Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kirsten Lobe takes us to Paris and has a book to give away

By Melissa Patafio

**Giveaway is now closed**

Kirsten Lobe, author of "Paris Hangover" and "French Trysts," took the time to chat with us about her latest book "Paris, Baby!," a memoir about what its like to be a single American woman, pregnant in the City of Lights. Kirsten is a former fashion designer and has lived in Tokyo, Lake Geneva, Paris, and New York. For some lucky readers anywhere in the world, Kirsten has three copies of "Paris, Baby!"

To learn more about Kirsten, you can find her on Facebook.

You have lived in Paris, Tokyo, New York, and Lake Geneva. What is your favorite thing about each place?
Fascinating and fun question.
Paris- everything save the occasional dog mine on the sidewalk! I love every time of day from the sound of tiny birds singing in the Jardins de Tuileries at 3 am to the way the streets are empty on Sunday mornings as everyone is home leisurely preparing for the familial ‘Dimanche dejeuner en famille’, the aroma of fresh baguettes drifting out of a Boulangerie in the morning to the Guerlain perfume that hangs in the air passing after a woman sashays past you on the street. Rain, storm or shine, Paris is enchanting and captivating. Oh, right, you have asked about other cities too didn’t you?! ..Obviusly, one gets carried away when asked about Paris.
Tokyo was wonderful in its appreciation of its exquisite traditions; brush paintings, geisha’s, sumo’s, tea ceremonies, Kabuki, celebrating nature whether it’s cherry blossoms, zen rock gardens, bamboo gardens or volcanoes. I also lived in the neighborhood Roppongi, the hippest of areas, so it was a treat to be able to speak English when I needed to and still live and learn the culture without too brutal of culture shock.
New York was like finding my soul mate when I moved there at age 20. Finally, my manic energy, rapid fire speaking and ambition, fit right into the flow of society. I loved living there every day until I moved to Paris, but now, I think my need for that dynamism and hectic drama in just getting from point A to point B, is well satiated.
All the years in Paris, made me appreciate pausing to linger in the beauty of the wind, the feel of a cobblestone bridge under foot, and the transformative experience of watching the sunset meld into a peachy lavender Maxfield Parish painting.
Lake Geneva- Love it for the presence of family and unexpectedly, for the experience of feeling the roots & the landmarks events of my life spurred by my childhood surroundings-- every day, as I pass this building (Celebrated my 16th birthday there in a dyed grey wedding gown I got a vintage store..) or that one (went on my first date where I drank champagne there with my first big amour), it’s nice to touch base with who you were and who’ve you become by going away and returning with fresh eyes. Also, it’s spectacular for raising children; surrounded by nature which is the essence of curiousity and imagination. These became vital issues to me when I became a maman.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing "Paris, Baby!"?
Finding the time!! My son was a year and a half old when I began the book and as you can imagine, as the sole parent from day one, it was quite the feat to even get a brush thru my hair, let alone, sit down and type anything literate! As much as I could’ve used a nap when Oscar took his afternoon seiste, I dedicated myself to writing the book in those scant precious hours. Needless to say, I wrote my first book, ‘PARIS HANGOVER’ in a month and this one took almost 9 months! A birth indeed!

How do you like to spend your time when you are not writing?
Of course, just playing with my darling boy, Oscar. In fact, I think of him as my best little buddy, full time job, hobby, past time, everything. Clearly, I am one of those mothers for whom everything else pales. That said, I adore to garden, drink wine and eat cheese as much as I can without exploding, hang out with family; we are a bevy of characters for sure, and to read whenever I can steal some time. I think you have to read as much as you write to be any good at it; it’s like speaking a foreign language—saturate your life with words that keep you stimulated and on your toes.

If "Paris, Baby!" were made into a movie, who would you choose to play the lead roles?
After years of round robin in Hollywood with producers, HBO, etc..where my books were almost films, soon-to-be tv series, etc..I have learned to not fantasize too much about these tantalizing ideas..Still, I guess I could envision someone like Cate Blanchett (I wish!) as she can be hilarious while effectively and genuinely carry the emotional scenes with my mother, the birth, etc..And Diane Lane, as I just adore her work, the obvious; Sarah Jessica Parker for her comedic timing or possibly Naomi Watts.

