Thursday, 10 September 2015

Q & A with Jennifer Bohnet

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Today I'm happy to welcome Jennifer Bohnet on Sky's Book Corner, she answered some questions for me, enjoy. 


1.   Did you always dream of being a writer? 

     Yes is the short answer. As a child I could always be found either with my nose in a book reading, oblivious to everyone and everything, or scribbling away in a notebook trying to emulate my favourite childhood authors.

2.   Your newest novel The Little Kiosk by the Sea, was published in August, what is it about? 

     The Little Kiosk By the Sea is set in Dartmouth, South Devon a favourite place of mine and one I know well. An unexpected legacy brings Harriet back to the town after thirty years, back to a childhood friendship and back to secrets she’d rather stayed forgotten. Basically its a story about how secrets from the past influence the decisions we make in the present and their consequences for the future.

3.   What was your inspiration for the book? 

     The inspiration for the book goes back a long time. I had a good friend who for several seasons managed one of the boat trip booking kiosks on the embankment at Dartmouth. The stories she told about this job were often hilarious as well as emotional. When I was writing Kiosk I constantly had a picture of Brenda in her kiosk cajoling holidaymakers into booking a river trip.

4.   Can you tell us more about the main character(s)? 

     I wanted to try writing something with characters who, although independent of each other were still somehow linked together in the overall story. I’d read and enjoyed The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson and loved the way she’d told each characters story drawing them all together by the end. So, there’s Sabine desperately fighting to save her little kiosk from closure whilst turning down her friend Owen’s proposals, time and time again. Harriet, returning to Dartmouth after thirty years, haunted by the scandal that drove her away and shocked by a legacy that threatens her relationship with her journalist daughter. Rachel, is a mysterious newcomer who has an unexpected chemistry with a local widower, and who sets in motion a chain of events she could never have predicted… And then there’s BB an American looking for his ‘English connection’. The Kiosk plays a part in all their lives.

5.   Where and when do you write your stories?

     I write in a room that was originally a garage extension of our small cottage. Richard my husband, has converted it into a cosy writing cabin for me. I’m lucky to be a full time writer these days so spend a lot of time in there in front of my computer.
6.   What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing? I love reading, cooking for friends and hunting for bargains at vide greniers - France’s equivalent of a car boot sale without the cars.

7.   Can you tell us more about your book A French Pirouette? 

     A French Pirouette was published by Carina last year. Parisian prima ballerina Suzette knows it’s time to hang up her pointe shoes before her next injury ruins her ankles for good. But dancing is all she’s ever known and she’s terrified of who she’ll be after that final curtain falls. Meanwhile, lonely Londoner Libby is pouring her life savings into buying an auberge that she and her late husband had loved visiting on holiday. It’s a huge risk that could leave her broke…as well as broken-hearted. And then there’s Brigitte who’s retired to the village for a slower pace of life, but who dreads seeing someone else run her beloved auberge. Three fresh starts…one unforgettable summer!

8.    If you could switch places with a character from a book, who would it be and why? 

     I’d love to be like Eliosa in one of my earlier Carina books, ‘You Had Me at Bonjour’. Half French half Italian, elegant and slim she is everything I long to be and know I never will!

9.    You also wrote more books for Carina UK. Can you introduce them quickly?

     I’ve written 4 books for Carina now, the last three are mentioned above. The very first one, a novella, ‘I’m Virtually Yours’ is about a virtual assistant set down in Devon again.

10.What books have most influenced your life most? 

     I’m not sure about influenced my life but 2 books I’ve read several times are Anna Seyton’s Katharine and Erica James’ Hidden Talents. Two totally different books but both brilliant in their own way.

11.What are you working on at the moment?  

     I’m waiting to hear whether Carina like my next book proposal - I’m hoping they do as I’ve written over 40K of it. I’m also working on a more mainstream novel which I can’t talk about!

12. What do you enjoy most about writing? 

     Writing The End!

13. Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why. 

     Hope I’m allowed to pick the ghost of Elisabeth David as hopefully she’d help me cook dinner and share some culinary secrets. Jill Mansell because I love the zany sense of humour in her books. Donna Leon, author of the brilliant Brunetti detective books set in Venice because I can quiz her about the must see places off the tourist circuit for when I eventually get to visit.

14. What does your perfect day like like?

     My perfect day would be an early summer day spent on St Honarat, one of the islands off the coast of Cannes, surrounded by all my family. We’d explore the island before lazing around chatting and drinking rosé before having a wonderful meal at the restaurant there. In the evening we’d watch the fireworks across the bay.

15. Imagine The Little Kiosk by the Sea would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters? 

     I think Juliette Binoche would make a good Sabine and Kristin Scott Thomas a wonderful Harriet. I can see Catherine Zeta Jones as Rachel and Aaron Eckhart as her co-star again as Johnnie.

16.  Coffee or tea? Coffee
17.  Paperback or e-reader? Both play a big part in my life.
18.  Mountains or the sea? Sea.
19.  Summer or winter? Winter.
20.  Sweet or salty? Sweet.

About the author

I’ve lived in France for 16 years now. After 11 years down on the Cote d’Azur where Richard was a guardien for a villa, we moved from the Mediterranean coast to a small quirky cottage in Finistere, Brittany. A bit of a culture shock to say the least! When I’m not writing I love reading, cooking and having friends around for lunch - lunches that follow the French tradition of lasting for several hours. 

Amazon link for The LittleKiosk By the Sea:


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