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Spotlight on Liza Perrat

December 20, 2015

 

Where did you get the idea for the Bone Angel Trilogy? 
The idea for the first in the series, Spirit of Lost Angels, came to me on a Sunday walk around the French village in which I live. On the riverbank, I came across a small stone cross (croix à gros ventre, or "cross with the big belly") commemorating the drowning of two peasant children in the 18th century. Intrigued, I wanted to know more about them; to give them names, a family, a village. An identity. The children had died in the years leading up to the French Revolution, so that seemed the most obvious setting; the peasants versus the aristocracy—on the small scale of my story, paralleled with the larger, real-life scale. A dramatic backdrop for the dramatic event of their drowning.

Once this story was finished, I realized the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne and the farmhouse (L’Auberge des Anges) still had stories to tell. So I wrote two more books, set in different historical eras.

For the second in the series, Wolfsangel, a visit to the town of Oradour-sur-Glane, and learning of the tragic WW2 crime that occurred there, inspired me to set that book during the Nazi occupation of the same village, featuring the descendants of the same family.

What made you choose the Black Death as the backdrop to Blood Rose Angel?
As I said in the previous question, I'd used dramatic historical events for the settings of books 1 and 2 and by the time I reached the third novel, I'd become intrigued by the medieval period. So the bubonic plague seemed a logical choice for the setting of Blood Rose Angel. Again, one woman against the village, symbolizing the people of the world against the greater enemy of the plague.

What writers inspire you?
In childhood it was definitely Enid Blyton, then Agatha Christie. These days I’m inspired by the writing of Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, Kate Atkinson, Maggie O’Farrell and Wally Lamb, to name just a few.

What will you work on next?
Difficult question! I’m taking a few months off writing to try and get to grips with the business side of things, not to mention technology. But I must say life feels a bit pointless when I’m not actually writing a book. And I do keep getting vague glimpses of an Australian family, a house, a beach … another across-the-generations saga maybe. That said, I really love the medieval period now, and the newborn of Blood Rose Angel is starting to let me know he/she wants his/her story told. So who knows, if readers demand it, there might be another tale to add to The Bone Angel series.

Quote from Blood Rose Angel, the third book in the Bone Angel Trilogy:
“In a small nook of my mind, I did understand Raoul’s warped logic … his yearning to protect me and his family. But that didn’t mean I would forgive him, or ever speak to him again. Something was riven between us, lightning forking open a swollen sky that would never fit seamlessly together again.”

ABOUT LIZA PERRAT
Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years. When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist.

Since completing a creative writing course twelve years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small-press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine, France Today, and The Good Life France.

She is a founding member of the author collective Triskele Books and reviews books for BookMuse. Find out more about her on her website.

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