About author, Vicki LeSage: Bestselling author Vicki Lesage proves daily that raising two French kids isn’t as easy as the hype lets on. In her three minutes of spare time per week, she writes, sips bubbly, and prepares for the impending zombie apocalypse. She lives in Paris with her French husband, rambunctious son, and charming daughter, all of whom mercifully don’t laugh when she says “au revoir.” She penned the Paris Confessions series in between diaper changes and wine refills. She writes about the ups and downs of life in the City of Light at VickiLesage.com.
Describe yourself in five words: Outgoing, friendly, loyal, sassy, and chatty, if I do say so myself.
Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing process: Nerd alert! It involves lots of spreadsheets. I like to get a rough outline going in a spreadsheet and then I track my word count as I go. Not all chapters have to (or even should be) the same length, but it’s a good way to keep an eye on things as they go so I don’t end up with a book that’s ridiculously short or embarrassingly long. Also, having a spreadsheet helps me focus: I usually try to write one chapter and edit one chapter per day, and the magic spreadsheet lets me know where I’m at on that. For the actual writing part, I do try to let myself go a little more. I’ll sit down with an idea in mind and just roll with it.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I still don’t know if I want to be a writer! This gig is hard. But it’s fun, and every time someone says they enjoyed one of my books, I’m reminded of why I do it.
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? While I love the feel of a “real” book, I don’t have room for books in my tiny Parisian apartment! So I love ebooks. I can have as many as I like!
At what time of day do you work best? I work best in the morning right after my first sip of coffee. Assuming the kids aren’t around to knock over my coffee mug or whine about something or fight with each other.
Salty or sweet? Salty. One time for “dessert” I made myself some mashed potatoes with hot dogs. It’s weird, I know. And my husband will NEVER let me live it down. “What kind of cake would you like for your birthday? Mashed potatoes and hot dogs?” Don’t tempt me!
Is the social media a help or a hinder? I love it but talk about a time suck! I’ll go on social media to post about something and I’ll get totally distracted by all the funny/interesting/cute stuff my friends post and then I can’t remember what I came on there for. Kind of like when you open the fridge and forget what you were looking for. But worse because at least with the fridge I can probably find some wine 🙂
If you could meet any author, who would it be? Tina Fey. That chick is pure awesome. I know she’s not strictly an author but hey, she wrote a book so it totally counts.
Where do you see yourself in five years? While I love living in Paris, my family of four is going to outgrow our one-bedroom apartment by then, so we will probably have to leave Paris. Maybe go to the US? (And yes, you read that right: My husband and I share a room with our 3-year-old and our baby. Glamorous, no?)
Every author must have (a): Support system. Mine is my husband, my mom, and my business partner at my indie publishing house, Velvet Morning Press. And I have a wider network of author friends that help in all sorts of ways. Even if you’re an author who’s an introvert, you still need a support system to get through everything this career will throw at you!
What do you want readers to take away from your books? I hope I can make readers laugh, either at me or with me. I’m not picky. And I hope I can give them a glimpse of what it’s really like to live in Paris. We don’t always ride bicycles while holding baguettes and wearing berets. Just most of the time.
What are you working on right now? I am working on my first chick lit novel–quite a huge departure from my series of memoirs. I’m also working on getting more than 5 hours of consecutive sleep in a night, so it might be a while before this book is done!
Blurb: American-turned-Parisian Vicki tells it like it is, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest to her even crazier holidays in her new home in France. Bizarre gifts, stomach-turning food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of the tales you’ll chuckle at in this installment of the Paris Confessions series.
This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for tasty cocktails and hearty laughs this holiday season!
Years later, I married the love of my life, Mika. It would be hard to find a bad quality about this guy. He’s patient. He’s kind. He’s funny and smart. He’s a wonderful husband and an amazing father.
But he absolutely sucks at killing bugs.
His technique: Grab a paper towel and stomp loudly toward the bug, usually scaring it away before arriving on the scene. If the stupid thing sticks around, it’s only because he’s thinking, “Get a load of this guy and his soft, fluffy paper towel. What’s he planning to do with that? Tuck me in to bed and sing me lullabies? Sounds lovely!”
Mika’s “plan” is to gently cover the area the spider is occupying, and to—I don’t know—just hope the spider crawls into the paper towel’s pillowy folds, leading itself to death? Of course the spider darts away each time and now Mika’s just wasted a paper towel.
“You have to smash it. With force,” I said, with all the knowledge of a backseat driver. “The paper towel is just to protect your fingers from the carnage. You actually need to kill it with your hand.”
He gave me a look like, “Holy hell, who did I marry?”
I gave him a look back like, “You better kill the next one or you won’t stay married for long.”
One week later, I was minding my own business (so, ending world hunger or spending too much time on Facebook) and I heard a loud SMACK in the kitchen.
“Check this out,” Mika said, entering the living room with a smile on his face and a dark smear on a paper towel.
Ah, my technique worked.
This doesn’t solve my mom’s problem, though. My newly-trained bug-killing husband was thousands of miles from St. Louis. My step-dad, Doug, will take care of any insect problem, but what does my mom do if he’s not there? She would never kill an intruder herself, but she can’t stay frozen in one spot all weekend.
Enter the best Christmas present ever, courtesy of SkyMall: the bug vacuum.
I’d traveled home for Thanksgiving one year, opting for the cheaper international fares for that time period compared to Christmas. After reading the in-flight magazine cover to cover (or at least taking the Mensa quiz to feel smart), I perused the SkyMall catalogue.
Have you ever looked in that thing? I wanted to buy everything on every page! And I nearly did.
Toy gun that shoots marshmallows? Perfect for my trigger-happy, sweets-loving brother. (Bonus: New way to play fetch with Chopper.)
A glass display case for children’s artwork where you slide in their new artwork while cleverly hiding their previous masterpieces so that you don’t have a house full of scribbles? Perfect for my colleague who has two adorable, prolific, artistic children.
Collapsible silicone wine glasses that you can—get this—fold up and tuck in to your back pocket so you’re ready for any occasion? I might just have to get those for myself.
A bug vacuum with extendable arm and a circular shield to trap the bug before being sucked away to get zapped by a jolt of electricity go live on a farm in the country? Perfect for my easily-spooked arachnaphobic mother. She talks smack about bugs, but can’t handle actually smacking any.
Bonus gift: A battery-operated bug-zapping tennis racket for the flying critters. Plus it counts as exercise because it has “tennis” in the name.
I filled out the order form and dropped it in the mail when I landed. Christmas shopping had never been so easy.
Bug vacuum: $64.95
Battery-operated bug-zapping tennis racket: $16.95
Living in a bug-free house: Priceless
**Click HERE to enter to win a copy of “Confessions of a Paris Party Girl”
**Click HERE to see other stops on Vicki’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour!