Welcome to Day 4 of our Travel the World in Books Readathon! A chance to catch up on reading and learning about different cultures and countries. Where in the world did your reading take you yesterday? Thanks to those of you who participated in the Facebook chat, we had a great time.
Today we bring you our author interview with Jan Moran, author of Flawless and Scent of Triumph (to be released March 2015). I also encourage you to comment on at least two Readathon participant blogs from the sign up or goals linkups. Leave us a comment with who you met and something you learned about them or their blog.
General Event Info
What our readathon is all about:
Explore countries other than the one you live in. Read as much as you can of books set in a different country or by an author from a different country. Read for your own pleasure or learning, read with your kids or both. Travel the world from the comfort of your own home and learn about different cultures. Expand your horizons and show publishers that #WeNeedDiverseBooks to promote cultural understanding and diversity in our reading. Support diverse authors and books. #TraveltheWorldinBooksRAT
Author Interview with Jan Moran
Today, we’re talking with Jan Moran, author of Flawless and Scent of Triumph, due out in March 2015. Both books take place in France and the US. I started chatting with Jan on Twitter when she posted this list of 27 Great Books Set in Venice. We got to talking about our Readathon and exploring books set in other countries. Next thing I knew, Jan agreed to give away not just one but 11 copies (1 paperback and 10 e-books) of Flawless and 1 copy of Scent of Triumph when it’s released. How great is that? So I’m happy to present my author interview with Jan Moran.
1. Introduce yourself and your books to us.
How about a few of my favorite things? Travel, writing, dark chocolate, spa weekends, and my wonderful family, of course. The world is an endless supply of inspiration; I love to share stories and experiences.
My latest book is Flawless; it’s the first in my contemporary fiction series, Hostile Beauty. It’s about a group of girlfriends in the “beautiful businesses,” and their trials in life. In Flawless, Verena Valent is at the helm of her family’s legendary Swiss skincare company when her world collapses.
Each book in the Hostile Beauty series features the story of a different entrepreneurial-minded friend, so the books are connected. The business situations are real, the men are swoon-worthy, and the women are smart, gorgeous, and talented. (Just like us!) And like us, they sometimes make very human mistakes, and must rise to the challenges before them. I love to share inspirational stories of trial and triumph.
In March of 2015, St. Martin’s Press will publish my first historical fiction novel, Scent of Triumph. It’s about a female French perfumer during World War II. It’s a book that’s very close to my heart, because I worked in perfume and beauty for many years. This is a story of loss, love, and resilience – that’s the story that captured my heart. Scent of Triumph is available for preorder from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
2. Describe your path to becoming a writer. Give our aspiring writers one tip to achieving their writing dreams.
As a child, I was an avid reader, and I’ve been a writer since early elementary school. However, I didn’t pursue writing as a career until I began studying at the UCLA Writers Program in my thirties.
My one writing tip? Be persistent. Persistent in honing your craft, in learning from other writers, and in making the time to actually write.
3. How and why did you pick the location(s) of your book?
The settings in my books are often inspired by places I’ve lived or visited. For example, Flawless is set in Beverly Hills, where I lived for a number of years. I’ve often travelled to Paris for business and pleasure; it’s one of my favorite cities. In Flawless, I set scenes in modern-day Paris, and in Scent of Triumph, I set scenes in 1940s Paris.
Because I live in San Diego, readers will discover many California locations: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Napa Valley. Cannes, London, Poland, and Spain are other settings readers will soon see, too.
4. Did you spend time in the countries your book is set in? Give us examples of customs or something you found interesting about the culture you experienced.
As I write, I enjoy sharing the customs, landscape, fashions, and food of each country and era. For example, in Flawless, I take readers to my favorite Parisian restaurants and hotels.
While researching the WWII era for Scent of Triumph, I found it interesting to discover how the war affected so much in people’s everyday lives. Rationing was in effect for food, film, gas, and fabric – items we take for granted today. My mother assisted by sharing vivid memories of life during WWII. Because my main character is a perfumer and couturier, I researched the war’s impact on the fashion industry in France. Even in the U.S., government fabric rationing mandated a reduction of the circumference of skirts. There, a slim look emerged during the war years. Silk was also rationed because it was needed for parachutes in the war effort. It was difficult to find sheer silk hosiery, and women learned to darn hosiery to extend the life.
5. What is your favorite place that you visited, either personally or professionally?
It’s impossible to choose just one place; I love France and America, as well as Canada, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, India… How much space do I have?
6. Where are your bucket list travel destinations?
Still so many on the list… Argentina, Brazil, Belize, Russia, Africa. And Paris, always Paris.
7. Where would you most like to write about?
I’d like to set stories or scenes in other American cities in which I’ve lived: Austin, Boston, and San Diego. Hong Kong and New Zealand are also on my list.
8. What book are you working on now and where does it take place?
At the moment, I’m writing about Napa Valley and Italy (love researching the food and wine!). Spain and New York are slated next in the Hostile Beauty series.
Thank you all!
Follow Jan Moran
If you’d like to enter to win Flawless or Scent of Triumph, stop by our Giveaways page.
Have you been to France or Italy? Share your experiences with us. What books have you read about WWII? What books have you read where fashion is a key component of the story? Which Readathon participants did you meet and what did you learn about them?