INTERVIEW WITH LAURA FLORAND, AUTHOR OF ' THIEF OF CHOCOLATE'


On the occasion of the release of THIEF OF CHOCOLATE in Italian we have asked its author, LAURA FLORAND, some questions.
 
LMBR: DEAR LAURA YOU'RE MOST WELCOME TO OUR BLOG! WE LOVED YOUR BOOK AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH YOU.
FIRST OF ALL WE'D LIKE YOU TO KNOW THAT WE HAPPILY PUT ON ABOUT 2 KILOS EACH WHILE READING YOUR BOOK BUT IT WAS WORTHWHILE.:O)  WE FOUND THIEF OF CHOCOLATE  AMAZING AND ENGROSSING. WHERE DID YOU GET THE IDEA TO MIX CHOCOLATE AND ROMANCE?  BE HONEST, ARE YOU CHOCOLATE ADDICTED TOO?
LAURA FLORAND:  Of course I’m chocolate-addicted!  And I guess the idea to write about chocolate started with that addiction, but the more I learned about top artisan chocolatiers, the more fascinated I grew by the type of person who can produce such amazing chocolate:  the perfectionism and passion, the arrogance that blends so fascinatingly with this relentless urge to bring other people pleasure, and the pure sensuality of the career.  Top chocolatiers-pâtissiers really live with all their senses and with all their heart.  What better romance hero could you ask for?

LMBR: DID YOU TAKE INSPIRATION  FOR YOUR MAIN CHARACTERS - SYLVAIN AND CADE - FROM SOMEONE?  SYLVAIN IS A VERY REFRESHING KIND OF ROMANCE HERO, A NICE BLEND OF ALPHA AND BETA HERO FEATURES. DID YOU CHOOSE TO PORTRAY HIM LIKE THAT FROM THE START OR DID HE DEVELOP HIS OWN PERSONALITY ALONG THE ROAD?
LAURA FLORAND: All my characters develop their own personality along the road.  That’s part of the joy of writing, seeing the person develop.  I’m glad you liked him!

LMBR:YOUR BOOK IS LIKE A BIG CHOCOLATE CAKE THAT HOLDS A SURPRISE INSIDE; YOU DON'T JUST TALK ABOUT FOOD AND RECIPES BUT YOU PRESENT US WITH TWO INTERESTING, HUMAN CHARACTERS WHO MANAGED TO TURN THEIR WEAKNESSES INTO STRENGTHS . WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU THINK  A ROMANCE BOOK SHOULD HAVE TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
LAURA FLORAND:Hmm...well, the only one real ingredient necessary is a happy, powerful love story.  But that’s like saying the main ingredient necessary for good chocolate is...good chocolate. It’s true.  But after you’ve selected your Valrhona or your Michel Cluizel, so much happens in the way you temper the chocolate and infuse it with flavors.  And the flavors can be so varied, from something outrageous but oddly intriguing like tomato-basil to a classic delicious Tahitian vanilla or, Cade’s favorite, cinnamon.  The “chocolates” can be dark, they can be light.  They can be beautiful hand-painted gleaming things or rough-hewn dusted truffles.   And all those forms can be delicious and fascinating. 
Chocolate.  A metaphor for a love story.  Of course I had to write about love and chocolate together!
For me, I would say that in addition to a strong love story, the one other ingredient necessary for me are two main characters I would actually like.  I like strong women, and I like men who treat those women well, no matter how hard they might fight before their two strong personalities learn how to fit together.

LMBR:PARIS, CHOCOLATE, LOVE, SEX/PASSION. WHAT IMPORTANCE DO THEY HAVE IN YOUR LIFE?
LAURA FLORAND: Let’s just say my life has been dominated by all four!  My husband is a Parisian.  We met when I was in Paris as a graduate student studying French, and we did throw our lives over for each other.   So I do believe in the power of love.   (My first book, BLAME IT ON PARIS, is a true story about all of that, in fact.)  
And beyond my own personal experience, I think that both Paris and chocolate are symbols of living a full life that embraces love, romance, adventure, and all the senses, without shame and without holding back.  In the same way people feel guilty about wanting chocolate, they also sometimes feel guilty about wanting other things out of life, and I say:  Just take the bite of it you want to and enjoy every luscious second of it melting in your mouth. 
But, of course, that pleasure does meet the boundaries of your respect for and responsibilities toward others, and that’s the conflict Cade encounters.

LMBR: ARE YOU WRITING AT THE MOMENT? COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PROJECTS? ARE WE GOING TO READ OTHER BOOKS OF YOURS IN ITALIAN? WE HOPE SO.
LAURA FLORAND:There are four books in the “Chocolate” series, a loosely connected set of books with Parisian chocolatiers-pâtissiers heroes.  The next one is THE CHOCOLATE KISS, and that comes out in the U.S. in January 2013, so just a little over three months from now.  A young woman with a whimsical, magical salon de thé on the Île Saint-Louis, who brews the most enchanting chocolat chaud...and the world-famous chocolatier-pâtissier who decides to open his glamorous shop right down the street from her.  As far as she’s concerned, the street isn’t big enough for both of them—and she was there first.  Sparks, as you can imagine, fly, and it’s a battle to see who can seduce whom. 
The next two Chocolate books after THE CHOCOLATE KISS release in the U.S. in August and December 2013.  But I don’t know yet about the Italian versions.  I wish I could tell you something more definite, because it has been such a delight to hear from Italian readers.  I’m both thrilled and touched by the reception of Ladra de Cioccolato/The Chocolate Thief.   In fact, I wanted to mention that I do read Italian and am always delighted to hear from people, so please feel free to write and comment on my blog (www.lauraflorand.com) or Facebook site (www.facebook.com/LauraFlorandAuthor ).  As long as you don’t mind all my grammar errors in Italian in my replies! 
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you on your blog!  I can’t wait to meet some readers in person while I’m on tour in Italy (Sept 26-Oct 3).  I should have the final dates for events posted on my site soon.  Meanwhile, I’m delighted to make your blog my first “stop” on my visit to Italy.  Grazie mille e auguri!

AND WE THANK YOU AGAIN, LAURA,  FOR BEING SO KIND AND HOPE TO MEET YOU IN ITALY VERY SOON!


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