---What first got you interested in writing? I first started writing novels when I was 11 years old, in 1972. I was already a book worm and several books had inspired me : Anne Frank’s diary, “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier and the “Young Visters (sic)” by 9 year old Daisy Ashford. For my mother’s upcoming birthday, I decided to write her a novel and she was most encouraging when she read “A girl called Carey”, the 80 page, hand-written story of a poor little rich girl in 19th Century London. So from then on, I wrote a book a year for my family. I was already then firmly convinced I was going to be a writer. But I did not seek publication till 1992.
--Who or what particularly influences your work? In my teens, I was influenced by Zola, Maupassant, Baudelaire, Woolf, James, Wilde, Poe and Wharton (although I knew I could never equal them !) Nowadays, I read many contemporary writers such as Ian McEwan and Tracy Chevalier, but I try not to be influenced and to let my own voice “speak”!
---Describe your writing process.
I take notes when I am preparing a novel and while I am writing it. I write early in the morning and late at night. My first readers are my husband Nicolas and my close friends Laure and Julia, who have more or less read everything I’ve written, even the unpublished stuff ! It takes me a year or two to write a novel.
---What is the most surprising thing you have learned as a writer?That you can really reach out and touch people, in every sense of the word. And that they want to thank you for it. A wonderful discovery !
---Which of your books is your favorite and why? What a tough question ! I’m attached to all my nine novels and to my unpublished ones ! But I’d say Sarah’s Key is the book which has lit up something in my life, something that I’ll never forget.
---What kind of effect do you hope your books will have? I love it when my readers tell me “they couldn’t put my book down” and had to stay up all night to read it ! I also love it when my readers recommend my books to their friends and family.
Thank you to Contemporay Authors at http://gale.cengage.com/