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!