Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novels
Today we are visiting with Josee Renard, author of Part Time Lovers, the lovely
man cover above. Anyone can tell from the cover that this is a good book! Anyways….I asked Josee to answer a few questions so that we can get to know her better and find out more about her book and her writing. Here’s what she had to say!
Barb – If someone else wrote a blurb about your book what would it say?
Josee – Wow, talk about starting off with the impossible question. I have absolutely no idea except maybe to say that no matter what your sexual fantasy might be, you’re likely to find it within the pages of Part Time Lovers.
Barb – Tell me a little about yourself
Josee – I live in downtown Vancouver, a block from the ocean and four blocks from all three of the offices where I spend a fair bit of my time. My favorite bars and restaurants are all within walking distance, as is the beach – which is where I go when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m confused or depressed or stuck in a book. I live with a very handsome clotheshorse – he’s Persian and he owns somewhere around 70 ties and maybe a hundred and fifty shirts, filed in his closet by color and season. We have a lot of fun together – and this from a woman who reached (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) quite a mature age without wanting to live with anybody else. I work freelance as a paralegal, teach both writing and to paralegals, and love movies, books, art and theatre. I like to be busy – good thing, too, because I always am. We’re both very social so we know everybody in our neighborhood and spend a lot of time with friends.
Barb – Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
Josee – I’m a city girl so if I could live anywhere in the world I would split my time between New York and a whole bunch of other cities. I’d live 6 months in New York, then each year I’d pick another of my favorite cities and live there for the other six months – San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, New Orleans, Venice, Barcelona. And if I got tired of those cities? I’d find another one – I haven’t been to Berlin and that’s definitely on my list, as is St. Peterburg (though definitely in the summer!). And I think, if I had that much money, I’d try London for six months. It’s not been my favorite city – way too expensive – but if I had enough money, I’d spend six months there. And then there’s Chicago, which I also love, and… I suspect I’d need about forty years to get to all the cities I want to spend time in. No resorts for me, I love the buzz of the city.
Barb – Who are your cheerleaders? Who keeps you writing?
Josee – I’m really lucky. I have plenty of cheerleaders – I have friends and family who don’t write who support me in every possible way. But the people who keep me writing are my writing friends – they won’t let me give up and they understand that when I’m having a bad day and whining about something that it doesn’t mean I’ll give it up – it just means I need someone to complain to who understands.
Barb – When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate and with whom?
Josee – I actually don’t remember celebrating my first sale – which was, I think, a poem to a small literary magazine, followed by many short stories and poems to journals all over North America. It wasn’t until I got my first two book contract that I had a terrific book launch party at my favorite art gallery and invited all my friends (writing friends and other friends) and family – they came from all over. Food and wine and just a great time. They’d all been so supportive of me on my journey to getting published that I wanted to treat them to a great party as much as I wanted to celebrate getting published.
Barb – What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
Josee – Hanging in there to the end – I always have a problem at exactly the same point in any book (story, novella, novel) – when I have to write the paragraph that makes the ending inevitable. I HATE IT. It’s because of the way I write – I’m a complete and total fogwalker. I begin every book with nothing more than a phrase, a title or a sentence and have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. I might know it’s going to be erotica or women’s fiction, I might know I have to write a short story or a novella or a novel, but other than that I just sit down and start writing. I take every single day on faith. But at some point I get to the point where a single sentence will lead to the end and I HATE writing that sentence. That’s the place where I have the biggest problem – because once I write it, I know the ending. And I hate knowing what’s going to happen.
Barb – What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
Josee – Writing a perfect sentence. Writing a scene I didn’t expect and realizing that I’d actually set it up without knowing it. Having one of those days when it’s – not easy, I don’t think it’s easy very often – absolutely satisfying. Getting to the final part of the book and typing the sentence that finishes it without having idea it was coming – that happens to me way more often than not.
Barb – How long did it taken you to write your current book ?
Josee – These 10 linked stories – about 80K – took me about 5 months to write, though during the same time I wrote some 70 blogs, three short stories to deadline, did major revisions to a book that were requested by an editor who was looking at it, plus worked pretty much full time, had a relationship, did some major volunteer work for my RWA chapter, spent time with my friends and two long weekends at writing conferences. I loved it – I always work better when I’m busy.
Barb – Who is your favorite character in your new release?
Josee – There are a whole lot of characters in these 10 stories – and I have a favorite character in each story, which means there are a whole lot of characters I love in this book. If I had to pick one single character? I’d probably pick Jeanne – she’s an older Frenchwoman who was married for many years and, after her husband’s death, felt as if she’d lost her sexuality. She goes to Part Time Lovers to find someone who will convince her she’s still sexy. She’s modeled on Jeanne Moreau when she was getting older – my Jeanne is fearless, sexy and smart and oh-so-French.
Barb – Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Josee – I don’t see it when I’m writing it – but if I read something a year or so later, I see all the characteristics that I’ve given my characters that remind me of me. I think what they mostly have in common with me is their background, their comfortableness with solitude, and their love of men – lots of them (not all at the same time), their addiction to books.
Barb – What was your favorite scene?
Josee – My favorite scene, I think, was when Mercy walked into my favorite restaurant – the whole series is set in Vancouver – to meet a client of Part Time Lovers (Mercy and Jules often get involved with their clients) and found he was the boy become a man, who she’d fallen in love with and never dated in high school.
Barb – What book is currently on your nightstand? What do you think if it?
Josee – I actually have five or six books on my nightstand. I have a book of Susanna Kearsley’s called Every Secret Thing. I love her books because they remind me of one of my favorite writers from when I was teenager – Mary Stewart. I think Kearsley (who is also a Canadian) may be even better so now I’m reading her older books. A book of poetry by Raymond Carver. I always have a poetry book on the go – sometimes it’s exactly what I need and Carver’s one of my favorites. I’ve got Keith Richard’s biography Life – and I admit I’m forcing myself to keep going. I’m not a Rolling Stones fan but every single person I knew who read it, raved about it, so I’m persisting. Right now it’s pretty boring. I’m a huge re-reader so I also have – for the fourth of fifth time – Nora Roberts’ Northern Lights, I love her romantic suspense and I devour them when I’m too tired to read something new. I also have Michael Ondaatje’s new book, The Cat’s Table, which I’m saving until I’ve finished all the things I have to do before I can devote a whole day to it. He’s one of my heroes, so I can hardly wait to read it – I heard him at a reading and so I’ve heard the first 20 pages or so already.
Barb – How can readers stay in touch?
Josee – Links:
You can find Josee at:
Barb – Where is your work available?
I’d like to thank Josee for dropping by. I certainly think that her book sounds quite interesting and something that I’m going to have pick up soon. I’ve not read a book that is set in a city so close to where I live! I wonder how much I’ll recognize!