Three Frequently Asked Questions
about Paris in Love
Q: How do your children feel about being portrayed in a book? A: Many of the stories in Paris in Love originated in little updates on Facebook, and Luca demanded the right to vet anything that included his name. That was true for this book as well, so all content mentioning his name has passed his review. Anna had no idea at the time, but now that she’s grasped the concept, she’s thrilled, though she does have certain concerns. Will anyone recognize her on the cover, given that she wouldn't be caught dead with a hair bow (it wouldn't match the shock of purple in her bangs)? Who will play her in a movie about her thrilling school experiences? Will people ask for her autograph? Just in case, she’s been practicing her name with loops and a trailing heart.
And in case you’re wondering, Alessandro wants to be portrayed by Johnny Depp.
Q: Are you planning to write another travel book, say, Rome in Love? A: I have learned over the years not to reject any idea out of hand. Professors receive regular sabbaticals—it’s a terrific perk that makes up for hard work and low pay. And yes, my husband is already making plans for another year in a different city (we tormented Luca by making him survive his freshmen year in a foreign country; it wouldn’t be fair to not subject Anna to the same). But honestly, I can’t imagine writing a book in the same way. Paris in Love fell into place in a very special year and time. So…I might write another book about more of our adventures, but I can’t say what it will look like.
Q: I’d like to write a book, but I can’t figure out how to… How can you write all these different kinds of books—academic books, romance novels, and memoir? A: One of the most important things I learned in college is that writing is just writing. It’s a tool for ideas, not a mystical process. It is my firm belief—and one that I pound into my students every year—that anyone can learn to write whatever sort of book he or she wants. When I was writing Paris in Love, I read memoirs voraciously. When I found a memoirist whose writing I particularly admired (David Sedaris, for example), I read his books over and over. Apprentice yourself! You can do it. Writing is tremendously hard work, no matter the genre, but it’s also totally fun.