Monday, 18 November 2013

Wolfsangel and Interview


For your enjoyment, I have an author interview!


1)      Where do you draw inspiration for your novels?
When I moved from Australia to France, twenty years ago, I found myself enchanted by Europe’s antiquity, age-old culture, monuments and beguiling tales of the past. I started reading about this history, quite unaware that writing about it would become the next logical step. So, inspiration for my novels comes mainly from the true-life events that I’ve read about, or visited. The idea for the first book in L’Auberge des Anges historical series –– Spirit of Lost Angels –– published under the Triskele Books label in 2012, came on a Sunday afternoon walk. I was following the pathway of the nineteen crosses in the rural French village in which I live, and, on the banks of the Garon River, I reached cross number fifteen –– a small, granite cross named croix à gros ventre (cross with a big belly). Engraved with two entwined tibias and a heart shape, it is dated 1717, and commemorates two children who drowned in the Garon River. I was intrigued. Who were these children? How old were they? How had they drowned, and where are they buried? I hiked up to the local historical organization and learned the children were four and five years old, and are buried in the cemetery of a neighbouring village. I felt the urge to write the story of these lost little ones –– to give them a family, a village, an identity. The village of Lucie-sur-Vionne was born, as was the Vionne River and the family farm –– L’Auberge des Anges (The Inn of Angels). Thus began my foray into L’Auberge des Anges historical series that encompass different generations of this same family.

2)Wolfsangel is depicted against the backdrop of WWII , what drew you to write about this historical era?

Despite being a standalone novel, Wolfsangel is also the second in this series. The first, Spirit of Lost Angels, features the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne, and a bone-carved angel pendant that is passed down through generations of the Charpentier family. I wanted to keep Lucie-sur-Vionne and this family alive, exploring the effects of different historical upheavals on village and family life. But what prompted me to write about WWII in particular, was a visit to the site of a terrible war tragedy. This burned-out village haunted me, and I knew one day I would write a story based on it. Also, there’s a lot of documentation, movies, etc on how the bigger French cities were bombed, occupied and affected during WWII, but not so much information on the small village. I wanted to focus on a small, rural population in the hope the reader would get to know the characters more intimately and thus (hopefully) sympathize with them.

3)How do you decide on certain names for your characters?

When I spoke at several bookclubs about Spirit of Lost Angels, I realised that some people had trouble pronouncing certain characters’ names. So for Wolfsangel, I tried to find more easily pronounceable names for the characters; names that sound about the same whether they are read/spoken in French or in English.

4)Do you like to listen to music while you write? Do you have any writing habits?

I’m not a big listener of music at any time, really. I prefer silence, which is almost impossible, of course! My best writing is done first thing in the morning. Any time after lunch is hopeless, and just forget evenings and nights altogether!

5)What are you most passionate about?

My family, and my writing.

6)If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
On the beachfront, in the northern suburbs of Wollongong, New South Wales, in Australia, where I grew up.

7)If you could travel back to any era in time, what would it be? 
At the moment, I’d love to spend a day in 14th century France. It would help enormously with my current novel, the third in L’Auberge des Anges series –– Midwife Héloïse – Blood Rose Angel –– which is set in 1348, during the Black Plague years. Though I’d only want to go for a day mind, have a quick look around, take it all in, then get out quick smart before I caught the plague, or any other nasties that were rife during that era.

8)How did you decide you wanted to write a book?
I’d spent my childhood with my head in books, and dabbled in some half-hearted creative writing. As my children grew up, and I had more time, I enrolled in an online creative writing course and, after a few competition successes with short stories, I turned my hand to novels. I didn’t consciously decide to write a book… I just found myself writing one.

9) What is your favourite food?
Dark chocolate, preferably dunked into a glass of icy cold chocolate-flavoured milk.

10) What is your biggest goal?
The goal of many writers- to write a book people love!


Thank you Lisa!! That was a fascinating interview.  I love learning more about how writers 'write'. 

My Review:


Wolfsangel tells the story of a family living in France during the World War. Celeste lives with her maman, pere, sister and two brothers. They are in the French resistance. A situation which is fruaght with danger- you can feel the tension. As well as the tension between right and wrong. 

Celeste is an interesting character. She forms a relationship with a German officer. But is unsure whether she should trust him. At the same time, she cares deeply for her family. She takes to the tasks at hand. I also think she is a very strong protagonist. She is also easy to relate to.
Celeste's relationship with her mother has a lot of friction. Through the novel, Celeste trues to ubkic her mother's secrets, but is unscuccsful until a similar event catalysts their relationship between what the reader (and Celeste) has percieved so far.

Lisa Perrault masterfully develops the characters of Celeste and her maman. Each act priecesly as you can imagine someone would trying to survive ub Frabce during WWII.  At it's core, this novel is about survival. How do you survive as a family, as an individual during tough circumstances? How do you survive when certain facts are reveaked and ideas are swept away

A lot of research and care went into this novel. Wolfsangel will tug at your emotions. You will love, cry and be swept up in the wave of world war 2.  Additionally, the setting was so well described I felt transported back to the era. I felt like a part of the French countryside. 

The only downside, this book made me cry! However, it is a good thing when a book is able to evoke emotion from you. I would happily read mre of Liza Perrat's work. I rate this novel 5 stars. 


Seven decades after German troops march into her village, Céleste Roussel is still unable to assuage her guilt.
1943. German soldiers occupy provincial Lucie-sur-Vionne, and as the villagers pursue treacherous schemes to deceive and swindle the enemy, Céleste embarks on her own perilous mission as her passion for a Reich officer flourishes.
When her loved ones are deported to concentration camps, Céleste is drawn into the vortex of this monumental conflict, and the adventure and danger of French Resistance collaboration.
As she confronts the harrowing truths of the Second World War’s darkest years, Céleste is forced to choose: pursue her love for the German officer, or answer General de Gaulle’s call to fight for her country.
Her fate suspended on the fraying thread of her will, Celeste gains strength from the angel talisman bequeathed to her through her lineage of healer kinswomen.
The decision she makes will shadow the remainder of her days.
A woman’s unforgettable journey to help liberate Occupied France, Wolfsangel is a stirring portrayal of the courage and resilience of the human mind, body and spirit. [provided by the author]
***

AUTHOR

Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator.
Since completing a creative writing course twelve years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.
She has completed four novels and one short-story collection, and is represented by Judith Murdoch of the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in an historical series set against a backdrop of rural France. The second in the series – Wolfsangel – will be published in November, 2013, and Liza is busy working on the third novel in the series: Midwife Héloïse – Blood Rose Angel.
Liza reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and Words with Jam magazine. [provided by the author]

For more info:  http://francebooktours.com/2013/09/04/liza-perrat-on-tour-wolfsangel/


On to the giveaway! 

Enter to win a ebook~US entrants only please!
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Enter to win a signed paperback! Europe only!

2 comments:

  1. thanks for your lovely review and for posting the interview. Is it normal that your giveaway says "beginning soon"? shouldn't it be open? Emma [France Book Tours]

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for letting me know :) I have fixed the times on the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete