Anne Fortier is an author of a bestseller book called “Juliet”. After growing up in Denmark, she went to USA to work in the film industry. She produced the movie “Fire and Ice”, which is a Grammy winning documentary.
WANNABE MAGAZINE: What inspired you to write your book “Juliet”?
ANNE FORTIER: It was the city of Siena that inspired me to write an historical novel set in that very special place. Only later, when I was already thinking about the plot structure, did my mother discover the first version of Romeo & Juliet (written over a hundred years before Shakespeare’s tragedy) had been set there, and I thought to myself: wow!
There’s my story!
Could you tell us about your writing life? What is your typical writing day like?
It depends a lot on where I am in the writing process. Today, for example, after just submitting my next manuscript to the US publisher, I get up leisurely around 6:30 and respond to emails & such. But two weeks ago, when I was working hard to finish the manuscript, I would be up by 5 and work with few interruptions until dinnertime. But you can only do that for a limited time. Apparently, sitting still in front of a computer is the worst thing you can do for your health.
What lessons can we learn from your books?
I hope the lessons to be learned are positive ones. I hope the readers will come away from my stories & characters with a feeling that love is possible; that soul mates are out there, waiting to be found; that everyone may have a second chance, as long as he or she is ready to do what it takes to turn things around; that women especially should be careful not to let others push us around. I also hope my characters inspire readers to seize the moment and show our loved ones how much we care for them while we are still able to do so. The older you get, the more you realize how important that is.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have been working on novel-length manuscripts since I was eleven years old, believe it or not. So the experience of immersion and focus is not new to me. I would have to say that what I learned from the process of actually getting JULIET published is that it really is possible to get your story out there in the world, as long as you believe in it and work hard to make it as good as it can get. There are very few lucky breaks in the book industry; it really comes down to hard work and playing by the rules.
Who designed the covers? They are very beautiful!
Thank you. Each publisher has a designer, so it really depends on what the individual publisher feels is right for his or her particular market. As you can see, the covers are incredibly different; the further north you go in Europe, the fewer roses on the cover, for example. I don’t know why, but it’s curious with these trends. The German and Danish covers are quite unique in completely avoiding the romantic overtones; in fact, the Danish publisher was the only one who asked me what I would like the cover to look like. Interesting, Denmark and Germany are also the two countries where the book – to my knowledge – has done best.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” (in terms of moral & political beliefs), Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “The Little House on the Prarie” (in terms of loving the “pioneering” life and wanting to live in America), Katherine Neville’s “The Eight”, John Fowles’ “The Magus”, and Umberto Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum” (in terms of literary inspiration)
Jane Austen or Emily Bronte?
Both are lovely authors. But I am definitely an Austen girl. Partly because, to me, she is the superior humorist, and partly because apparently, the Bronte sisters scoffed at Jane Austen for “writing unimportant stories”. Which, of course, is nonsense, and they should have known better. A part of Austen’s art lies in making it all seem so light an effortless, but there are certainly big, important issues at play in her books.
What advice do you have for aspiring young authors?
Read, read, read. The best way to become a great writer is to start out as a great reader. And then: Write, write, write. Writing, like anything, takes practice. Trust me, the first thousand pages you write will likely never be published. But keep going. And do read those “how-to” books abouts getting published. Don’t look for loopholes, just do your homework and keep going. Never give up. And remember: Very few people get a book published before the age of 35.
What can your fans look forward to next?
The book I just submitted is called THE SISTERHOOD for now. It is the story of a young Oxford scholar, Diana Morgan, who travels through Europe in search of traces of the ancient Amazon warrior women. The search takes her to surprising places, and before she knows it she has a tombrobbing syndicate on her heels. Interwoven with Diana’s quest to find the Amazon treasure, we have the Bronze Age story of the “original” Amazons, led by Myrina, who travel to ancient Crete, Greece, and end up in Troy just as the Trojan War begins … Lots of adventure, danger, and, of course, love!
Little note for everyone who read this.
I just want to say to all the lovely people who read this: Thanks for coming along on these adventures with me! I know my books are a little too wild for some people, but I can’t write boring books with unhappy endings. I need love, fun, treasures and villains … I like to move into my books and live there for a while, and I hope my readers do, too!
Jovana Katić – Dajte joj pero i hartiju i stvoriće vam modernu bajku. Ulepšaće vam dan neobičnim pričama o večnim modnim klasicima i venčanjima. Svoju kreativnost ispisuje na stranicama svog bloga Juliet’s Pen.