Marie Laval is another one if Choc-Lit’s international writers. I am really looking forward to catching up with Marie and learning all about her books and her life across the pond.
Bonjour, Marie and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I am really looking forward to learning more about your book “Escape to The Little Chateau.
What inspired you to write “Escape to The Little Chateau?”
It was a family holiday in Provence, Clare. Being from Lyon, I often holidayed in the South of France as a child, and I always loved the area – the sunshine, the picturesque villages, the vibrant colours and the riot of scents… and the fountains. There are fountains everywhere – some were very grand and ornate like in Aix-en-Provence, others a plain stone trough with only an old tap spurting fresh water.
One fountain in particular captured my imagination. It stood on a secluded square in the small seaside town of Cassis where we had stopped for an impromptu picnic. As soon as I saw it and read its Latin inscription, I knew I had the basis of a plot.
What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?
I liked the idea of the panel reading submission and making a recommendation, and they have fantastic authors who I love and admire. Having been with Choc Lit for a couple of years now, I am delighted with the care and attention they bring to the whole editing and publishing process and with the gorgeous covers they have designed for my novels. They are great publisher to work with.
If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?
I would tell myself to be patient! It takes a long time from the moment you send your story to your publisher to the day the book is published…
If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?
I do have a full-time job as a teacher and I fit my writing around it, but I can’t ever imagine not writing…I always have so many stories swirling in my mind, so many stories I want to tell…It is also a great community to belong to. I have made such great friends, some I meet regularly (although not in the last few months, unfortunately), and others I only ‘talk’ to on social media.
How did you deal with rejections when you started out?
It wasn’t easy, Clare. In fact at one time my partner said that I should stop writing because I was only making myself miserable and I had enough rejection letters to wallpaper the backroom! I didn’t listen to him, of course. I carried on writing and submitting, and one day, I had an offer of publication…
What would you say to someone who wants to write?
Read lots, attend workshops if you can (although these may be virtual in the current circumstances), talk to people, and most of all write every day in order to keep in touch with your characters and their emotions.
Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?
I write whenever I can, which means that I often doze off on my keyboard late in the evening. One of my favourite and most productive times for writing is early Saturday and Sunday morning when my family is still asleep and the house is quiet.
Which authors inspired you to write?
There are so many it would be impossible to choose, but my passion for writing started at an early age, when I still lived in France, so the authors who influenced me the most where French. Joseph Kessel, Colette, Barbey d’Aurevilly, Maupassant, to name but a few. As a teenager, I also loved Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins-Clark, and I devoured Harlequin romances!
Would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?
It would be a dream come true if the story was ever adapted for the cinema or television…
However I cannot think of anyone I would cast as Fabien, except a young Alain Delon or a young Jude Law, which of course would be impossible!
As for Amy, it would have to be Amanda Seyfried. She is brilliant and has a very appealing combination of vulnerability and quirkiness…
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I do have a number of projects I am hoping to complete in the next few months – three romance novels, including a Christmas story for next year. I am also hoping to revise and republish three historical romance novels which are all very dear to my heart.
More About Marie
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling LITTLE PINK TAXI was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. A PARIS FAIRY TALE was published in July 2019, followed by BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC in November 2019. She also writes short stories for the bestselling Miss Moonshine anthologies, and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.
@MarueLaval1 Marie Laval Author
Will Amy’s dreams of a Provençal escape come true?
There are many reasons Amy Carter is determined to make Bellefontaine, her farmhouse hotel in the French countryside, a success. Of course, there’s the time and money she’s put in to making it beautiful, but she also has something to prove – particularly to people like Fabien Coste.
Fabien is the owner of the nearby château, and he might just be the most arrogant, patronising man Amy has ever met … unfortunately, he’s also the most handsome.
But as rumours circulate in the local community and secrets about the old farmhouse begin to reveal themselves, Amy quickly sees the less idyllic side of life at Bellefontaine. Could Fabien be the man to help prevent her Provençal dream from turning into a nightmare?
This was previously published as A Spell in Provence by Accent Press in 2015. This is a revised, edited and updated version. Published October 2020 by Choc Lit.
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Check out Marie Laval on the Choc-Lit website for more information on her books!