Monday, March 29, 2021

Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau Interview - Kisses and Croissants

Photo Content from Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau is a bilingual French author of young adult fiction and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into seven languages. Kisses and Croissants (Delacorte Press, 2021) is her U.S. debut. After graduating university in France, she moved to Amsterdam to begin a career in advertising. She then spent a few years in Melbourne before settling in New York City, where she lives with her Australian husband and their American cat.


Publisher : Delacorte Press (April 6, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593173570
ISBN-13 : 978-0593173572


A Junior Library Guild selection

“A charming story about family, first love, and chasing your dreams. Grab a croissant, because this book will leave you smiling, swooning, and desperate to visit Paris!” —Katharine McGee, New York Times bestselling author of American Royals

“Sweet and romantic! I couldn’t put it down.” —San Francisco Book Review, five stars

"Paris simply shines; readers’ senses will come alive with all the city has to offer." —SLJ

Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and raised in France, about 40 minutes south-east of Paris. The village where I grew up actually makes a cameo in Kisses and Croissants. After I graduated university, I moved to Amsterdam for my first job, at a Japanese advertising agency. I stayed a few years before moving to Melbourne, and eventually to New York City, which has been my home since 2011.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
It’s really hard to pick one, because there have been so many rewarding moments. When Advance Reader Copies became available, I started receiving lovely messages from early readers and it felt so special and surreal at the same time. People I didn’t know were enjoying my book! It’s also a pleasure to work with people from different departments at Random House and, in general, to connect with other book lovers.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I’ve written fiction in some form or other since childhood. More than anything, I enjoy playing with words and language. I’m always drawn to stories about girls and women who take charge of their own destiny, but don’t shy away from getting swept away by life’s surprises. For a while, I’d been wanting to write a love story set in Paris that was also a love story with Paris. I’m a museum buff and I can’t get enough of croissants, so I combined many interests in the writing of this novel.

Tell us your latest news.
In addition to a hardback and an ebook, Kisses and Croissants is going to be available as an audiobook. It’s also going to be translated into a few foreign languages. I have another standalone YA romance novel coming out in fall 2022, again with Random House|Delacorte Press. I’m still working on it and I’m not sure what I can say about it, but it has to do with food. I’m excited to see it out into the world.

Can you tell us when you started KISSES AND CROISSANTS, how that came about?
I first started discussing the idea for Kisses and Croissants in spring 2017. That summer, I wrote what is now chapter five, the meet-cute between Mia and Louis outside her ballet school. I had so much fun with that scene, and have rewritten it more than any other in the book.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
There’s a significant amount of talk of croissants and other pastries, so I hope readers will feel hungry, and tempted to head to their closest French bakery. Mostly I hope they get transported to Paris, and inspired to pursue their wildest dreams with as much passion and determination as Mia does.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Mia and Louis?
Mia became a little more like me with every draft. I’m not a dancer, but as I researched the world of ballet and the incredibly hard work that goes into having a dancing career, I drew more and more comparison with my own life, and how I pursued writing and publishing.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Social media does a really good job of distracting me! In fact, I use an internet blocker on my laptop to help me focus, but then I still have to remember to leave my phone out of reach. I was also moving while I was on deadline for this book, which I don’t recommend. Watching ballet videos on YouTube was another distraction, but that counted as research.

  • 1. “I close my eyes and see countless weekends of prac­tice, my school breaks filled with competitions in faraway places, my nights spent bandaging my bloody toes—it’s all led me to this.”
  • 2. “What am I doing, going off with a guy I don’t know? I think Paris has messed with my head. Scratch that. I know Paris has messed with my head.”
  • 3. “Surely the first rule of learning the language is that you should be able to say in proper French that you don’t speak French properly.”
  • 4. “Every morning I’m not sure how I will even stand upright at the barre, let alone move. But when I get there, something happens in my mind, in my heart, and I feel brand-new. Bal­let is everything to me. Always will be.”
  • 5. “Nodding is so great. It’s the same in every language.”
  • 6. “French kisses taste a million times better in France.”
  • 7. “Love is like ballet in that way: to be worth it, it has to be painful at times. Exquisitely so.”
  • 8. “Every day it seems like you’re walking through dozens of love stories, getting a glimpse into these intimate moments. L’amour est dans l’air. It’s easy to get swept up in it.”
  • 9. “I liked this idea of Mia Jenrow, Parisienne-in-training, engaging in witty banter with a cute guy on a gorgeous summer night. I felt grown‑up, charming, daring, and totally unlike myself. Now I just feel tired.”
  • 10. “The sun sets so late over here, like the evenings know that they’re magical and should last for as long as pos­sible.”
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Live abroad. I’m on year 17 (and on my third continent), but I think everyone would benefit from exploring different horizons for a year or two. It changed my life in many ways. It opened up career opportunities, led me to meet people from all around the globe, and taught me so much. And it’s a wonderful way to see the world! I also think learning and speaking a different language is great gymnastics for the brain.

Best date you've ever had?
My first date with my husband was pretty epic, spanning several parties, one of them on a boat.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
I’m pretty happy with how things turned out, so I’d be too afraid to play this game.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
The day Kisses and Croissants sold was pretty wild. The offer from my editor, Wendy Loggia, came with a six-page letter—complete with gifs and pictures—listing all the reasons why she wanted to buy the book. It was the best email I’ve ever received.

As sweet as a macaron from Laduree, with writing as crisp as a freshly baked baguette, this romantic novel set in Paris about an American ballerina and a charming French boy is parfait for fans of American Royals and Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Seventeen-year-old Mia, an American girl at an elite summer ballet program, has six weeks to achieve her dreams: to snag an audition with one of the world’s best ballet companies. But there’s more to Paris than ballet—especially when a charming French boy, Louis, wants to be her tour guide—and the pair discover the city has a few mysteries up its sleeve.

In the vein of romances like Love and Gelato, this is the perfect summer adventure for anyone looking to get swept away in the City of Love.

You can purchase Kisses and Croissants at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ANNE-SOPHIE JOUHANNEAU for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of KISSES AND CROISSANTS by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau.
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1 comment:

  1. I've wanted to read this one. And the title made me wonder if I'd be hungry after reading. Sounds like from the author's interview that is true! Thanks for sharing this!
    Lisa Loves Literature