Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bonjour it's launch day!

Bonjour Everyone,
Today is the launch date of Murder in Saint Germain, Aimée's 17th investigation in Paris! I hope you're enjoying a latte and croissant and bear with me, as is our custom at MIE, to talk about our book on our pub date. There's something amazing about finally bringing this story to the world, a story taking more than a year to write, researching for at least that and then pouf it's real, tangible to hold and with a map inside of the routes my detective takes investigating in Saint-Germain on the Left Bank.
 Ah, the Left Bank, the writers, the cafes where they nursed a coffee all day, the chic passersby, the tang of Gauloise, it all called to me. Picasso painted Guernica in his studio there, Oscar Wilde died penniless in a fleabag hotel around the corner of Ecole des Beaux Arts (now a multi-starred boutique hotel) and iconic Jardin du Luxembourg, a garden of many Parisian children's childhood - the puppet theatre, the spreading lawns, chalky gravel paths, with the pond and boats, statues staring from flower beds, the quiet spots under the leafy trees for reading.
So ripe for murder.
It was full of history, charm and buckling cobblestones. So well known by Americans and everyone - who didn’t go to St Germain des Pres and have a coffee where Hemingway, Albert Camus and Sartre and de Beauvoir sat? What backdoor, what way in could I find for Aimée ? Off the beaten track interests me more. Giving voice to those without voices. What would she be doing there? A real challenge. Then I thought about her history.  She’d gone to Ecole des Medicins in Saint-Germain, her grandfather loved a model at Ecole des Beaux Arts and yes, now I realized her history and that she'd be working at the prestigious art school
A few books back, I was introduced to Catherine, a former Brigade Criminelle (the elite Paris homicide squad) who then worked part-time at the Commissariat in the 14th arrondissement. I wanted to know what her experiences were as a woman, in the late 80’s into the 90’s, in a male run and dominated team. With me it’s often about finding the right question to ask or if I don't and flounder, often the person goes on talking about something much more interesting, giving a me a kernel of thought for a new idea a new story.
Catherine talked more about her cases, and I’ve learned it’s always better to go with the conversations and where they drift and learn new things and tidbits. I discover procedure and how the police operate that I’d never have thought of asking. Catherine spoke often about the Eastern European criminals and gangs as a source of arms. The gangs brought them from the then recent collapsed Soviet Union through routes to Europe. Later, the arms came from the conflicts in Sarajevo, the Balkans. Also, a lot of these former soldiers took mercenary jobs, or just redirected their efforts to crime in Europe. The famous Pink Panther jewelry heist gang, very slick, organized, come from the Balkans.
Catherine opened up about her secondment to the International Court Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ICTY and her tours of duty there…several years and rounds of enforcement with a French International team.
She burned out, suffered trauma and we’d call it PTSD.
Fast forward several books later, I looked at my notes about those conversations, felt it was an issue to address and there’s something intriguing about a mercenary, non?
These ideas ripened and as I wrote she became a character who Aimée owed a favor to. A dangerous favor. Aimée, now a single mother with an eight month old daughter, Chloe, had to butter the baguette and manage the upcoming summer vacances without a babysitter. Her life seemed like a balancing act, but then after being a mother, I understood those pushes and pulls.  Aimée has to take on projects and run her business, her everyday world if you will. Nothing in life or work can be counted on to run smoothly, as I found out in my own experience, and you do the best you can. On top of this work at Ecole des Beaux Arts, where she dips into a scandal, the primary story came from Catherine and her assignment on an international team from the Hague to investigate war crimes in the Balkans. The real Catherine fascinated me and as respected and proficient as she was, her time in Bosnia traumatized her. I knew that Aimée would owe a big favor to a woman in a similar position and do her best while trying to manage everything else in her busy life.
Her parent’s secrets well…more to come!
If I'm coming someplace near you, I hope you'll come and hello!

Cara - Tuesday



7 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Cara! The book sounds wonderful! Looking forward to it!

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  2. Whoopee! It's B-Day! Best wishes, Cara.

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  3. Thank you Michael and EvKa! Gulp the book is out in the world......you know that feeling!

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  4. Congratulations! I'm looking forward to seeing you in Mpls!

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  5. Cara, I'm exhausted just reading your tour schedule, but excited to get the Kindle fired up to download Aimee's latest--unless you plan on adding Mykonos to the list so I can get a signed hard copy! CONGRATULATIONS.

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