What inspired you to write this series Part Time Lovers?
I don’t have a schedule of any kind in terms of work—I do contract work as a paralegal and a teacher, but it means I have no idea from week to week what I’m going to be doing and how much I’m going to be doing. So I wanted to have at least one thing that was set and I came up with this idea from the title of a Stevie Wonder song that was on the radio when I was thinking about what I wanted to do. I originally proposed a story a month—each of which would also have a Stevie Wonder song title—but my publisher asked me if I’d be interested in doing it as a serial, coming out week after week. I loved that idea (made me feel a little bit like Dickens) and I said yes.
What was the hardest part to write in this series?
The hardest part was Week 9—It’s Magic—because I had set up the idea for it in the very first story. Part Time Lovers has an office in an old, majestic hotel in Vancouver and they often use the rooms in the hotel for their clients. I came up with the idea that there was a legend around one of the rooms, a pair of historical lovers who always met there. Right from the beginning I wanted to write their story, the story about their relationship in that room, but I had absolutely no idea how to get into it. I had about four lines in that first story about them but I just couldn’t figure out where to start.
How/when did you start writing?
I think I’m a late bloomer. I went to university late and I had an English professor who said that I wrote essays like they were fiction and maybe I should try writing that. I tried it and I liked it. I still got my degree but I also wrote poetry and short fiction. It was a long time before I started writing novels and, I have to admit, I still love writing poetry and short stories. I often use them as palate cleansers between projects. I think that early training still effects the way I think about words and writing.
Are you interested in writing for other genres?
My alter ego, Kate Austin, writes women’s fiction. Between the two of us, we’ve tried almost everything. The one thing I’d love to write and can’t—because I couldn’t plot my way out of a paper bag—is romantic suspense, which I love.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King. Jane Austen. Alice Hoffman. Michael Ondaatje. Suzanne Brockmann. Neil Gaiman. These are probably at the top of my list but I could add dozens of others. I read 350-400 books a year so that means I read a lot of different people and a lot of different genres. I read poetry and romance and erotica and literary fiction. I read non-fiction and classics.
If you weren’t an author, what do you think you would be doing instead?
I’ve done a little bit of everything over my lifetime—worked in the brewing industry and in the art business, worked as a paralegal, and as a teacher of writing. I never have any trouble finding something I like to do, though I think, if I went back to work full-time I might try to find a job in the hospitality industry—organizing conferences or events?
Who are your biggest supporters?
My friends—both writing and not, my family, my agent, my partner. Everyone, since the moment I started writing, has been incredibly supportive. This is a tough business, full of stress and rejection, so having a support system is imperative. I couldn’t do it without them. They give me a shoulder to cry on, someone to celebrate with, someone to talk me through the highs and the lows, someone to listen when I’m ready to give it all up.
Now time for some quickie fun questions
Ebook or Paperback?
Definitely paperback, or hardcover—I have thousands (and I’m not kidding) of books in my house, on shelves, piled up on any flat surface. I have to admit (and all my friends are going, YES, FINALLY!) I’m going to buy a Kindle soon, mostly because so many of my friends are writing only in ebook form.
M/M or M/F or M/M/F?
I don’t have a favorite, it just depends on the day and the mood I’m in but I have to say that some of my favorite books or stories are M/M/F – there’s just something about that intense focus on me (because of course I put myself in place of the woman). Definitely turns me on.
Writing or Reading?
Reading is pure pleasure for me, pure entertainment and it’s an addiction. A day without reading is like a day without… well, you fill in the blank. Writing is joy, but complicated, hard-working joy, if that makes sense. So I love them both, but reading? I love it without reservation or hesitation.
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Toss up between Cary Grant, Denzel Washington and David Strathairn. I like them all for different reasons. If I can only pick one, it’ll be Cary Grant – North by Northwest, The Philadelphia Story, I could go on and on.
The English Patient. I loved that movie, loved the book that inspired it. It was incredibly beautiful, moving, insightful, it all worked for me. The cast was terrific and I have to admit that I still can’t choose between Juliette Binoche and Naveen Andrews, they’re both soooo sexy.
If you had the chance have one date with ANYONE, who would it be and why?
Leonard Cohen. This is one of the easiest questions in the world for me to answer as my answer’s always the same—Leonard’s my favorite singer, favorite songwriter, favorite poet, one of the sexiest men in the world. Plus there’s that whole dichotomy to the way he lives his life—Buddhist / hedonist. Who wouldn’t want to spend an evening with a man like that, drinking red wine and talking about whatever?
Thank you Josee for being here, it was a pleasure!
|Josée Renard writes women’s fiction, magic realism, paranormal and erotica. She writes short fiction, poetry and novels. She also writes women’s fiction as Kate Austin. You can check out her alter ego at www.kateaustin.
Find out more about Josée in her wordpress / website / facebook / twitter / Cobblestone Press
Today Josee is giving away one ebook copy of Superstition to a reader. This giveaway is open for everyone. Just leave a comment and link to profile or email address to win this book. Giveaway is open till 20 October.
Mercy met Rafa, a Spanish exchange student, in high school. Her teenage crush went nowhere thanks to the jealousy of her best friend, Jules. It’s time to make up for denying her what she wanted so badly, so Jules has set Mercy up with Rafa while he’s in Vancouver on business.
Mercy’s nervous about her blind date; Rafa’s just excited to see her again. Dinner is great, but neither of them can wait to get down to the sexy business they’d missed all those years ago.