Very pleased to welcome the lovely Susan Tepper back to the blog – she’s a long time friend and a great writer – and here she is, to talk about her latest book…
Selfie Interview with Susan Tepper & Susan Tepper (alias Marilyn Bliss)
Marilyn Bliss: What made you decide to write a collection of short fiction set on The French Riviera?
Susan Tepper: Well, Marilyn, that is a fair question, though if you were a writer you probably wouldn’t have asked. But, that aside, my plans to travel to Nice, France were ditched when the World Trade Center came down. I was to travel there a few days after, and of course all flights in and out of NY were cancelled that week. So I didn’t get to Nice. It plagued me. I tend to write about what I want most in life, especially things I didn’t get.
MB: So you’re saying you had a burning (forgive the pun) desire to see the French Riviera all these years?
ST: Essentially, yes. Back then I had bought all my French Riviera-looking clothes, which were bright and lovely, plus a green woven purse/bag to carry during the summer Riviera heat. Everything colorful in the Provencal type of patterns. I always plan my future events with clothing. Before I got married for the second time, I bought a ‘wedding dress’ each season for a year and a half. These were not traditional white wedding dresses so they could be utilized as dresses for parties, etc.
MB: What do you mean you bought a wedding dress for each season for more than a year? Why do that?
ST: Because each time I broached the subject of marriage, the love of my life had twenty good reasons why we should not marry. But, being an optimist, of the highest rank, I bought the dress each season ‘just in case.’
MB: How does all this clothing talk fit into the book you’ve written, which you titled ‘Monte Carlo Days & Nights’?
ST: Well, for starters, my protagonist does get to the French Riviera. And she brings along a stellar wardrobe. Her love interest, in the book, is a man who is rather obsessed with what she wears. And also makes it very clear to her from the get-go that he will never marry.
MB: I see. You took some of your own losses and made them into this book.
ST: Marilyn, you catch on quickly. That is precisely what most writers write about: loss.
MB: Did you find the French Riviera all you’d hoped it to be?
ST: It is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. The Mediterranean Sea of that deep blue, the hilly cobblestone streets, enchanting old architecture, all the gorgeous planted flowers. An incredible place.
MB: Will you return some day?
ST: I hope so. It’s my dream. In the meantime, I brought my protagonist there. So I was able to live through her experiences at The Riviera. Monte Carlo was her base.
MB: Eventually, did you find your personal bliss?
ST: Not in quite the same way you did, Marilyn (Bliss). But in deeper more essential ways, yes, I found my bliss.
Monte Carlo Days & Nights is Susan Tepper’s seventh published book. An award-winning writer, Tepper has published hundreds of stories, poems, interviews and essays worldwide. When she was a rock singer, she went by the name of Marilyn Bliss for a while. www.susantepper.com