A visit to The French Village Diaries

Courtesy of The French Village Diaries

Courtesy of The French Village Diaries

Yesterday I hung out with Jacqui at her French Village Diaries website where she posts great bits about cycling in her beautiful area of Poitou-Charentes, delicious recipes and other interesting vignettes about life in France. She also reviews books that have a French theme.

Did you see what she had to say about my new novel? Click here if you missed it. Her giveaway is still on so it’s not too late join in!

If you haven’t visited her blog yet, I highly recommend you do.

Here’s the chat we had!

Friday, July 5, 2013

France et Moi with author Patricia Sands

Courtesy of The French Village Diaries

Courtesy of The French Village Diaries

Welcome to ‘France et Moi’ where this week, continuing on from my Book Worm Wednesday review of The Promise of Provence I am talking to author Patricia Sands about what France means to her, as part of her virtual book tour. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a Kindle ebook copy of this book. Just email FrenchVillageDiaries@gmail.com with The Promise of Provence as the email subject by Wednesday 10th July when my Dad will pick the winner from the hat during our final aperos of their holiday.
FVD: Firstly, I think France is a special place and it is famed for many things including its cheese, wine and diverse holiday locations plus, dare I say it, strikes and dog poo littered streets. What do you think makes France so very unique and ‘French’?
Patricia: Where to begin? There are so many special aspects to this beautiful country and culture! What constantly takes my breath away is how centuries of history surround me wherever I go. Obviously we see it in the architecture of towns and villages but also in the traditions, religious and otherwise, that continue to be celebrated, in songs that are sung, stories that are told, in the markets and even in the games of boules/petanques that continue to be a focus in the town squares. I love that!
2) What is your fondest memory of time spent in France?
Patricia: Ha! Every visit is memorable but in 2011 my husband and I lived in Antibes for five months, just on the edge of the old town. We seldom needed a car as we could walk everywhere or hop on the coastal train just up the street. My heart is still there!
3) Your second novel The Promise of Provence is set in Provence so would this be your favourite holiday location in France?
Patricia: I do love the pastoral countryside of Provence but truly my first choice is the Côte d’Azur, Antibes in particular. The Mediterranean adds another dimension to life there. Having a beautiful beach just a few minutes’ walk away or taking a boat cruise along the coast are lovely options to have on a hot summer day.
4) When did your love for France start?
Patricia: After university, I spent a year backpacking around Europe with friends and working from time to time. I was 21 years old and fell madly in love with France. I lived in Quebec for a few years as a child so already had a slight grasp of the language, which helped. I was simply captivated by the beauty everywhere we went and amazed that one country could offer so much variety from one departement to the next. I have been fortunate to return many times throughout my life. Forty-five years later that love has only grown!
5) How does France inspire your writing?
Patricia: I know I see France through the eyes of a romantic, as my French friends constantly tell me, but I see beauty everywhere including the crumbling ruins, peeling paint and uneven cobblestones. I’m also a photographer and the photo ops are endless. I love all the old doors and ancient keyholes! It all galvanizes me to sit down and write. When I was writing in Antibes for five months, as I sat at my computer I looked out over the harbor, across the Baie des Anges to Nice and the Alps beyond. That view with the spectacular changing light was more inspiring than I can describe.
6) Imagine you are sitting outside a French café at 10.00am on a sunny morning watching the world go by, what do you order from the waiter?
Patricia: Un cappuccino, de l’eau, un croissant, s’il vous plait.
7) What is your favourite thing to buy in a Boulangerie/Patisserie?
Patricia: a.m. – Pain aux raisins   p.m. – Tarte aux citron meringuée.
8) France has many different cheeses, a silly question, but which French cheese are you? A hard and mature Tome, a soft, fresh and lively goat cheese, the creamy and rich Camembert or maybe the salty and serious Roquefort?
Patricia: I guess at this point in life I would have to be an ‘entre deux’ Cantal that has aged a little longer! Its strength and taste increase with age and I like to think that way about life.
9) Can you describe your perfect French apero for us the drink, the nibbles, the location and the company?
Patricia: Bien sur! Pastis (Ricard) served with lightly salted peanuts on a terrace in a shaded square of a town or village, with my husband and other friends, chatting and laughing as we watch the late afternoon activity or local boules contests.
10) Do you have any plans to visit France again soon?
Patricia: I am counting the days to September 12 when we will spend a month in Nice. I am going to have a book launch party at the English Book Shop in Antibes and am excited beyond words about that! Come and join us! (FVD: now wouldn’t that be lovely, having read your book, I need to visit Antibes!) In 2014 we hope to spend an extended time in France once again and will work it around the 10-day women’s tour I will be leading in June.
11) Do you have any current projects you would like to tell my readers about?
Patricia: I have had many readers ask when my next novel will be out so I am motivated to make progress on that. The story is simmering now and will be partly set in the south of France once again. There is just so much to write about!
Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about France and you.
Patricia: It was great fun! Thanks for asking!
Promise of Provence Banner
You can find Patricia on her blogwebsiteFacebook,Facebook pageTwitter and Goodreads.
It is such a buzz talking about places we love to visit. Where is your favourite spot and what makes it that? You know I love to hear your stories … I’m waiting …


About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. What a wonderful interview Patricia! A lovely concise picture of you, your loves and passions and your writings! :0

  2. fransiweinstein says

    My favourite aperatifs are either Lilette or Pineau des Charentes on the rocks with a twist of lemon. I have some in my fridge now, in fact. Le Paradis is one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto because they serve it. Although Lilette is routinely delisted by the LCBO. Good post. Really liked the interview.

  3. Great interview – good choice for what kind of cheese you are! It must have been wonderful to live in France too 🙂

    • Patricia Sands says

      LOL – that was a great question, wasn’t it? I really had to think about it … and yes, it is wonderful spending extended time over there. The plans continue!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing, your book was a lovely read and so glad you enjoyed the interview.

  5. Terrific interview! Almost made me feel as if I experienced France with her.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Thanks, Phil! I know you are going to get over there and experience it yourself one of these years.

  6. I must agree – terrific interview.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Thanks so much, Sheri. You know exactly what I mean since you have spent so much time abroad yourself.

  7. You truly are quite the francophile, Patricia! I used to love Cantal, too, but then I became brutally lactose intolerant. A runny brie on a baguette with a glass or two (or three) of Chardonnay is another long gone pleasure.

  8. Patricia Sands says

    It’s a funny thing because I do love Canada too. Sorry to hear about the lactose issue with you … darn! The good news is you can still have the glass or two (or three) of Chardonnay!

  9. I’m looking forward to the sequel to Promise of Provence.

  10. Really enjoyed that interview, still waiting for your book to arrive from Amazon, apparently they said they are having trouble getting it from the supplier. However from all the reviews I’ve read, i am sure it will be worth waiting for!

  11. Fantastic! I felt as if I was sitting across from you sipping a glass of wine having the same conversation.

  12. Hi Patricia,
    Yes did order through Amazon.co.uk. After all the delay they said it would not be here till next Saturday,however it arrived this morning. Beautiful sunny day here, so I am off out to the garden to start reading!

I love hearing from you ~ thanks for stopping by


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