The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay was published by World Editions on 21 February 2019.
Tatiana answered a few of my questions.
1. Tell us a little about The Rain Watcher.
This is the story of a Franco American family meeting up in Paris for a birthday party, and having to deal with two major concerns : the river Seine bursting its banks after incessant rain , and each family member having to reveal a deep and intimate secret. On top of all this stress, one of the family members has a urgent health issue. Finally, it’s also a book about the power of nature, the secrets of trees, and David Bowie. ( yes , my idol!)
2. What inspired the book?
As a born and bred Parisian, I have always been inspired by my city. I wanted to describe a natural catastrophe as terrifying as the memorable flood that occurred in 1910. I also wanted wanted to write about coming out, and how difficult it is still today for a son or a daughter to tell his or her parents that he or she is gay.
3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you?
It depends on the book that I am writing. This book, I had to plan, because the intimate revelations of each character had to match the river inching up centimeter by centimeter within the city. However, the book that I’m writing now, has hardly any plans, and very little notes, and I’m using my imagination thoroughly.
4. Is there anything about the process of creating a novel that still surprises you?
Yes ! The strange thing about writing, is that whether you plan a book, or whether you don’t, most of the time the book ends up quite different from what you had imagined in the first place. Sometimes, writing is like opening a door that you hadn’t seen at first, and taking you down a very unexpected path!
5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?
I love to read, and I love to walk, I do a lot of both! I also enjoy traveling, exploring new countries, making new friends. I find music is wonderfully relaxing, whether it’s an opera, or a newly discovered artist.
6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
That’s a tough question because I have so many books on my favorite list, but I guess number one would always be for me ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier, because that is the book that made me want to become a writer when I was 10 years old. I recently wrote her biography, ‘Manderly forever’, which was an extraordinary literary adventure for me.
7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?
That’s a wonderful question! How about this :
Q : Tatiana, who is the one famous person that you’d really like to send The Rain Watcher to?
A : Jodie Foster. First , I think she’d be very convincing as Lauren Malegarde if ever this book became a movie, and secondly I know she is a brilliant director, and that the issues of this book could perhaps touch a sensitive chord within her?
About the book
It is raining non-stop over Paris. The Malegarde family—split between France, London, and the US —is reunited for the first time in years. When Paul, a famous yet withdrawn arborist, suffers a stroke in the middle of his 70th birthday celebrations, his son Linden is stuck in a city that is undergoing a stunning natural disaster. As the Seine bursts its banks and floods the streets, the family will have to fight to keep their unity as hidden fears and secrets also begin to rise. In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates her wealth of skills both as an incredible storyteller and also as a connoisseur of the human soul.
About the author
Tatiana de Rosnay, of English, French, and Russian descent, was born in 1961, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, and raised in Boston and Paris. After studying literature in England at the University of East Anglia, Tatiana worked in Paris as a reporter for Vanity Fair, Psychologies Magazine, and ELLE. She has published twelve novels in French and three in English including New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, which sold over eleven million copies worldwide, and was made into a film starring Kristin Scott Thomas in 2010. Her books have been published in 42 countries and in 2011 she was listed by Le Figaro as the fifth most-read French author worldwide.
*I was asked to host a Q&A by the publishers to help promote the book. I have not received payment or a copy of the book for hosting the content*