What made you decide to trade fashion for writing?
I actually had a couple more careers in between! I segued out of fashion before I moved to Paris. The last year or so I was in Tribeca, NYC, I painted exclusively enormous oils and realized I preferred to be more personal in expressing my creativity, then fashion allowed. I continued to paint and do bronzes in Paris and designed a collection of jewelry. But after several years in St. Germain, self-financed, the funds of my savings started to dwindle and I thought, ‘what can I do that takes little start up funds, and would either work from the get-go or not?’ As I have written every day in a journal since age 7, it seemed a fluid and obvious endeavor to embark on. I was very fortunate to succeed right out of the gate and get a book deal within a month’s time!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would like to go to Nepal and trek. If I could push ‘pause’ for a month on my daily life and trail into the mist, that would be a spiritual sojourn that I would love to experience. I am forever speaking, moving like lightening and being animated with my son and while that’s just a joy and imperative as a parent, it would be heaven to be silent and peaceful for days on end.

What is your usual writing routine?
Now, there is no usual structured writing routine per se. I have to squeak in time when I find it; if my son falls asleep early one evening or, if when he is at preschool in the mornins, I can write instead of pulling Play Dough off the carpet, these are my moments! Pre-motherhood, I would write every afternoon after lunch from 1 until about 4 or 5 pm and then dress to the nines, meet friends at a cafe and dance until dawn. Now, the only thing happening at dawn is my son, sticking a crayon up my nose to wake me up to play!

Why did you choose to write "Paris, Baby!" as a memoir rather than fiction as you did with your other two novels?
I had such kind and touching feedback from readers all over the world on the first book (that was clearly a very thinly veiled memoir); that what resonated with them, was the raw honesty and the way I put it all out there; insecurities, passions, heartbreak, self doubt, all my internal private emotions and the frank truth about the French men, sex and culture. So, I learned via my readers, that they appreciate the ‘real story’ and that whether they live in Perth or Prague, the adventure of finding love, oneself, meaning and purpose, is our common binding thread.

What advice can you offer others traveling to Paris for the first time?
Indeed, there are a few great tips, 1. Brush up on your polite French phrases for basic greetings and requests. The French so very much appreciate and respond well to even meager attempts at their language, It is very obtuse and impolite to assume they prefer to speak English to their beautiful mother tongue. Dress well and elegantly, as wrong or right, you will receive far better service. Always say, Bonjour’ when entering a boutique, cafe or restaurant and ‘Merci’ when you leave even if you didn’t spend one centime. Tip well and be patient; Parisians like to linger at every meal, take forever to order at the Patisserie and move at a civilized calm pace.

You used to be a fashion designer, what is your number one fashion rule?
Just be impeccably well groomed and polished and you will always be chic. Whether you’re in a classic white tee with skinny jeans and sandals or you’re in a little black dress-- fresh faced, a great haircut, buffed nails, a spritz of parfum and a top notch shoe, one piece of interesting unique jewelry and your set. Skip the hairspray, complicated hairstyle, mascara and heaps of jewelry, less is more! Unless of course, we are talking about Champagne! Then quaff with abandon and, toast glass flutes uttering, “Chin, chin, Vive La France!”.

Special thanks to Kirsten for answering my questions and sharing her book with our readers.

How to win "Paris Baby":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: If you were to visit Paris, what is the first thing you would do upon arriving there?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

Giveaway ends September 19th at midnight EST.

44 comments:

Jel ♡ said...

first thing to do would prolly be shopping and eating and tour :)

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

im already a blog follower =)
GFC: Jel

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/jelaiii_x/status/113600559969345537

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

bloged: http://mynameisjel.tumblr.com/post/10162921577/book-giveaway-paris-baby

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

im a member on FB =)
Maggy Diaz Oro

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

fb shared: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=259060994128774&id=100002184952335

punkme15 at gmail dot com

meandmom said...

Sounds good I'd like to read it.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

meandmom said...

I have actually been to a Paris, and I don' remember if this is the first thing I did, but they first thing I would want to do is see the Eiffel Tower.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook fan.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Allison said...

The first thing I would do is eat!!!

I'm a GFC follower.

abrown546@ gmailDOTcom

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

1. I do not know a whole lot about Paris, so I would probably want to see the Eiffel Tower first.
2. I'm a follower of the blog.
3. I like CLC on FB.

amber_johnson2004 at yahoo dot com

Nina said...

