Mundie Moms

Monday, December 13, 2010

Author Interview with Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss

Today we are so excited to have debut author, Stephanie Perkins on our site! Stephanie is the author of Anna and the French Kiss and let us just say, this is one book we HIGHLY recommend picking up. It quickly made it's way on to our Favorite Reads for 2010! It's one of those books you sit down to read, and you quickly find yourself completely swept away into the story.

I absolutely love Anna and the French Kiss, the characters are real and the setting made me feel like I'd just had a private tour of Paris. What inspired you to choose Paris as your setting and have you ever been before?
Thank you! The inspiration arrived in a dream — a beautiful boy with a French name and an English accent sitting on the steps of the Panth√©on — and it was impossible to resist. Or, more accurately, THE BOY was impossible to resist.

I’d only visited Paris when I was very young, so my memories weren’t exactly reliable. And when I got this idea, my husband and I didn’t have the money to travel. This meant years of research — books, film, music, food, language classes, etc. Anything and everything French that I could get my hands on! Last January, I was fortunate enough to have spent an entire (glorious, glorious) month in the center of Paris, but by that point, Anna’s story was already said and done.
In other words, it was all research. Never underestimate the power of good research!

I'm having a hard time picking a favorite character from Anna and the French Kiss, as not only are Anna and St. Clair fabulous, relatable characters, but so are the secondary characters. Which character surprised you the most in terms of how much they grew from the beginning of the story to the end?
Oh my word, definitely Anna. Story-wise AND process-wise. In my first draft, she was an empty character. I knew who St. Clair was, but I had no idea what type of person his ideal match would be. I rounded her out by giving her several of my own obsessions — both positive and negative. In fact, I gave her TOO MANY of my negative habits! My editor and I worked hard to scale things back again, to make her both likeable and worthy of such an interesting boy.

I think St Clair is a modern day Mr. Darcy, as he's the good looking, real, down to earth guy who has some quirkiness to him. Who inspired his character?
Ah hem.
Well, of course, the boy in my dream was the biggest influence. I was lucky in that √Čtienne St. Clair arrived nearly fully formed! But I fleshed him out with romantic influences, that’s for sure. To be honest, there’s definitely some Darcy in him. A dash of Meg Cabot’s Michael Moscovitz. And a heaping tablespoon of one particular actor who shall remain nameless!

We know that writing can be a rewarding, and a painfully satisfying journey. How do you over come the days you feel that your scenes just aren't coming together?
Truthfully, I have more hard days than good days. I’m a slow writer, and I get frustrated easily. I feel like there’s this universal, silly idea that writing should be some kind of magical, mystical experience, but . . . no. It’s a job. And jobs mean WORK.
And sometimes work isn’t fun.
When my scenes aren’t coming together, I’ll step back from my computer — take a shower or a walk — and then return in an hour or two. If I haven’t thought of a solution, it’s time to brainstorm on paper. Instead of trying to think up ONE idea, now I’ll try to think up five or seven or ten, even if they’re stupid. If I force my brain to speed up, often I’ll hit upon something good. And if I STILL don’t know what to do, I’ll either work on a different scene or discuss the problem with a critique partner.
The only key? Don’t stop. Keep moving forward.

Do you have any favorite reads from this past year?
Oh, I love this question! Thank you for asking. My favorite read this year was Elizabeth Hand’s Illyria, a gorgeous, quiet, magical, intense romance about (*cough cough*) cousins. Daisy Whitney’s powerful, hopeful The Mockingbirds was my favorite contemporary debut. And I loved, loved, loved Julie Halpern’s hilarious and romantic Into the Wild Nerd Yonder.

Thank you for your time Stephanie and congratulations on your debut release!
Thank you for having me here! I’m so honored. I hope you and your readers all have a wonderful holiday season!
You can find out more about Stephanie & her writing by visiting her site here:
You can read our 5 star review of Anna and the French Kiss here
Thank you to Stephanie Perkins and Anna with Penguin for their time. Thank you to Penguin, we have an awesome giveaway!! A SIGNED copy of Anna and the French Kiss!


  1. I just read this last week and I absolutely FELL IN LOVE with it! I read it in one day, I couldn't put it down! Etienne St. Clair dreamy. I loved him so, so much. Anna was so real and just perfect. I loved how quirky she was. I related to her instantly. I ADORED this book and have already raved about it to friends and on Twitter!

  2. This was a wonderful interview. Thank you for coming on.

  3. This is a great interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Stephanie sounds as delightful as her book! Thanks for this great interview Stephanie & Mundie Moms!

  5. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

  6. I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like 5 incredible shiny stars for it. Wonderful interview with Stephanie. Thanks MMs!

  7. You guys are so welcome!

    I LOVE this book! Seriously, it's just one of those books you have to experience for yourself.

  8. Great interview! I absolutely loved this book when I got to read it on an ARC tour. I know it's one I'll re-read until the pages fall out.

  9. St. Clair was definitely swoon worthy! I like that he had some bad habits and wasn't made out to be a god. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  10. I've yet to read Anna, but I'm so excited about it. Every single review I've read has gushed about the book, the boy, and the setting. I must read it!

  11. Great interview!

    I finished Anna last week and I LOVED it! It was such an adorable story!

  12. Thanks for the chance!

  13. I just finished this book last night and LOVED it! I really felt like I was a fly on the wall watching the relationship between St. Claire and Anna blossom and grow. It isn't often that after I finish a book I actually want to flip it over and start back at the beginning. But I do with this one. I won't though because I have too many new books for Christmas to get through, but I will be re-reading it again soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

  14. You guys are so welcome!!

    Jennifer- I am so glad you loved it!! It's one of those books that just comes alive. It's hard not to re-read it right after you finish it.

  15. I LOVED this book! Shocked she wrote so descriptively from research! I felt like I was IN Paris while reading! KUDOS! My daughter asked me to tell her about Anna one night at bedtime and she fell in LOVE with it too....well, my very G-rated version of it! Thanks for an awesome read! I look forward to more great books from Stephanie!!