Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview and Kindle Fire HD Giveaway with Linda Kovic-Skow, Author of French Illusions

Linda Kovic-Skow resides in Kirkland, Washington. She earned an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting in 1978 from North Seattle Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Seattle University in 1985. She has been married for 27 years and has two daughters. An enthusiastic traveler, Linda also enjoys boating, gardening and socializing with friends. French Illusions, her debut memoir, is the culmination of a three-year project.

Where did you grow up?

I spent my early years in Seattle. For a short period of time, during my adolesence, I lived on Whidbey Island, a rural part of Washington State.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

I’m so glad you asked this question. The following is an excerpt from my book:

Some of my fondest memories as a young child involved baking apple strudel with my mother in our tiny yellow kitchen.

“Lindy, don’t pull too hard,” she would murmur as we stretched the dough over a tablecloth before adding the filling.

I rushed the process often, and holes would form in the dough. She never scolded me, choosing instead to repair my damage and move on. A patient, loving woman, she told my brother and me that her heart was “too soft,” which I always translated to mean “no heart for discipline.”

What is this book about?

In the summer of 1979, when I was twenty-one, I contracted to become an au pair for a wealthy French family in the Loire Valley. To secure the position, I pretended to speak the language, fully aware that my deception would be discovered once I arrived at my destination. Based on my diary, French Illusions captures my often challenging, real-life story inside and outside the Château de Montclair. The overbearing, Madame Dubois, her accommodating husband Monsieur Dubois, and their two children are highlighted as I struggled to adapt to my new environment. Continually battling the language barrier, I signed up and attended classes at the local university in the nearby town of Tours. When I encountered, Adam, a handsome young student, my life with the Dubois family became more complicated, adding fuel to my internal battle for independence.

What inspired you to write it?

About four years ago, after my husband and I dropped our youngest daughter off at college, I went through a sort of mid-life crisis. I missed being a mom and I wondered how I would fill the void. Sure I had my part-time bookkeeping business, but it consumed only a few hours a day and it wasn't interesting to me any more. Something was missing, but what?

This prompted me to review what I like to call my "mid-life list." This is similar to a "bucket list," with an important twist. The idea was to refocus myself and figure out the things I wanted to do with my life in my fifties - while I could still do them. My list was short.

-Learn to play the piano
-Travel to Africa to see the elephants
-Travel to Tahiti and see the island of Bora Bora
-Travel back to France (with my family this time)
-Write a book

At the time, I didn't own a piano and, with two daughters in college (out of state no less!), I couldn't afford a trip to Africa or Tahiti. I had already traveled back to France in 2001 with my family, so that left me to examine the fifth item on my list more closely. If I did write a book, would it be fiction or non-fiction? What genre would I choose?

The answers to my questions came to me in the shower (which is where many of my ideas seem to materialize, strangely enough). I decided to hunt down my diary from my au pair adventure in France and compose a memoir. It took me three years and countless hours to write French Illusions, but now I can scratch another item off my mid-life list.

Who is your favorite author?

Arthur Golden. His book, Memoirs of a Geisha, is an incredible story filled with vivid descriptions and well-developed characters. The first time I read it, we were on a vacation cruise to Mexico and I just couldn't put the darn thing down. My husband kept scolding me for missing out on events because all I wanted to do was read in our stateroom.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

It’s available online at all major retailers. The link below takes you to Amazon.com where you can purchase the paperback or kindle versions of French Illusions.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes I do. For more information, go to lindakovicskow.com. Visit my blog, Facebook Fan page and Pinterest boards. Stay a while, there’s a lot to see.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

Yes. You will find my video at my website as well. I searched the internet for weeks, listening to French music, trying to choose a song for my book trailer. When I heard "Imposture" by Danielle Pauly, from the album Café de Paris, my heart lurched. I loved the melody. I wasn’t sure what the title meant in French so I looked up the translation. It meant “fraud.” The song was perfect. Read my book and you’ll understand.

What is up next for you?

I’m currently outlining the remainder of my diary. In a year or so, look for French Encore, the sequel to French Illusions. Readers can visit my website and watch my progress.


Pump Up Your Book and Linda Kovic-Skow are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter form doesn't work, please visit the French Illusions Tour Page at:


1 comment:

JM said...

I love bucket lists. Especially ones that really push a person to new heights.

Your book cover is lovely, too. I just thought I would mention. :)