Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bonjour, Muse & The Marketplace

Muse Micro-Interview 12: 

Jamie Cat Callan

1. What’s the strangest or most memorable 
question you’ve ever gotten during 
a reading Q&A session?
“Where can I buy a red silk slip?”
Actually, this isn’t such a strange question. In both my books– “Bonjour, Happiness!” and “French Women Don’t Sleep Alone” I recommend that gals find a red silk slip to wear under that Little Black Dress. Oh, and 
matching bra and panties. That’s the secret 
to a French woman’s confidence 
and ooh la la.

2. As an author, how have the changes in the publishing world affected you?
In a word–fusion. I now longer worry about what genre I’m writing in–literary, commercial, self-help, memoir. It’s now all one and the same to me and I see a lot of other writers mixing it up with graphic novels, fiction and nonfiction, CDs paired with books.
It’s wide open now and we are all re-inventing the craft.

3. Below are four real book titles. Please write the first sentence for one of them.
The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom
The year was 1923 and Mrs. Blossom burst onto the Parisian scene with burning desire to dance!
The Day The Fish Came Out
It wasn’t just that they were purple. It was the way they stared at you, glassy-eyed and serious.
The Unholy Three
First there was Bob. Then there was Bobby. And then there was Bobbie.
Look In Any Window
Sylvie was a window dresser–that is, when she wasn’t stalking Pierre.
4. Anything else you’d like to say to would-be writers out there?
Follow your muse. Don’t worry about where you’re going or where you’ll end up. Write from the heart and believe that there is a place in this world for your voice, your story, your style. No one else can be you. You are completely unique and amazing in your own way. And as long as you stay true to yourself, your contribution to the world will be completely true and unique. Oh, and one other thing. Be kind to your writing. It lives and breathes outside of you. It’s a gift to you from your muse, so if you are kind to your own creations, your muse will make a habit of visiting you often. I don’t believe in tough love when it comes to writing. I believe in love. Kindness. Gentleness. And of course a whole lot of joie de vivre. This is why I adore Grub Street and the Grub Street teaching philosophy. There’s a whole lot of love going on and I can’t imagine a place where writers receive so much support. We’re lucky to have them!
Jamie Cat Callan is the author of Bonjour, Happiness!and the wildly successful French Women Don’t Sleep Alone. She is also the creator of The Writers Toolbox. Jamie has taught her unique right-brain style of writing at Grub Street, UCLA., NYU, Wesleyan University and Yale University. Most recently, she won a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant in fiction and a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship to write in Auvillar, France. Her work has appeared in the Best American Erotic, The Missouri Review, The New York Times “Modern Love” column and many other places.


  1. I just read your book BONJOUR HAPPINESS! And i enjoyed every word. I'm Italian and Canadian, so this melding of cultures is not a new concept to me.
    Your book was funny, cute, inspirtional....and so much more.
    I'm now following your blog, and poted about reading your book today!
    Stop by and have a peek if you will.

    Ciao Bella!



    Au revoir!

  3. Bonjour Jamie, I came here through Paris Breakfast, I would love to read your lovely novel and Bonjour Happiness, and write about it in my blog afterwards. I usually write in French, but I can write about it in English if you prefer; of course bra and panty MUST match, what else?

  4. Bonjour, Kitem--Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I would be happy to send you a copy of Bonjour, Happiness! and French Women Don't Sleep Alone to review on your blog. Could you email me with your snail mail (or escargot) address and I will send you a copy right away. Please feel free to write in French. (Although, I am not fluent.) By the way, I'll be at W.H. Smith in Paris in September. Merci beaucoup, Jamie P.S. I'm at


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