Long ago, while I was working on The Samurai’s Garden, I was part of a small critique group that met at my home. One of the ladies who came was Virginia Hebert, who’s a fellow member of the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group. Until a few years ago, Virginia was a high school French teacher, and her book was a fascinating tale set at the beginning of the French revolution. I wondered about how she was able to paint the scenes so vividly and discovered that she traveled to France every other year with her students! I was fortunate enough to tag along on one of those trips.
A Season of Deceptions, published by Resplendence publishing, released last fall, so I asked Virginia to tell us about her inspiration for the book.
I’m not sure what it is, perhaps a past life, but ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated with foreign languages, castles, and sparkly jewels. It’s only natural then that I found my career teaching French and traveling with my students throughout Europe. I found the old stone architecture as well as the half-timbered houses and stores beautiful and enticing. Narrow streets winding through villages or massive formal gardens on castle grounds set my imagination reeling. I loved the history and wondered what it would be like to have lived in those places so many years ago.
I didn’t start writing until fairly recently, well, eight or so years ago. Before that, when I was in high school and college, I dreaded the thought of having to write a term paper or any assignment of more than half a page. It wasn’t until I saw the movie, Phantom of the Opera, that I considered creating a story. I had several friends that were fans of the story too. I know, kind of crazy that that’s what would get me started, but we all wanted more of the story. So, I wrote twenty-six chapters for us… just for us. I was so captivated by the process of creating and directing the lives of the characters that in spite of having to teach the next day, I would work into the wee hours of the morning or rise at four a.m. I enjoyed writing so much I decided to write a story that was totally my own and, of course, have it published.
And so it happened, but ever so slowly. As I taught about the history of France and the French Revolution, I thought about the differences in the classes, the haves and have-nots. Each group suffered during that turbulent time, but of course, in different ways. I figured it would be good to have them get acquainted and the story started to come together. Sometimes the characters would change a scene on me, and I’d have to rewrite a portion of it. I didn’t work on it as diligently as I had my fanfic and would sometimes leave it for a few months at a time as work, family, and life in general took over. But eventually, several years after starting it, it was done.
I love my story, A Season of Deceptions, and am finding that many others do too. I currently have a handful of partially written novels and now need to get back to work.
Thank you, Patty, for featuring me on your amazing blog. I enjoyed being here.
Virginia is still working on her internet presence.
Blurb for A Season of Deceptions:
Trust no one!
Catherine Laval pays little mind to the rumors of an impending revolution circulating among her father’s aristocratic friends during the social season of 1788. She’s far more concerned with the latest fashions, gossip and securing a suitably wealthy husband. However the innocent flirtations and coy deceptions of her entitled lifestyle turn deadly one tragic evening at her family’s estate.
Disguised in a humble dress belonging to one of the servants, Catherine is forced to flee from the only life she’s known. Calling herself Colette, she lives among the French common people, where her eyes and heart are opened to the social injustices and suffering of the poor in her country. The experience convinces her that her life can never be the same.
But now, her secrets and lies may cost her the love of the man who’s captured her heart. She longs to reveal everything to him, but is Catherine herself the victim of the biggest deception of all?