About the author: Juliette Sobanet is the award-winning author of five Paris-based romance and mystery novels, four short stories, and a brand new memoir, Meet Me in Paris. Her books have hit the Top 100 Bestseller Lists on Amazon US, UK, Germany, and France, and her work has been published in Italian and Romanian, with more on the way. A former French professor, Juliette holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. from New York University in Paris. She is a blogger for The Huffington Post, and she writes about her personal experience with divorce on her blog, Confessions of a Romance Novelist.
Describe your writing style in five sentences: I write sassy Paris romances, spicy time travel mysteries, and most recently, I wrote my own true story of love and heartbreak in the City of Light in my memoir, Meet Me in Paris. In my fiction, I love taking my readers on adventures through some of my most favorite places in France—Paris, Lyon, Annecy, Giverny, the French Alps, the French countryside…and the list goes on. Throw in a sexy Frenchman, a little chocolate in bed, and perhaps a dead body or two, and I’ve found it’s the perfect recipe to help my readers escape from everyday life and forget about their troubles for a night. In my memoir, my writing style is more raw and honest, showing what it was like to lose my own happily ever while I was writing romance novels. Of course, I still whisk my readers away to Paris for a steamy love affair and to Lyon to eat the most decadent of French desserts—le fondant au chocolat…
Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing process? I write 5-6 days a week, in addition to teaching French and yoga, so I am diligent about scheduling in my writing time because I have to be. I self-published my first two novels on Kindle, and four months after publication, Sleeping with Paris hit #30 on Amazon’s Overall Top 100 Bestseller List. That success opened up a new door for me with Amazon Publishing’s Montlake Romance. I signed a few deals with Montlake, and the following year, they released three more of my Paris novels and a short story in addition to re-releasing my first two novels. It was an incredible experience, but I decided to self-publish my memoir because I was excited to have more control in the publishing process again by hiring my own team of editors and designers. I am absolutely thrilled with how everything has turned out for this memoir, and I wouldn’t change a thing!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I have been writing non-stop since I was young, filling up journals upon journals with my own stories of love and heartbreak, writing short stories and poems, and everything in between. I first knew that I wanted to write a novel when I was living in Paris, completing my master’s degree. The idea for Sleeping with Paris was swimming around in my mind, and writing a 70 page thesis in French gave me the confidence to give this novel-writing thing a try. After I returned home to the States, I was working at a dreadfully boring translating job when I secretly began typing the opening pages to Sleeping with Paris on my work computer. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Salty or sweet? Sweet! And specifically…chocolate!
At what time of day do you work best? Mornings typically, but sometimes inspiration strikes me late at night, and when that happens, I go with it. I can always sleep another day…
Being that “Meet Me in Paris” is a memoir, how hard or easy was it for you to write this book? The memoir details my experience with divorce and with a love affair that ensued the year after I left my marriage, so writing this book was extremely emotional. What I found, though, once I began, was that the story was so ready to come out that it just poured out of me onto the page (along with all of the tears I shed in the process!). There were days when I would write 15-20 pages in only four or five hours, and whatever flowed out of me was exactly what needed to be told. It was an extremely cathartic process and very healing. In writing this story, I learned how to sit with my pain and my grief, how to accept the choices I’ve made in my life, and how to love myself for all of it. Writing this book was a significant part of my journey, and I’m so thankful that I did it, and that everyone involved in the story has received the book with so much love and kindness.
Do you have any writing rituals? I create playlists on Spotify for all of my books with songs that set the mood for the book or that I would imagine being in the soundtrack if the book became a movie. I listen to the book’s playlist as I’m writing and this always helps me write more powerful, emotional scenes.
If you could meet any other author, who would it be? I was fortunate enough to meet three of my absolute favorite authors in the last few months—Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, and Jewel—but if I was lucky enough to meet another, it would have to be Janet Fitch, the author of White Oleander. That has been my most treasured book since I first read it many years ago, and her writing is absolutely beautiful.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Living in Paris, writing full-time, traveling through Europe on the weekends, being swept off my feet in an incredible romance, and loving life.
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? I love them both, but I still love the feel of a real book in my hands.
What do you want readers to take away from “Meet Me In Paris”? I want my readers to walk away knowing that whatever is going on in their lives, no matter how hopeless or difficult it may seem, they are never alone and they are loved. I also want them to know that it’s okay to be exactly who they are, and that it is only in accepting who they are and loving themselves that they will invite love into their lives. And of course, I hope the book makes them hop on a flight to Paris!
What are you working on right now? I’m working on my next novel which is a thriller based in Paris. I can’t say much more about it at the moment except that I am beyond excited about this story! I’m also working on a book of poetry that may be a companion book to the memoir. Stay tuned!
“Meet Me in Paris” by Juliette Sobanet
Blurb: What does a romance novelist do when she loses her own happily ever after? Take a lover and travel to Paris, obviously. Or at least this is what Juliette Sobanet did upon making the bold, heart-wrenching decision to divorce the man she had loved since she was a teenager. This is the story of the passionate love affair that ensued during the most devastating year of Sobanet’s life and how her star-crossed romance in the City of Light led to her undoing. Meet Me in Paris is a raw, powerful take on divorce and the daring choices that followed such a monumental loss from the pen of a writer who’d always believed in happy endings…and who ultimately found the courage to write her own.
Excerpt from the Prologue
No matter the season, no matter the weather, love is always in the air in Paris.
And tonight is no different.
The autumn sun has been swept away by a splattering of gray clouds, blanketing the city’s cobblestone streets in one of those inky, mysterious Parisian nights where lovers’ secrets will be swept away by the choppy waters of the Seine, or captured whole by the Gothic towers of Notre Dame, or better yet, swallowed up by the bottle of red wine my own lover and I are sharing in a charming little bar near Châtelet.
Yes, I’ve taken a lover.
A Paris lover.
Oh, how I adore the taste of those delicious words.
The Merlot slips past my lips, smooth and rich, as I smile at this most disarming man I have by my side. I give him a look that is both coy and inviting, in lust and falling—well, more like plummeting—headfirst and harder than ever before.
It is only the third time we’ve been together, and already, this lover of mine has hopped on a plane from Chicago to spend a few days with me in Paris.
I’m not sure if he understands how much his presence by my side, in my beloved city, means to me. Or how each touch of his strong hands, each adoring smile, each endearing tilt of his head is healing this broken heart of mine.
Divorce has a way of shattering hearts like nothing else. And mine is no exception. It has only been a few months since I left my husband—the man I have loved for twelve years, the man I still love, despite my choice to leave our dying marriage—and I know these days in Paris with my lover will be my only happy ones for some time.
We’ve spent this crisp fall day strolling hand in hand along the hilly streets of Montmartre, devouring croissants aux amandes and pains au chocolat, stealing kisses in abandoned courtyards, sipping espresso at hilltop cafés, flirting with every word, every breath, and falling ever so hopelessly in love.
Although neither of us wants to admit it yet.