If i were to arrive in Paris, I think one of the top things on my list would be to try a french macaron! I am a fan of memoirs, and this one certainly sounds interesting!
nina565(at)aol(dot)com

Margaret said...

I have actually been to Paris but if I was to again the first thing I would do is hit a cafe drink fabulous coffee and just people watch. I'm a follower.

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel ;)

the first place i would visit in paris is a bakery...for delicious pastries that Paris is famous for.

i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

marybelle said...

I would just love to go to Paris. First thing I would go to a cafe, have a great coffee & watch the Parisian world walk by.

GFC: Mary Preston
FB: Mary Preston

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Kelly said...

First thing I would do is stop at a Cafe and observe the sights and sounds of Paris.

moore79 at gmail dot com

Kelly said...

I'm a GFC Kelly M

moore79 at gmail dot com

Kelly said...

I like CLC on FB

moore79 at gmail dot com

faithspage said...

Eiffel Tower, then found a cozy little coffee shop, next gelato, then walk around the cobblestone streets.

follow on gfc and fb

kyfaithw at aol dot com

Linda Kish said...

The first thing I would do is go to a cafe for some coffee. Then just walk around and enjoy the sights.

This book sounds terrific.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

A.C. said...

audras at gmail dot com

I love Paris! This book sounds great and I can't wait to read it!

1. The first thing I want to do whenever I get a chance to go back will be to go back to Sacre Coeur where my husband proposed.
2. I already follow this blog
3. I'm a fan on Facebook.

Krystal Lynn said...

First thing I'm doing in Paris when I go is looking for a cafe to relax and eat in. OR tweet about being in PAris the minute I land so everyone else is jealous. One of those.

miss_kris_11 (at) yahoo.com

susana said...

1. If you were to visit Paris, what is the first thing you would do upon arriving there?
I went to Paris in 1995 to see how Miguel Indurain the spanish cyclist won his 5 th tour of France and then of course visit the Eiffel Torre, but the best was all, the athmosphere, the people the good weather (I have been luchy, jjee) good memories...
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
Of course I do
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
FB Wall
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

My email address is: smdiazz33@hotmail.com

And enjoy Paris!!!!

Misusedinnocence said...

I would love to read this! First thing I would do in Paris would be go to little old bookstores and see what amazing things I could find. I follow on gfc.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Susan said...

Thanks for the chance to win this one - sounds great!

Eiffel Tower would be my first stop - how facinating and beautiful.

I am a GFC follower.

I 'Like' on Facebook already.

suzebomb(at)gmail.com

kswederski said...

The first thing I would do is sit at a cafe and watch and listen to people.

+ 1 follow GFC

Kayswederski@yahoo.com

Anita Yancey said...

First thing I would do is rest, it's a long flight. Then I would go shopping. Please enter me. Thanks!

Follow on GFC!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: If you were to visit Paris, what is the first thing you would do upon arriving there?

Not really sure - probably all the cheesy touristy things!

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Follow this blog already.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Am already a member.

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kat said...

1) I love getting to know the authors a little bit better through these interviews

2) I think the first thing I would do after arriving in Paris is just find a nice place to sit and take it all in. And also hope that no one speaks to me because my French is atrocious!

3) I am a follower through GFC

4) I am a member of CLC

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Amy said...

The first thing I would do is go to one of the famous bridges or on a lovely cobblestone street and give my husband the biggest smootch ever! Hey, we are in Paris right?
this book sounds SO good :)
i'm a blog follower
amyrbromberg(at)gmail(dot)com
I'm a facebook fan
Shared on FB wall

Tweeted:


http://twitter.com/#!/jam_njellygirl/status/115452931406434304

Amy said...

I feel so so stupid, I spelled Kirsten's name wrong :( I'm so so so so sorry

here is tweet:

http://twitter.com/#!/jam_njellygirl/status/115453749513814017

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I would go to the Efel tower

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via GFC

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

i follow via facebook


brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

i follow via twitter


brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Kim W. said...

1) The first thing I would do is hit a French cafe or restaurant and eat and drink coffee!!!

2) I follow the CLC blog already

3) I posted this contest on Facebook

4) I belong to CLC on Facebook already

kewalker1972@gmail.com

Nancye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

The first place I'd like to visit in the Eiffel Tower.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I like you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/115987522533859328

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

FB Post

http://www.facebook.com/nancyecdavis#!/nancyecdavis/posts/222801454445530

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net