After reading and loving Dear Dylan in 2010 so I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the blog tour for Siobhan’s second book for Electric Monkey, Finding Cherokee Brown. And here to tell us about why she set parts of the novel in Paris, please welcome Siobhan Curham!
Perfect Day in Paris
One of the things I love most about being a writer is that you can set your books in your favourite places, and take a virtual trip there every time you write about them. You also have the perfect excuse to visit those places in the name of ‘research’! Part of my new novel, Finding Cherokee Brown is set in Paris for exactly that reason. Finding Cherokee Brown is all about a teenage girl finding the courage to stand up to her bullies and reinvent herself as a feisty heroine. When I started planning the book I knew that I wanted to send the main character, Cherokee, on a road-trip as part of her journey of self discovery. But where should she go? To me, at that time, the answer was obvious. I had just gone to Paris for the first time, and fallen in love with it, pretty much at first sight. Any city where you are positively encouraged to people-watch outside cafes where you are positively encouraged to eat chocolate and cheese and drink red wine for breakfast, lunch and dinner was always going to have me at ‘bonjour’.
Paris is such a beautiful and interesting city, the perfect place to lose yourself and explore, and a carnival for the senses. From the stunning Louvre, Notre Dame and Sacré Coeur, to the second-hand bookstores in hidden away backstreets, the lively markets, the even livelier Metro, the galleries, the shops, the constant smell of freshly baked bread, coffee and cigarettes, the twisting footpaths and crumbling graves of Père Lachaise. . . I could go on and on. So it was a no-brainer when it came to sending Cherokee on her adventure. And it was wonderful to fall in love with Paris all over again, writing about it through her eyes.
One of the most magical things to have happened since I wrote Finding Cherokee Brown was getting a book deal for it in France. It was published there last month, slightly ahead of the UK publication. You can imagine my delight when my French publisher invited me to Paris to help publicise the launch. The entire day I was there – having lunch with the publishing team, signing books, being interviewed by French journalists – I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it was actually happening. The very first time I went to Paris, I’d dreamt that one day I would end up working there in some way. Now here I was, stepping into that dream – and fulfilling the strap-line for Finding Cherokee Brown:
“everything changes when you dare to dream.”
Thank you so much Siobhan and Jenny at Egmont for organising the tour. Make you to come back over the next week to read my review of Finding Cherokee Brown and you can see what I thought of Dear Dylan while you’re at it!