Hey lovely readers- ole Traveling With T is so excited to reveal this: Imogen Robertson, author of THE PARIS WINTER, has stopped by today to share a lovely guest post…. and the cool folks at St. Martin’s Press have set aside a giveaway copy AND signed Paris postcards from the author! (I know, contain your excitement- heck I want to enter the giveaway- I’m so stoked over this!)
Before we get to the giveaway portion of this post- let’s read this fabulous guest post by Imogen- and then we can all scroll down together and drool over the splendiferous giveaway! (Sound like a good plan, right?)
Guest Post by Imogen Robertson:
If I could draw, I would probably have never become a writer. My two elder brothers are both accomplished amateur artists, and when I was growing up I would be amazed and very jealous when I saw their work. My eldest brother painted the walls of his room with vines and window ledges, so instead of looking out of his room into a back garden in the North East of England, he was looking out on the seas and mountains of his imagination. I remember a dragon he created for a school art project and I swear could have flown off the canvas at any moment. I could never draw anything so I realised the only way I could bring the pictures in my head into the world was with words, but I’ve still always regarded artists with a mixture of envy and admiration. In The Paris Winter I’ve had the chance to explore both painting and language. The novel is set in Paris in 1909 / 1910 and follows the journey of a young English woman who has come to the city to train as an artist. She nearly starves until she finds a job as a companion to a beautiful young French girl, but all is not what it seems and she finds herself caught in a terrible plot. Meanwhile Paris begins to flood and the streets cave in under her feet.
To write Maud I wanted to understand how an artist of her time and training might see the world. I had the great good fortune to meet Caroline de Peyrecave, an artist working in London today who was trained in the same way as Maud would have been in 1909. Caroline gave me a tour of her studio and was kind enough to talk to me about her experiences, training and ambitions. Hearing her talk about her own work and that of other artists was incredibly important to the book. I also immersed myself in the art criticism of the time, and as I was writing I had open the catalogues of oil paint colours from the period. I thought, when seeing the world through Maud’s eyes, of line and form, colour and texture in a very different way, and though I still can’t paint, I did at least get to describe some of the paintings I saw in my mind, forming under Maud’s hand. I also got to inhabit the world of the artists in Paris for a while, their struggles and addictions, pleasures and victories. I hope my fascination with the time and the people comes across in the book. Having written it, I feel I can now go back and look at the work of that period with a fresh understanding which gives me enormous pleasure. I still can’t draw a dragon, though.
Wasn’t that wonderful? Getting a glimpse into the motivation of Imogen for writing THE PARIS WINTER- ahh, I love hearing the tidbits of how the books came about!
Now, here is where we learn more about what THE PARIS WINTER is about:
Summary from Goodreads:
Imogen Robertson’s break-out novel – a deep, dark and opulent tale of Belle epoque Paris, and the secrets and dangers hidden beneath its luxurious facade. Maud Heighton came to Lafond’s famous Academie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dImogen Robertson’s break-out novel – a deep, dark and opulent tale of Belle epoque Paris, and the secrets and dangers hidden azzling joys of the Belle epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels’ world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.
As promised, here is the GIVEAWAY portion of the program!
1 copy of THE PARIS WINTER by Imogen Robertson, plus signed Paris postcards. Giveaway is open to US/Canada only. Please check the Rafflecopter link for more info!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T