What are your dreams?
For the last 25 years, from the first time I saw Paris, I have wanted to spend time in France, and in my wildest dreams, perhaps have a home there. In recent years, through my blog and other publications, I have wanted to write about France, photograph it and talk about about all of the colorful people I have met and the beautiful places I have seen, not to mention the centuries of history behind France and it’s people.
Being in France and living the French lifestyle is my dream, one that is shared by millions of others around the world. There are few cultures and languages that inspire so many daydreams and drive a seemingly endless thirst for a country’s style and substance. Why do we find France and all things French so intoxicating? The answer is as complex and varied as the people and landscape of France.
It seems incredible to say, but for twenty years I have been traveling around France on a regular basis. While living in Paris, I spent almost every weekend discovering another corner of the country with my boyfriend, as he mercilessly corrected my French and explained the subtleties of France. A voyage to Italy, or Spain or Germany? Never happened over the course of several years, there was always more to see in France. And since returning to the US, guess where I go for vacation? My sister asked me once “Why do you always go to France for vacation?” What could I say but “Because I LOVE it.” I’ve been all over Europe and to parts of Asia; I’ve lived in London and Tokyo and Stockholm. There is something that continues to pull me to France. What is it exactly? I’ll try to come up with a good answer for you on that!
Since starting my blog, I’ve continued to have the idea that I wanted to write a book or a series of books on France. Actually, the idea for a book started 20 years earlier, when I used to regale my friends in New York with tales of what I was seeing and doing in Paris. You need to write a book, they all said! That was before I got interested in French cooking and photography.
For the last few years, I have been toying with the idea of writing a book. After a few delays and distractions, I’ve decided that I must do this; not one but a series of books. But do I want to go on this adventure alone? And might readers be bored with a single voice?
I decided very early on that I wanted to share this journey with some really excellent ladies, and like a bouquet that contains a variety of shades, the finished product will be better and we’ll have a lot more fun if it’s not just me.
And so while I am taking the lead on this project, I have invited two women to join me, two women who also have a lot to say about France: Laura Ingalls Gunn from Décor to Adore and Elizabeth Eiffel from Eiffel Tells. Laura has lived in Germany and Greece for many years and has already been to Brittany, Paris and Beaune with me, and as an Interior Designer is our French furniture expert. And Elizabeth, as many of you know, is an Australian photographer and raconteuse par excellence and is renovating her home in Burgundy known as My French Folly.
I have given the name of Rêve to this book series, and it will be a celebration of the patchwork of people and culture and terrain that is France. Rêve means dream in French, and I chose this name because France and all things French really are my dream, and one that I mentioned is also shared by so many others. Through this series we want to give you a completely authentic view of France and explore some places and themes. You will see photos and content that you have never seen on our blogs, and it will give us a chance to explain France to you in our unique voices in more detail than we can on our blogs. We will produce four volumes in 2013 of approximately 200 pages each of photos and text. Mostly photos; lots and lots of big beautiful photos that will look fantastic on your iPad or Kindle or computer. We have an exciting agenda for 2013, travelling to Burgundy, Brittany and probably Marrakech, and will also devote one volume just to Antiques & Antique Shopping. We’ll visit a 50-year collector in Brittany and see a large home in Burgundy that is filled to the rafters with antiques and collectibles, also from about 50 years of careful collecting. We’ll travel to the shows in the South with a veteran shopper, so you can see what it’s like to navigate the antique markets, in photos and video. I’ll have commentary that will be very informed and I think you’ll find interesting.
But for now, we will start at the beginning, at the place that most people (including me) start to discover France, which is of course, Paris.
Laura and I (along with my friend Raquel) are going to Paris for nine days in April and will publish Rêve Volume I: Paris as an e-book on May 1. I am VERY excited about this volume! We will be touring some of my favorite places: my favorite little museums, the best perfume houses, hippest wine bars, and see Paris underground, in addition to my favorite day trips outside of Paris, including the lovely Château de Chantilly. We will visit my favorite open air food markets as well as the Clignancourt Flea. There will be some interesting background on the history of Paris, as well as plenty of street scenes, updates on what’s new, and any other interesting subjects which come our way.
Best of all, as an e-book we can keep the price affordable. Each volume can be purchased separately for $6 or you may purchase the 2013 series for $20. Those of you who pre-subscribe will receive the e-book in your email boxes a week before the official release. There is a button at the top of my blog now for purchase.