In this version of twenty questions, I send a list of questions to a willing victim author and they choose their own interview by choosing the which questions, and how many questions, they want to answer! Catherine Delors, author of the novel, For The King, played along and answered three questions. Here is what Catherine had to say about reading, writing and het tyrannical muse.
Would you give us a bit of introduction and let my readers know who you are, how you got started writing, and what kind of books you like to write?
I am an attorney, a job I enjoy. My legal training and experience have influenced by my novels in many ways. I also love history and books. The easiest way to reconcile all of these things was to write historical fiction, about a time that witnessed overwhelming changes in the legal system: the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, its immediate aftermath. My first two novels, Mistress of the Revolution and For The King, are «pure» historicals, in that they take place only in that period. Some passages of my current project take place in the 21st century, with past and present interwoven.
I am often struck by the different ways writers respond to the proccess of writing a book. Linus’s Blanket refers to my use of reading and other activities as a means of escape and comfort, can you share with us any routines, food or recipes, or favorite books or rituals that help you thorough the writing process?
I don’t have to be «helped» through the writing process. I write because I feel compelled to write. No external nudges needed. Yet at times of great stress I find that I can’t write at all, and no ritual or incentive is going to make it happen. This was the case, for months on end, when I was more than two-thirds into Mistress of the Revolution. I simply had to regain my grip on life, and my writerly balance, before I could return to this novel. When I did , it was with renewed energy and a fresh look at my project. Let’s say my muse is rather tyrannical and moody. Truth be told, I find her rather difficult. But I have no choice but to put up with her…
People live in stories, we are surrounded by them. What was it about this the story that made it the one you had to tell at this time? What impact did telling this story have on your life? Did you find that it had changed you?
How true! Often, as a reader, I find myself engulfed in a book. Not necessarily a novel, by the way. I find good non-fiction just as fascinating. When I write, the feeling is still stronger, because I «carry» my novel for many months. I wrote For The King because of the 9/11 attacks. I lost no loved ones then, but someone I knew died on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. What a death… And it was only one of so many.
I had to make sense of that senseless, unimaginable violence, and the political fallout. What makes some people commit mass murder? Who profits by it? And who actually pays the price? This is why, in For The King, Limoelan, the actual chief of the conspiracy to assassinate Napoléon, is one of my point of view characters. I researched his story, his family, read his letters, followed the actual investigation, to understand what he felt and see the world through his eyes. That helped me understand our world better. I hope my readers feel the same.
I read For The King (my review) last year and really loved reading it, so today in honor on it’s paperback release and Bastille Day, I have two copies to give away to readers with a US mailing address. I will accept entries on this form until Thursday, July 20th. All information will be discarded if you aren’t selected to receive a copy of the book. Your mailing address will be used to mail the book to you should you be selected as a winner. Only those selected as winners will be contacted by email.
About: Catherine Delors was born and raised in France. She graduated from the University of Paris-Sorbonne School of Law and became the youngest member of the Bar of Paris at the age of twenty-one. She later moved to the United States and passed the California Bar. She worked at a few large American law firms before setting up a solo practice following the birth of her son. She now splits her time between London and Paris, while remaining a partner in an international law firm based in Los Angeles. Catherine is currently writing on a third novel, a prequel to Mistress of the Revolution. She is also researching a fourth one, which shall revolve about Jane Austen and her French connections.