To promote the release of her first book, Mistress of the Revolution, historical novelist Catherine Delors is touring the blogosphere this month. She was kind enough to give me some of her time and answer my questions. It's a pleasure to have her here on Blogcritics today.
When did you decide you wanted to become an author? Do you have another job besides writing?
I didn’t really “decide” to become an author. That would have been too intimidating. But, after much hesitation, I tried my hand at a few chapters. I had friends read them to see if my English was good enough. They said it was, so I began stitching those chapters into a narrative.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
I was a voracious reader. I remember going to the library as a kid and panicking at the idea that soon I would have read everything in there, and would be left with nothing to do!
There were books I used to read many, many times as a child. The Odyssey, Don Quixote, the Arabian Nights, Perrault’s fairy tales, Balzac’s Eugenie Grandet. The wonderful thing about these books is that they can be read by adults and children alike. They delve so deep into the human soul that their appeal is universal.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
The idea came from a conversation I had with my late father about the name of a street in Vic, the little mountain town where I had spent all of my summers as a child. It was named, my father said, after Pierre-André Coffinhal, Vice President of the Revolutionary Tribunal. I knew nothing of that character, though the street itself had always been familiar to me.
So I began to look into Coffinhal’s life, and I found a perfect novel character.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
I am not an outline type of person. For Mistress of the Revolution, I didn’t even know what the story would be like when I started. I knew that Coffinhal would appear in the novel. I also knew that the narrator would be a noblewoman and she would write from exile in England. That was it. The rest came along the way. So I guess I fall into the “stream of consciousness” category.