Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sit Down Saturday with Cerella Sechrist

So, Cerella, where did you get the idea for The Paris Connection?

After offering me the contract for my first Heartwarming novel, Gentle Persuasion, the editors contacted me and said that they had found Cole to be an extremely charming character. They asked if I'd be willing to write a second book, telling his story. Since I, too, had developed a bit of a crush on Cole, I immediately agreed. Though I originally mapped out a plot to set the story in the United States, my editors suggested we change things up so that Cole is forced to head to Paris in the wake of the events that take place inGentle Persuasion. It ended up being the perfect setting to tell Cole and Emma's story.

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?

"Sometimes, you have to go around the world to find your way home." 

Cheesy, but I like it. lol

How long did it take you to write?

About two months of writing time and a bit more time for some seriously intense France research. I've never been to Paris, but it's my sister's favorite city. I had several phone conversations with her, asking her to describe the airport and métro systems, in addition to borrowing all her French travel books and reading dozens of sites online.

What is your favorite scene?

The second to last one because it's so touching and sigh-worthy romantic, and of course, it includes the necessary setting for a novel in Paris. But you'll have to read the book since I'm not giving anything away here!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Julien, Emma's boss in Paris. I also got to continue writing about Lillian, another character in Gentle Persuasion. The two of them don't have many scenes, but their side story was so much fun to write. It was nice to get to let readers see what happened to Lillian after she and her daughter part ways in the previous story.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?

I imagined Eric Johnson as Cole and Abigail Spencer as Emma. For a complete gallery of story images, including my thoughts on which actors would play the parts, visit my Pinterest board on the subject at:http://www.pinterest.com/cerellasechrist/the-paris-connection/ 

Tell us one thing you learned during research.

That Parisians usually only eat a croissant and black coffee for breakfast. France has such a rich, impressive food culture, so I was a little surprised to learn how spare their morning meals tend to be.

What music would match the mood of this novel?

Definitely some French jazz, preferably from the 40s and 50s because it's so classically romantic.

This is your third book.  Exactly what does that mean to you?

I feel so blessed to have found a home with Heartwarming! The editors and entire Harlequin team, in addition to my fellow authors, have been amazing. And now that I have three books in print, I finally feel like my author journey is progressing to a new level.

What do you plan to work on next?

I have a series under consideration with Heartwarming right now. It would take place in a seaside town on Long Island and feature several Irish characters, a country music star, a chef, a food critic, and many more interesting people! 

What are you reading for pleasure right now?

I recently finished reading Wish Me Tomorrow by Karen Rock. It was such an achingly sweet, heartwarming read, and I highly recommend it!

16 comments:

  1. I love getting a behind the scenes look at how a book comes about. I'm now adding this title to my "have to read" list!

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    1. Me, too, Syndi! It's always fun just to know some of the author's thoughts behind the "making" of a story. :) Thanks for adding it to your TBR list!

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  2. Enjoyed a look behind the scenes (and the link to pinterest!). Happy launch month!

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    1. Thanks, Melinda! I just love using Pinterest for a story's visual inspiration. :)

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  3. And, I love how you got to set this in Paris. It's on my list too.

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    1. Thanks, Pamela! I think it worked out so well by setting the story in Paris! :)

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  4. Do you do Pinterest boards for each book? I hadn't thought of that. I do have an inspiration board for the town and the characters, but I hadn't thought of doing one for each book. Interesting.... Now you've got me thinking.

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    1. Hi Syndi! Well, so far I've done a board for each book, but I'm not sure if I would always do that or not. I just had the good fortune to have some great settings which really lent themselves to a visual storyboard. Not sure if I would always do it or not - I think it just depends on the book!

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  5. A trip to Paris (vicariously, of course) sounds like just what I need to launch me into Spring. Maybe while eating a croissant. I like the basket on the heroine's bike. Congratulations, Cerella. Am anxious to settle down with your book.

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    1. I'm with you, Muriel! A cafe au lait, a chocolate croissant, and Paris - sounds like the perfect way to ring in Spring! :)

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  6. Loved the interview, Cerella! I could live in a French bakery. You're series under consideration sounds awesome! Wishing you the best!

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    1. Thanks, Rula! I'd love living in a French bakery...but I'm not sure I'd get anything done except eating. lol Still, not a bad life! :D

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  7. Aw! Thank you so much for the shout out Cerella! And I'm bringing The Paris Connection with me to read on vacation next week! It sounds amazing and I absolutely love the setting. I was lucky to have visited Paris once and you are right about the bare breakfasts although I cheated and always got a chocolate filled croissant :)

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    1. Of course, Karen! I loved Wish Me Tomorrow - can't wait to read His Hometown Girl! I can't imagine the French eat so sparingly at breakfast, but maybe that's part of their diet "secret." ;) Have an excellent vacation!

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  8. Cerella,
    Sorry to be late checking in, but this was the weekend for Tucson Festival of Books. A huge festival this year with 2 days worth of fantastic speakers.
    When I got home Saturday night my Heartwarming books were waiting. Looking forward to reading the Paris Connection.

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    1. No problem, Roz! I'm glad the Festival of Books had some great speakers! I can't wait for you to read The Paris Connection. :)

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