On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
I'm delighted to welcome Jennifer Bohnet to our Sunday Brunch today
Welcome Jennifer. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
Well, as we’re in France, a selection of cold meats and saucisson, a cheese board with some creamy brie, Roquefort, and a mature Cantal, a bowl of olives and a crusty baguette or two.
Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
Oh definitely a glass of Fizz - with or without the Bucks!
Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
The terrace at the front of our small cottage isn’t suitable for patio doors but we’ve invested in some heavy duty foldaway plastic - like lots of cafes have here - and even when the weather is not good we can still be cosy sitting out there in November, with a view of the garden.
Shall we have music playing in the background, and if so do you have a favourite piece of music?
I’d probably put some Miles Davis on in the background - I’m not very musical I’m afraid but I do like him.
Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
I’d invite Lucinda Riley - I love her Seven Sisters books. Such a sad loss. Maeve Haran a favourite author, Stephen Fry because I think he’d keep us all entertained with his wit and Donna Leon, her books set in Venice are a firm favourite.
Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
A book I read a couple of years ago, The President’s Hat by Antoine Lautain. I read the English translation because my French is abysmal and thoroughly enjoyed it - I’ve re-read it a couple of times now. President Mitterrand leaves his hat in a restaurant and the story follows its subsequent owners. One of the reviews (not mine) describes it as nostalgic, affectionate, funny and wise.
When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
I read every evening in bed. I read on my e-book app on my iPad because finding new English books here is difficult and I like to keep up with the trends etc. and read friend’s books. I haven’t had time to read Milly Johnson’s latest one, The Woman in the Middle, yet. I think I’ll keep it for December now when hopefully there will be time.
Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
Ah inspiration. Where does it come from? Well it can be very elusive! Magazines, newspapers, conversations with friends, TV. Only last night a YouTube documentary about a walk along the French coast mentioned a villa owned by an eccentric woman which was notorious in the past for wild wild parties but is now derelict. The villa’s name, along with the woman’s is now in my little notebook for further research.
Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I write upstairs in our cottage in what is technically a second bedroom but it’s been so long since we had anyone staying because of Covid that it’s now more office then bedroom. I have a large desk with my iMac placed underneath the two dormer windows overlooking the garden and I write mostly up there, although I do have a laptop I take downstairs sometimes simply for a change. I find it much easier to write in the winter months than in the heat of summer.
When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
I’m guilty of allowing a deadline to creep up and get so close that I have a mad panic to get it done in time. I prefer to have a shorter deadline which makes me concentrate rather than one that is in the distance and allows me to prevaricate until I simply have to get it done!
Give us four essential items that a writer needs?
I don’t know about other writers but I like a quiet house - no radio in the background, no barking dog, no interruptions like deliveries or phone calls. As you can guess, a quiet house doesn’t happen often here. Notebooks and pens are other essential items as I love to write by hand to kickstart things at the beginning of a book and also if I get stuck - I don’t plan so getting stuck happens quite frequently.
What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
Falling for a French Dream (originally published as French Legacy) has been re-issued by Boldwood Books with a gorgeous new cover. It was rather short for a novel so I edited and tweaked it, added new chapters, and generally went deeper into the story - particularly the story of one of the older characters. It tells the story of widow Nicole who, not entirely willingly, takes her son Oliver to live in France with his paternal grandfather and aunts.
One reviewer on Amazon said: A thoroughly enjoyable read that leaves you with a glow in your heart.
Jennifer, where can we follow you on social media?
Instagram: jenniewriter https://www.instagram.com
More about Jennifer
Jennifer Bohnet is the international bestselling author of seventeen novels, including 'Villa of Sun and Secrets' and 'A Riviera Retreat’ and ‘Summer at the Château’. Jennifer's stories usually span the generations with characters ranging in age and having to cope with unexpected problems in their lives - but there is always a hopeful ending, even if there are tears before. Living in France for over twenty years she has happily adapted to the French lifestyle -especially the long lunches with friends and the wine.
Thank you, Jennifer for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo.
Thank you so much Jo for inviting me today.
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