Was the fact that you had this wonderful book in you a surprise or did you always want to write?
The publication of My French Life has been the biggest surprise of all - especially to me. I never imagined that I would or could write a book and especially a book about France. I still cannot believe I had so many words within fighting to get out!
Finding and buying our property Mas de Berard has led to so many changes and writing My French Life is one of them. I found the house by chance and I rather like to think that my book happened by chance too. In 2005 I travelled to Florence with my daughter Emily to settle her into an Italian course as part of a gap year - at the same time I had arranged to meet up with an Australian friend, photographer Carla Coulson. Carla had been living in Florence for some years and during my stay Carla and I caught up on our girl chat. We had both moved to Europe in 2000 and started new lives - she in Italy, me in France - and over those few days I told her how I had fallen in love with France and how this had changed my life as I had known it. We talked, as old friends do, of the challenges and excitement of leaving home and starting afresh. The more we talked the more we felt there was an idea for a "french" collaboration between us and as a result she approached her publisher in Australia with the idea. The response was very positive: the proposal was accepted and My French Life was published in November 2006. It was true serendipity - extraordinary circumstances and timing brought about My French Life, but then that is how I came to fall in love with France in the first place.
An image from French Essence ~ new book release in November 2009
Can you tell me about your new book subject? Release date?
My new book is about living life with ambience. I believe the French are true masters when it comes to ambience and I think that it is this "ambience" than has made me so enamoured with life in France. This book is about beauty and nature, interiors and landscapes in my Provencal world. French Essence (named after my blog) will be published in early November this year.
We can hardly wait!
All photo images courtesy of Vicki Archer - My French Life