Interview with historical novelist Adrianne Sainte-Eve

Today’s guest is first-time novelist Adrianne Sainte-Eve. She’s going to talk about her World War I historical novel, Horizontal Collaborator.

Adrianne Sainte-Eve was born in Budapest Hungary, and spent her childhood in, Quebec, Regina, Saskatchewan, and Vancouver, B.C. in Canada. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northern Illinois University, and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Welcome, Adrianne. Please tell us about your current release.
Horizontal Collaborator is about a Montmartre barmaid, Violette Clary, during the time of the First World War. She is presented with the opportunity to work as a double agent for France, and succeeds in becoming the mistress of the German Chief of Naval Intelligence. Her adventures take her from France to Spain and then Hungary, interacting with many bizarre characters along the way.

What inspired you to write this book?
The idea of women spies during that period interested me. I wondered what they must have been like as personalities. What would lead them to follow such a career? I was intrigued by what was going on in the minds of the different characters on opposite sides of the war, each one thinking their side was the right one.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on another story, this time set in the twenties and thirties, another exciting time in history. It is not a sequel but I do resurrect some of the people from Horizontal Collaborator, because I want to know what happens to them.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Although I always wanted to write, I didn’t consider myself a writer until I had finished my first novel. I just sat down and wrote it. I surprised myself.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
It seems I write full-time when I am actually writing. Once I start, I don’t like to stop until I’m too tired to go on. About six hours a day is my limit. I took a long break after my first novel, but now I’m working on another one. I have two part-time jobs to support myself, but luckily they both allow me a lot of flexibility. I just write when I can, either early morning or late into the night.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it’s a quirk, but I like to make up my characters first before I develop a story. Then I sort of loosely put together a story and decide how my characters will react to the different events, and vaguely, what should happen to them. After that the story seems to develop itself easily.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A spy, of course.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I always read a lot, and very randomly. I’ve often read a great book and was consumed with jealousy because I didn’t write it. I wanted to write most of my life, but I didn’t know how to start. I told myself to just start but it was many years before I actually did that. Then when I did finally start, I didn’t stop until it was finished. Writing a novel was every bit as satisfying as I thought it would be. I would encourage anyone who has the urge to write to do the same. Your story will come out, once you “just start.”

Also, feel free to connect with me through Facebook.

Thank you so much for visiting today, Adrianne. Happy writing!

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