Rozsa Gaston is an author who writes serious books on playful matters. She is the author of Paris Adieu, Dogsitters, Budapest Romance, Lyric, Running from Love and the soon to be released Paris Adieu sequel, Black is Not a Color Unless Worn By a Blonde. Rozsa studied European intellectual history at Yale, and then received her master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia. In between Rozsa worked as a singer/pianist all over the world. She currently lives in Connecticut with her family.
You can visit Rozsa’s website at www.parisadieu.com.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I always wanted to be someone else when I was a child. I was raised by my grandparents as an only child, and I always wanted to have brothers and sisters and a father and mother around. I think a lot of readers may relate to those unfulfilled longings.
Where did you grow up?
West Hartford, Connecticut.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Sitting out on the back patio in the summertime with my grandmother, looking at the sun go down over Avon Mountain while sipping black cows. I wrote a short story about it -- "Black Cows at Sunset."
When did you begin writing?
Eight years ago in July, our daughter received a diagnosis of a permanent condition. I couldn't process it. That August I holed up in our study for the entire month and wrote my first book, Mystique. I was hooked on writing after that.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I'm like Balzac in my writing habits. He used to write everyday from seven to eleven am then break to go out to a cafe for lunch, then spend the rest of the day doing other things.
I write from eight am to one pm, Mondays through Fridays. I'd love to go out to a cafe afterward, where I could sip a cappucino while editing my work. I just can't find any cafes in my neighborhood to go out to. It's probably just as well, since I have an eleven-year-old, a two-year-old, a husband and a dog to keep me busy when I'm not writing.
What is this book about?
Paris Adieu is a coming of age tale of self-discovery and self-acceptance.
The book has two themes: 1) how to be comfortable in your own skin and 2) how to fake it till you make it.
Paris Adieu's heroine, Ava Fodor, is clueless about both at the start of the book. By the end, she's figured out a thing or two - thanks to the insights living in Paris has given her. Ava studies French women, French food, French attitude - while French men study her. By the final chapters of Paris Adieu, she's more or less transformed herself into the woman she wants to be. And if she hasn't entirely, at least she's learned how to fake it till she makes it.
What inspired you to write it?
The inspiration for Paris Adieu is the plump, frizzy-haired nineteen-year-old girl I once was, who went to Paris as an au pair and discovered I didn't need to be anything other than who I was to be fabulous. Okay, I'm still working on it... If you're working on being fabulous too, read my book.
Who is your favorite author?
Françoise Sagan really bowled me over with Bonjour Tristesse. I'd love to hate her since she wrote it when she was seventeen, but I'm too busy learning from her for her spare, elegant prose style.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
My agent is Sharon Belcastro of Belcastro Agency and she is one fabulous chica who has her finger on the pulse of what readers want and where the publishing industry is heading. Check her out on the Belcastro Agency Facebook Page.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Paris Adieu is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.
Where can readers find you online?
Please visit www.parisadieu.com, or the Paris Adieu Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter at @rozsagaston.
Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?
Yes. Google "Paris Adieu by Rozsa Gaston" and the You Tube book trailer will come up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9cUI6nFtyc
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
I have two pieces of advice I'd like to share.
Never stop writing. Write because you love to write, because you can't live without writing. The more you write, the more your writing will improve.
Don't be afraid to offer the same message again and again. If it's a good one, people will want to hear it again and again. Messages on forgiveness, sacrificial love, revenge, ambition, passion, loss, desire don't get old. Readers will always be interested if they're delivered in readable, well-crafted prose.
What is up next for you?
I'm hard at work on Paris Adieu's sequel, Black is Not a Color ... Unless Worn by a Blonde. It's the story of Ava's relationship with her father, who has a heart attack soon after she returns to New York from Paris. Caring for him consumes her, putting the brakes on her budding romance with Pierre, the Frenchman she has met at the end of Paris Adieu. There's another more important man in her life whom she needs to figure out first.
Zsolt Fodor is a Hungarian poet fond of saying crazy, cryptic things such as "black is not a color unless worn by a blonde." No one understands him, foremost of all, his daughter. Ava learns how to accept, love, and care for the man who fathered, but didn't raise her. It's a struggle, but with the help of friends she's made at her new job at the United Nations - a few Serbs and a Romanian - she begins to understand something of her father's own fractured background and the difficulties he has endured as an immigrant in New York City. By learning to love and forgive her father, Ava learns how to look at men in a new light. But is it too late to find Pierre again? I can't wait to finish the story and find out myself, so I can share it with my readers.