Most writers will tell you that they write from what they know, and for Ollestad, his decades of travel informed his latest book. He had been thinking about a torrid love affair he'd had with a French girl in his 20's, and the "shadow life" that he could have almost had ... like what if I'd gotten on that train? What if I had helped that friend hide money all over Europe? What if, what if, what if ... and the story just unfolded in his mind from there.
Ollestad has always held a fascination for art and artists, hence his main character is an artist who finds his muses in a French mother and daughter who he wants to create portraits of ... and it all takes off from there in what Booklist is calling "A unique, atmospheric literary thriller". Ollestad told me today (over coffee at the French Market) that French Girl With Mother continues his theme from his other books that if you want to find out about yourself or become a better person in your life, you have to go into the guts of a storm, whatever your storm is. To generate whatever you're trying to generate (a book, music, art ...), you can't shy away from the things that will test you or be intense, because that's how you find out about yourself, and what you're capable of. And that's why I can't wait to read this one!
We have to wait until Tuesday to get our copy of French Girl With Mother ... UNLESS you come to Venice and visit Small World Books, where it's available right now. And where I'm headed right now.
Ollestad will be reading from his latest book and holding a book signing at Diesel Books in Brentwood on Sunday, October 16th at 3:00 pm.