Monday, 25 July 2022

Author in the Spotlight ~ Liza Perrat


I am delighted to have author, Liza Perrat in the spotlight today

Welcome back to Jaffareadstoo, Liza. Where did you get the first flash of inspiration for Lake of Echoes?

There was no real flash of inspiration, but after writing a French historical trilogy (The Bone Angel), each of which can all be read as a standalone, then three Australian-set drama novels, I hankered to return to a backdrop of rural France, where I live. I’ve always loved history and given that I write about strong female characters, the late 1960s seemed like an ideal era.

Without giving too much away – what can you tell us about the plot, place and people?

Lake of Echoes –– the first in the new Sainte-Marie-du-Lac series –– is set in late 60s France, a time of great social unrest, change and feminism. Also a time of fear of communism and the Cold War. I wanted to “echo” (excuse the pun!) these themes through the characters and setting.

As for the plot, I have always been (a bit morbidly) fascinated by psychopaths, but I’m not a crime writer (others do it far better than me!). I’ve also been fascinated, and horrified, for much of my life, by the disappearance of the Beaumont children, three Australian siblings, from Glenelg Beach in South Australia, in 1966. The children, aged 9, 7 and 4, like many other children of that time, were allowed to catch the bus to the beach and spend time there alone. That would never happen these days. Lake of Echoes explores both of these themes.

Are you a plotter, or a start writing and see where it takes you, sort of writer?

I like to have a general idea of the story before starting, just vague notions that will develop, and change, as the story is written. The novel often comes out as a completely different story from the initial idea though!

Your writing is always atmospheric – how do you ‘set the scene’ in your novels and how much research did you do in order to bring Lake of Echoes to life?

I live in rural France, so the atmosphere of these novels is very much created from my day-to-day environment. I always need to visualise a scene before writing it, which, I think, helps.

Whilst you are writing you must live with your characters. How do you feel about them when the book is finished? Are they the people you expected them to be?

By the time a book is published, I have written, edited and tweaked at least 10 versions of it, so I’m usually sick of it at that stage, and keen to move on to the next story. Sometimes characters surprise me, so I generally let them do what they want, if possible. I am though, thinking about carrying some of the Lake of Echoes characters over into book 2 of this series.

Your style of writing is very much ‘from the heart’. Does this take its toll on you emotionally, and if so, how do you overcome it?

It can do, for especially emotional scenes. Though once I’m away from my writing desk, I usually forget about it. I was a nurse in a previous life, and tended to take home my emotions with me then but that was ‘real life’!

Tell us about your writing day- are you disciplined, strictly 9 til 5, or are you more of a have a cup of coffee and think about it sort of writer?

I would love to be retired, but I’m not yet, so I write on my days off (I work part-time) and weekends. When my children were young and spare time was as precious as gold, I was very disciplined and made the most of every free second. Now they’re grown up, I’m not very disciplined, and mostly write when I feel like it.

What do you hope readers will take away from Lake of Echoes?

Well, mostly I hope they’ll be entertained, and I hope they’ll enjoy the story.

A vanished daughter. A failing marriage. A mother’s life in ruins.

1969. As France seethes in the wake of social unrest, eight-year-old Juliette is caught up in the turmoil of her parents’ fragmenting marriage.

Unable to bear another argument, she flees her home.

Neighbours joining the search for Juliette are stunned that such a harrowing thing could happen in their tranquil lakeside village.

But this is nothing compared to her mother, Lea’s torment, imagining what has befallen her daughter.

LΓ©a, though, must remain strong to run her auberge and as the seasons pass with no news from the gendarmes, she is forced to accept she may never know her daughter’s fate.

Despite the villagers’ scepticism, LΓ©a’s only hope remains with a clairvoyant who believes Juliette is alive.

But will mother and daughter ever be reunited?

Steeped in centuries-old tradition, against an enchanting French countryside backdrop, Lake of Echoes will delight your senses and captivate your heart.

Emotionally gripping historical women’s fiction for Kelly Rimmer and Kristin Hannah fans.

"A testament to female resilience, depth and strength, this is a universal story set in a changing world." JJ Marsh, author of The Beatrice Stubbs Series.

About Liza Perrat

Liza grew up in Australia where she worked as a general nurse and a midwife. When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her family for twenty-nine years, working as a medical translator and a novelist.

Several of her short stories have won awards, and been published in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture are published in international magazines such as France Magazine, France Today and The Good Life France.

Sign up for Liza’s occasional newsletter about new book releases and receive a FREE copy of Friends & Other Strangers, her award-winning collection of Australian short stories.

If you enjoy Liza’s books, follow her on BOOKBUB




TWITTER @LizaPerrat

Universal Retail book link: 

Huge thanks to Liza for being my Author in the Spotlight today


  1. Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Josie... it's always a pleasure to chat with you!


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.