Friday, August 14, 2020

Interview with Jeanne Mackin, THE LAST COLLECTION

What would we find under your bed?
Dust, I’m afraid.  And nothing else. I don’t like to store things under by bed.  I worry that they will seep out in the night and influence my dreams.  Look, I never said I was a fully rational being!  Seriously, I’m a bit of a neatness freak and can’t stand excess clutter. It looks and feels chaotic and my whole purpose in life seems to be about creating or restoring order, in bedrooms as well as in plots.

What was the scariest moment of your life?
My husband and I used to travel quite a bit in his Cardinal, a small airplane which he piloted himself. I’ve not a good flier. Okay.  I’ll be honest.  I hate flying.  Every trip in an airplane for me must begin with a strong Bloody Mary or two. Well, we ran into a storm somewhere between here and Haiti and at one point the plane flipped upside down, the winds were so fierce. And then the engine quit. We were tossed around like a leaf in a hurricane. I saw death coming for me. But my husband was a great flier, a champion, in fact. He knew what to do, and he got us safely home.  When I got out of that plane, I kissed the ground. Literally.  And then I kissed him.

Do you listen to music while writing?  If so what?
I always have music on, writing or not.  I listen to all kinds from Bach to Brel to Bang Tango, depending on the mood I want to create. When writing my Paris-set novels, though, I like to listen to the great singers of the period, Josephine Baker, Charles Trenet, Charles Boyer.  When the American expatriate Josephine sings her great standard, J’ai Deux Amours – “I have two loves, my country and Paris” – I always get chills.  It is the voice of a generation, the feelings of the 1920’s and 1930’s put into a single great song.

What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
What all writers would like.  To earn a fortune and win many prizes.  But like most writers, I’ll be content with this: to finish the novel I’m working on now.  To meet the challenges of a new plot and new characters. To continue to learn about myself through creating the lives of other people.  And no, I won’t tell you what the new book is, not  till I’m through the early drafts but I’ll admit  I’m listening to Josephine Baker again.

How long did it take you to write this book?
Too long, by a year. I finish most novels in a three-year window or less, but things happened in my life that slowed me down when I was writing The Last Collection. A good friend, my best friend of many years died, and I had to put myself back together before writing fiction seemed important again. When I did return to the novel and the work of writing it, I realized that was a major part of my healing process. We go on, and we continue to love what we loved before the loss. I love writing, inventing.

Thanks for letting me visit your page! Have a great day.

An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.
Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel’s are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli’s bold, experimental, and surreal.
When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he insists on buying her a couture dress—a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s beautiful and socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs as well, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps. 
Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved with Schiaparelli and Chanel’s personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and the looming threat of World War II bear down on Paris.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jeanne Mackin ‘s latest novel, The Last Collection, A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel takes the reader to Paris, just before world war II, and the intense, dangerous rivalry between the two queens of fashion. Her previous novels include A Lady of Good Family, the award winning The Beautiful American, The Sweet By and By, Dreams of Empire, The Queen’s War, and The Frenchwoman
Her historical fictions explore the lives of strong women who change their worlds…because we know the world always needs a lot of change! She has worked all the traditional ‘writers’ jobs’ from waitressing to hotel maid, anything that would leave her a few hours each morning for writing. Most recently, she taught creative writing at the graduate level.  She has traveled widely, in Europe and the Middle East and can think of no happier moment than sitting in a Paris cafĂ©, drinking coffee or a Pernod, and simply watching, while scribbling in a notebook.

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  1. thanks so much for hosting. Happy reading!

  2. this sounds really good, thanks for sharing

  3. How did your book change from the first draft to the final draft?

  4. Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

  6. Are there any authors that inspired your writing style?

  7. Thanks for the opportunity to win! It sounds like a really awesome book


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