Welcome to Day 3 of our Travel the World in Books Readathon! A chance to catch up on reading and learning about different cultures and countries. Where in the world did your reading take you yesterday? Today we bring you our first author interview with Adria Cimino, author of Paris, Rue des Martyrs.
General Event Info
What our readathon is all about:
Explore countries other than the one you live in. Read as much as you can of books set in a different country or by an author from a different country. Read for your own pleasure or learning, read with your kids or both. Travel the world from the comfort of your own home and learn about different cultures. Expand your horizons and show publishers that #WeNeedDiverseBooks to promote cultural understanding and diversity in our reading. Support diverse authors and books. #TraveltheWorldinBooksRAT
Facebook Chat Today!
I will be hosting a Facebook chat today from 9-10pm EST on my Facebook page. I will be posting questions every few minutes and you can answer in the comments to each question. If you can’t be online at that time, you can always come back and answer the questions at your convenience. I’d love to hear from you anytime! We’ll be talking about the importance of diversity in reading, your favorite books from around the world and go wherever the conversation leads us.
Author Interview with Adria Cimino
I’m excited to be sharing with you my first author interview. Today, we’re talking with Adria J. Cimino, author of Paris, Rue des Martyrs. This is the first book I read all in one sitting and it took me on quite am exciting and emotional journey between France, Italy and Colombia. Here’s my review. I love what Adria shares with us on her journey to become a writer and her stories about life in France and her trip to China! So without further ado, here’s our interview with Adria.
Thank you, Tanya, for inviting me to be part of the Travel the World in Books Readathon. My name is Adria J. Cimino… First, a big “bonjour” to all of you from my home in Paris! I’ve been living here for about a decade and still haven’t gotten tired of the cheese, wine and literary history. I do get tired of the rainy weather though!
As a writer, places truly inspire me and play a major role in my work. In my debut novel, “Paris, Rue des Martyrs,” the action unfolds primarily in Paris, but a few scenes are set in Colombia and Italy. The short synopsis: Four strangers in Paris. Each one is on a quest: to uncover a family secret, to grasp a new chance at love, to repair mistakes of the past. Four stories entwine, four quests become one, as their paths cross amid the beauty, squalor, animation and desolation of a street in Paris, the Rue des Martyrs.
2. Describe your path to becoming a writer. Give our aspiring writers one tip to achieving their writing dreams.
It all started with a love of stories. My grandfather and my mom were great story tellers and entertained me from the very start with wonderful “homemade” tales. I naturally became a bookworm at an early age. Writing seemed like a natural extension of that. The big difference is I was the one in control of the plot and characters and I loved it! I’ve spent all of my adult life and a lot of my childhood writing. I started writing journals as a teenager (pretty boring as I was the school wallflower), but after college, I spent some time traveling and my life got more interesting! Right out of college I knew I wanted to be an author. Working as a journalist seemed to be a great day job because it involved observing and writing: two of my favorite things.
I worked for The Associated Press, a Boston area business journal and Bloomberg News and continued to work on my fiction in the evening and on weekends. And last year, I took the plunge, deciding to pursue my fiction writing career full time.
In writing, people speak a lot about finding one’s voice. My advice to aspiring authors is: Write what inspires you and what you love writing. Never force yourself to write if you don’t feel like it, or try to write “what’s in style.” If you are passionate about what you are writing, it will show.
3. How and why did you pick the location(s) of your book?
Life in Paris actually inspired me to write “Paris, Rue des Martyrs.” As I walked along the streets, overheard conversations in the subway or witnessed an encounter at a café, I discovered the various dimensions of the city. Paris wasn’t just the glamorous place of fashion and Champagne. The city impacted different lives in vastly different ways. While Paris offered freedom and joy to some, it felt confining and depressing to others. The choice of Colombia for a few of the scenes was linked to the fact that one of the protagonists is from a family of Colombian emerald brokers. My mom gave me the idea for that character after reading a magazine article about the business!
4. Did you spend time in the countries your book is set in? Give us examples of customs or something you found interesting about the culture you experienced.
I’ve visited Italy a few times but have never been to Colombia. So there, I had to rely on research and imagination! An interesting aspect of the culture in France, and this can be found in my novel: A lot happens at the café. People take the time to sit in cafes, read a book, meet with someone and have a conversation, or watch the world go by.
5. What is your favorite place that you visited, either personally or professionally?
Impossible to choose one favorite, but I can tell you about a place that brought me such a sense of well-being that the memory instantly puts a smile on my face. A few years ago, we visited a village in the Pyrenees called “Ax-les-Thermes.” Most people visit in the winter when they can go skiing, but there is so much beauty and that precious sense of calm in the summer! I remember eating freshly made tarts with wild blueberries, enjoying the local cheeses and relaxing at a wonderful spa. And the pure air was so invigorating, especially as the heat of day slowly turned to a chill of evening. To make this a perfect vacation, we rescued a lost cat, reuniting her with her owner. (I love animals and have a particular soft spot when it comes to cats.) Thinking back makes me want to return to Ax-les-Thermes right now…
6. Where are your bucket list travel destinations?
Corsica (it’s so close to France that it’s silly I’ve not yet been there), the Amalfi coast (home of my grandma’s family), Australia… In the U.S., Chicago (everyone raves about the city so I’m eager to have a look) and Seattle (for the foodie scene).
7. Where would you most like to write about?
China! I just got back from my first trip there and had the wonderful opportunity of spending time with my Chinese/French friend’s family. So I was able to live like a local for part of my stay! I’m eager to write about the people’s kindness, generosity and pride. The country also left me with a sense of sadness as I saw how difficult it was for those who are poor or middle class to take control of their destiny and fulfill their dreams. That, too, is a source of inspiration.
8. What book are you working on now and where does it take place?
My next novel, “Close to Destiny,” is set in London and New York, two cities that I know and love. It is the story of the role of destiny in life and righting the wrongs of the past.
Thanks Adria for the interview and for giving away a copy of your book to our Readathon participants! I love how influential Adria’s family was in both storytelling and encouraging her writing. While I cannot create spur of the moment stories, I do hope that my kids enjoy the time we spend reading together. They are becoming little bookworms and I love hearing the stories they create even as they play. My middle son enjoys writing and drawing, maybe he’ll write and illustrate his own books one day!
Follow Adria Cimino
If you’d like to enter to win an e-book copy of Paris, Rue des Martyrs, stop by our Giveaways page.
Are you an aspiring writer? Tell us about your journey to become a published writer. How and when did your love of reading develop? What do you have in common with Adria? Have you been to France, Italy or China?