Interview: Cara Black
Cara how would you describe yourself in three adjectives?
Curious espresso drinker.
What is your connection to France?
I come from a Francophile family, went to a French Catholic school and fell in love with Paris on my first visit.
How did you come to write crime novels (or mysteries as they are called in the States)?
I wanted to tell a story. Crime fiction is a great framework, a structure to hang a story.
Where do you find inspiration for your novels?
Everywhere. In Paris I’ll talk to a cafe owner, interview a policewoman, read an article in the paper or overhear a conversation on the bus and it gets my mind spinning … that what if …? pops up and it could be a story.
You have written an impressive 12 novels, each of which are set in a different arrondissment of Paris. How many more do you plan to write?
Will you write a crime novel set in each of the 18 arrondissements?
Why not? There are 20 arrondissements.
Why did you set your series in Paris?
I love Paris and I also wanted to write about my friend’s mother, who was a hidden Jewish girl in the Marais during the German occupation. I never intended to write a series of mysteries but when I developed my detective Aimée Leduc who’s half-American and half-French. I wanted her to explore more of Paris; the social issues, what it’s like to be a modern contemporary Parisienne, wear heels and like bad boys.
What are you currently working on?
The next Aimée Leduc Investigation.
At what stage is it?
Almost finished … I’m on deadline and working it all out.
You also keep a blog. How does blogging help your other writing?
Now I’ve joined Murder Is Everywhere blog, where I blog on a Tuesday with a great group of international writers. Yes, blogging forces me to keep sharp.
For those who aren’t familiar, can you describe your novel’s heroine Aimee Leduc?
She’s taller, thinner, more fashion conscious and smarter with computers than I am. She also has a great 17th century apartment in a townhouse on Ile Saint Louis.
And, do you see much of yourself in Aimee Leduc?
We share the same fear of rodents and high places.
How often do you visit Paris?
Twice a year for research. I couchsurf with friends and cat sit.
Where is your favourite place to drink in Paris?
The Hemingway bar at the Ritz.
Where is your favourite place to shop in Paris?
Rue du Faubourg du Temple.
Where is your favourite place to play (a nightclub, a park, a museum etc.) in Paris?
Victor Hugo Museum in Place des Vosges.
Where is your favourite place to write in Paris?
Any cafe, or on the bus when I hear interesting conversations.
Where are some of your other favourite hidden spots?
The Bibliotheque Mazarine.
Where is your favourite place to go for a day trip from Paris?
Château d’Ecouen – only fifty minutes from Gare du Nord and a world away to immerse in this chateau now a Renaissance museum and grounds to get lost in.
Thank you Cara for taking the time to speak to us at My French Life™. We’ve enjoyed getting to know more about you and your writing. To find out more about Cara and her books, you can go to her website: http://www.carablack.com, or have a look at her blog. Her new book Murder at the Lanterne Rouge comes on on 6th March.