There’s just something about Paris, and Michelle Gable captures it. New to the shelves this week is another escape read from this talented author!
About I’LL SEE YOU IN PARIS…
It begins when 19-year-old Laurel Haley takes a job in England. She’s just lost her fiancé in the Vietnam War, so she doesn’t expect to meet a man who will take her to Paris and alter everything she believes about love.
Thirty years later, Laurel’s daughter Annie is newly engaged when an old question resurfaces: who is Annie’s father and what happened to him? Laurel has always been vague about the details and Annie’s told herself it doesn’t matter. But with her impending marriage, Annie wants to know everything, and Laurel’s not budging.
The key to unlocking Laurel’s secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough.* Annie’s quest to understand the Duchess, and therefore her own history, takes her from a hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate behind barbed wire, and finally, to Paris, where answers will be found at last.
Hooked yet? Be sure to enter the giveaway for a complimentary copy! Now let’s have a chat with the amazing Michelle Gable…
What was the first book to catch your heart?
Though I’ve always been very bookish, I read A Prayer for Owen Meany in high school and it was the first time I truly understood and appreciated the impact a book could have on a reader. Somehow the hundred or so Sweet Valley High novels before that didn’t have the same effect!
Where do you love to be?
Home! Both the actual structure, as in my house, and my community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a funky beach town north of San Diego. It’s funny, I travel a lot for both my day job and for book tours, and I absolutely love traveling, but I’m a homebody at heart. Most people don’t believe that about me!
What’s your secret or not-so-secret superpower?
I’m an excellent packer! My boss is always amazed. We can go to Europe for two weeks, in inclement weather, in a suits-required situation (plus workout clothes), and I only ever need a carry-on. NEVER A BAGGAGE CHECKED is my motto. My kids do not embrace this philosophy with as much fervor.
The road to publication is twisty at best–tell us about some of your twists.
My agent would likely tell you that of all her clients, my road was the twistiest. I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old. I first decided I’d “do something” about this passion the night of my 31st birthday. I eventually signed with my agent in 2008, and we sold my debut (but not first!) novel A Paris Apartment to Thomas Dunne Books in April 2013. That’s 5+ years of her working for free!
What happened in that time? One canceled contract, a failed 5-way auction, and many rejected manuscripts. I plowed through it all by telling myself I’d write a new book, and then another, and then a new one after that. If my first book was published at age 85, so be it! I was pretty unaffected until the failed auction. The editors all loved the book but pulled out at the last minute because “it’s just too hard to sell a debut author.” Obviously that was extremely discouraging, because how was I going to get over the debut author hump? Two weeks later my agent sent me an article about an abandoned home in Paris, which was the true-life story that inspired A Paris Apartment.
When you were a teenager, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?
A writer…or an accountant. Seriously! I took accounting in high school and loved It. If you ever took advanced accounting at Torrey Pines High School that was my brain child! Or maybe I was the first and last person to ever demand that class. I loved writing and knew I’d be a “writer” in some sense, but I was imminently practical and my chief concern was food and shelter.
What time of day do you love best?
I am a morning person. The rest of my family is not and it drives me nuts! In my third book, which I just finished editing, one of the characters jokes that his wife woke up her babies in the middle of the night instead of the other way around. That’s definitely me! My girls were sleeping 10-12 hours per night straight out of the gates and I wanted that early morning, the world is quiet, alone time with them.
Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.
The TV show Family Tree is hysterical. Also my nine year old daughter made up a horrible joke. What did the other monkeys say when one monkey split his pants? “Ooh-ooh-aah-aah.” It’s much funnier when she does it. The first time she told it to me I cried laughing and it still gets me every time, even though it’s rather lame. Recently she had to submit a video for the new school she’s attending and I begged her to end with the joke. Luckily she has superior judgment and refused.
Hmmm, now that I think about it, the monkey “character” in Family Tree makes me laugh the most. I’m sensing a theme.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Never, ever give up. Just keep writing the next book, and the next book, and the book after that. Don’t obsess over rejections or reviews or anything. Keep plowing forward and in times of defeat and despair, lose yourself in your writing.
What’s your next big thing? (new book, new project, etc.)
I’m soooo excited about my third book, which I just finished editing and should come out in early 2017. I normally don’t get attached to my books or my characters, especially once I’m through most of the edits. By that time I’m usually thinking “ugh! Worst book ever! 0 stars!” But I have such a soft spot for this one. It’s called Book of Summer and like my first two has alternating time periods and is based on a true story. Unlike my first two, however, this one takes place on Nantucket. No Paris this time!
Have you ever met someone you idolized? What was it like?
I am a huge sports fan, specifically the San Diego Chargers–emphasis on the SAN DIEGO. If they move to L.A., I’m moving on. It’s a lifelong passion I’ve shared with my family, including my grandmother who passed away recently.
Any time I meet a Charger player I’m downright giddy. A few years ago at a fundraising gala, I met inveterate (now retired) center Nick Hardwick, who is one of the all-time Charger greats (in my opinion). So of course I immediately chatted him up, gushing about various topics, and discussing injuries and free agent situations. After about the fifth time of expressing my undying fandom, my husband turns to me and says, “wait…how many #61 jerseys do you have?” That was Hardwick’s number and the answer is none. He totally sold me out.
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
One of my jobs involved sending faxes to members of the Bin Laden family.
GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by Noon (EST) on Friday, February 19th to win a copy of I’LL SEE YOU IN PARIS (US only). Follow The Debutante Ball on Facebook and Twitter for extra entries—just mention that you did so in your comments. We’ll choose and contact the winner on Friday. Good luck!
Michelle Gable is the author of the national and international bestseller A PARIS APARTMENT and newly released I’LL SEE YOU IN PARIS. She works in finance, writes in fiction, and lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California with her husband, two daughters, fat cat, and one very bitey bunny.