Say bonjour to writer and blogger Paulita Kincer, another woman who shares my love of France. She has traveled there many times and still finds more to lure her back.
Paulita has an M.A. in journalism from American University and currently teaches college English in Columbus, Ohio, where she lives with her three teenagers, two cats and one husband.
Her novel, The Summer of France, was recently published and Paulita is traveling about on a blog tour organized by … drum roll please … ta daaaa …
It’s our good fortune she found time to drop by for a chat. I’ve set out some lightly chilled white wine and rosé along with a selection of delicious temptations from the local patisserie.
Please help yourself … don’t be shy, take two … and join us!
P.S. ~ Rosé or Pastis – which do you prefer?
P.K. ~ Pastis is always a fiery surprise which I enjoy on occasion, but I’m mostly a sweet wine drinker, so you’d likely find rosé in my hands before dinner.
P.S. ~ When did your connection to France begin and how often do you return?
P.K. ~ I took French in high school and college and then did a student tour between my junior and senior years of college. But France and I had a rocky start when I desperately needed a bathroom near Notre Dame and found only a Turkish toilet – you know, those toilets that have two places for feet to go and a drain in the bottom. However, I got a second chance with France a few years later when I went over as an au pair for three months. I haven’t lost my love for all things French since then.
With two kids in college, I don’t get a chance to travel to France as often as I’d like, but they will graduate some day, and I’m already planning my next trip. I want to try barging on the canals in Burgundy and another bicycle trip in Provence.
P.S. ~ When did writing first become a serious focus for you?
P.K. ~ I’ve been a serious writer since I can remember. I have dozens of notebooks filled with my childhood writing; During summer vacations, I would take my notebook and a peanut butter sandwich and scour the neighborhood for adventures I could write about. I majored in journalism in college so I could earn a living as a writer, and eventually I started writing novels.
P.S. ~ Are you a plotter or a pantser? What works for you?
P.K. ~ I’m definitely a pantser, which means, I don’t employ any discipline! I start off with an idea and characters and set them on their way. Most of the time they head in directions I don’t even expect. The Summer of France started off as a novel about a bed and breakfast in Mackinac Island, Michigan. What it turned out to be was a novel about family running a bed and breakfast in the south of France and discovering secrets about each other.
P.S. ~ Is The Summer of France your first novel?
P.K. ~ The Summer of France is my first published novel. I’ve written two other novels that aren’t in print yet.
P.S. ~ What inspired the story?
P.K. ~ I started with the idea of running a bed and breakfast, and I wondered how I could make that work in France. I came up with the uncle who had fought in World War II then never returned to the U.S. because he married a French woman. A story on NPR alerted me to the missing art from World War II and led to the complicated secrets that Uncle Martin hid from his wife and family. That story twist helped flesh out the other characters who were searching for the art, including the delicious Christophe.
P.S. ~ What future writing projects are you planning?
P.K. ~ I hope to publish I See London, I See France later this summer. When Annie’s husband walks out in a snit, she sells her minivan and takes her three kids to Europe in search of the Frenchman who got away. She wants to figure out if she chose the right guy or should be living a different life.
I’m also working on a sequel to The Summer of France.
P.S. ~ What, along with writing, are your primary interests, hobbies, sports, family activities?
P.K. ~ I run most mornings. It’s not like I love it that much, but I try to stay healthy. I also have some friends I run with on Saturday mornings. We call it our group therapy on the trail. My husband and I enjoy bicycling and take ballroom dancing classes.
I have three kids, two in college, so I’m lavishing attention on that final kid at home.
I teach college English and the students give me a lot of energy.
I love to watch college football and Toddlers and Tiaras. I know those shows are diametrically opposed, but there you have it.
P.S. ~ You are one busy lady and life sounds very good! I wish you continued success with your writing and I know we’ll have lots of opportunities in the future to swap stories about France. À bientôt!
P.K. ~ Thanks for the opportunity to share my passion for writing with you all.
The Summer of France Synopsis
When Fia Jennings loses her job at the local newspaper, she dreams of bonding with her teenage twins. As she realizes she may be too late to pull her family closer, her husband Grayson pressures her to find another job to pay the increasing bills. Relief comes with a phone call from Fia’s great Uncle Martin who runs a bed and breakfast in Provence. Uncle Martin wants Fia to venture to France to run the B&B so he and his wife Lucie can travel. He doesn’t tell Fia about the secret he hid in the house after fighting in World War II, and he doesn’t mention the people who are tapping his phone and following him, hoping to find the secret.
After much cajoling, Fia whisks her family to France and is stunned when Uncle Martin and Aunt Lucie leave the same day for a Greek cruise. She’s thrown into the minutiae of a running the B&B without the benefit of speaking the language. Her dreams of family bonding time fade as her teenagers make French friends. Fia’s husband Grayson begins touring the countryside with a sophisticated French woman, and Fia resists the distractions of Christophe, a fetching French man. Why the whirlwind of French welcome, Fia wonders after she comes home from a day at the beach in Nice to find someone has ransacked the B&B.
Fia analyzes Uncle Martin’s obscure phone calls, trying to figure out this WW II hero’s secret. Can she uncover the secret and relieve Uncle Martin’s guilt while building the family she’s always dreamed of?
(No violence. No graphic sex, some sexual situations.)
Publication Date: October 2012
230 pages, Oblique Presse, available on Lulu.com , ISBN-10: 1300257334, ISBN-13: 978-1300257332