Zoe germinated earlier than CJ. But I didn't have a satisfying title. So I waited. I realize now that, if I waited that long, it was for a reason. The book resonates more to me at this point than it did when I wrote it. I didn't grab all the issues it actually addresses. This is a significant little book. Yet it never stops being fun. I hope you agree.
Writing in English is an intrinsic love declaration to the country where I could start again.
BUT THERE IS ANOTHER REASON I WRITE IN ENGLISH. A CRUCIAL REASON. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW, MAKE SURE YOU READ "Channeling Diochet" ON MY BLOG.
FROM A BASQUE MUSEUM TO AN AMERICAN NOVEL
How on earth did that happen? Let me explain. But first, let's be polite and say:
The first word on top is hello in French, of course. The second means the same thing, and good-bye as well, in Euskara, or Basque language. Both are part of my cultural landscape. For I was born in Bayonne, at the foot of the Pyrenees, the biggest town in the French side of Euskara. Ironically, it is the Basque Museum, where I was a guide--after having been one at the Musée Bonnat--during my lycée summers, that brought me to the U.S. See, I met my husband, a French guy teaching college in the US, at Le Musée Basque.
And I read, and I read. Lots of Balzac and Voltaire. And I wrote poetry in French. With the arrogance (the awkwarkness) of youth.