We are excited to welcome author, Liza Perrat, to the nest today. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of this post.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Liza: The advice I’ve been given so many times: read, read and read more. Scribble down a quick first draft without breathing, then edit, edit and edit more, until your red eyes are crossed. Write the story you want to write.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Can you describe your novel in five words?
Liza: A heart-breaking struggle against evil.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Where did you get the idea for this novel?
Liza: One Sunday afternoon walk around my rural village, following the pathway of the nineteen crosses, I reached cross number fifteen –– a small, granite cross named croix à gros ventre (cross with a big belly), on the banks of the Garon River. Engraved with two entwined tibias and a heart shape, it is dated 1717, and commemorates two children who drowned in the Garon River. I was intrigued. Who were these children? How old were they? How had they drowned, and where are they buried?
From the local historical organisation, I learned the children were four and five years old, and are buried in the cemetery of a neighbouring village. I felt the urge to write the story of these lost little ones –– to give them a family, a village, an identity. The village of Lucie-sur-Vionne was thus born, the Vionne River and the Charpentier family farm –– L’Auberge des Anges (The Inn of Angels).
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Why did you choose to write in this genre?
Liza: I have always been an avid reader, and when I moved to France twenty years ago from Australia, which has such a recent past, I was enchanted with Europe’s antiquity, age-old culture, monuments and beguiling tales of the past. I became interested in creative writing about twelve years ago, and, unconsciously I think, writing about history was the next logical step.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: What was the road to publication like for you?
Liza: Like that of most authors: long, hard and rocky. I managed to garner the interest of a literary agent with my second novel. She liked the writing, but said the plot was all wrong, and would need a total rewrite.
I then joined an online writing group and laboured over my third book until, finally, I felt I had a novel fit for public eyes. But my agent was unable to arouse interest from the big publishers. So, what to do? Self-publishing still had the stigma of poorly-written, shabbily put-together books, not to mention the fearsome task of taking it on alone.
Three of us from the writing group then got together and discussed our indie publishing reservations. We wanted to create books that would be indistinguishable from those professionally produced and, after months of discussion, our authors’ collective, Triskele Books (www.triskelebooks.com) was born.
To maintain our quality brand, we work together. Manuscript critiques, editing and proofreading are far more effective in a threesome, rather than trusting one’s own unobjective eyes. And we proofread each other’s books and try to make each one as professional as possible in both content and design.
The first three Triskele books went on sale in June 2012, and the second three will be launched early December 2012. In the networking and marketing world, our threesome is proving more valuable than ever. Each book displays an ad for the others, and we share the workload whereby each member is allocated certain tasks. The independent publishing process has proved hard, frustrating and exciting, but we’ve taken comfort in the knowledge that these mammoth tasks are far less daunting when shared.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite bird? (This is a Reading Lark tradition.)
Liza: The Australian kookaburra is definitely my favourite bird. It reminds me of a home I haven’t lived in for twenty years. Kookaburras are best known for their unmistakable call, which sounds like loud, echoing, mocking human laughter. It is an icon of my country and Aussies swear they can predict everything by the Kookaburra’s laugh, from the weather, their rheumatism, to the lottery numbers.
About the Author:
About the Author:
Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years. When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator.
Since completing a creative writing course ten years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.
She has completed four novels and one short-story collection, and is represented by Judith Murdoch of the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in a historical series set against a backdrop of rural France.
Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots. Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy? Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of a bone angel talisman passed down through generations. The women of L’Auberge des Anges face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse. Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, this is a story of courage, hope and love.
An incredible page turner … Spirit of Lost Angels is an exciting novel with its many plot twists and high degree of conflict and emotion – Mirella Patzer, Historical Novel Review
Eighteenth century France is brought vividly to life in this dramatic recreation of Paris in the lead up to the storming of the Bastille. The writing is superb, the sights, sounds and smells of a city in turmoil is brought vividly to life …. The story grips your imagination from the very start … the meticulousness of the research and vivid recreation of the historical period make this a fascinating book for those who enjoy well written and decisive historical fiction – Josie Barton, Jaffa Reads Too
A wonderful debut novel. I am impressed with Perrat’s knowledgeable treatment of the role of women during one of France’s most tumultuous times, as well as the complexities of insular village life – DarleneWilliams, HF Reviews
Spirit of Lost Angels is a tale to lose oneself in … Liza Perrat persuasively combines fact and fiction in this engrossing novel. The peasants fury, the passion building up to the Bastille storming, and the sense of political explosion are just a few of the vivid illustrations in Spirit of Lost Angels - Andrea Connell, TheQueen’s Quill Review
… a very impressive debut novel with characters who spring to life from the opening pages. Highly recommended for all lovers of historical fiction who enjoy a meaty tale! - Teresa Majury, LovelyTreez
Liza Perrat brings to life the sights and sounds of 18th century France. Her extensive research shines through in her writing, from the superstitions of the villagers to the lives of the more sophisticated Parisians – Anne Cater (Top 500 Amazon reviewer) Random Things Through My Letterbox
For more information on Spirit of Lost Angels, please visit:
Purchase Spirit of Lost Angels:
We have three copies of Spirit of Lost Angels up for grabs. Liza was kind enough to provide TWO ebook copies and ONE signed paperback. All three prizes are open to INTERNATIONAL readers. In order to win you must:
* Be 18+ years old
* Fill out the Rafflecopter below
The giveaway runs from December 2-9. The winner will be contacted via email on December 10.