Interview with Andre Phillip-Hautecoeur, author of One Exquisite Night in Paris
Andre Phillip-Hautecoeur defines himself as, “…not a writer really.” He simply had an urge to write something about Paris.
It’s the city exactly at the intersection of romance, history, fantasy and enchantment; everyone faces Paris in some form of a dream. He came to know and love Paris hanging onto the hem of his wife’s skirt. She’s Parisian, she’s everything French without constraint; she makes understanding all of Parisness a pleasure. An understanding which made him want to write.
Together they make home between New York and Paris. Shuttling back and forth continues to be the ultimate dream.
His latest book is the contemporary romance, One Exquisite Paris Night.
I’m from St. Lucia in the Caribbean, moved to New York and now happily, because of my wife Eff I get to live between Brooklyn and Paris. I’m not a writer’s writer, I’m not there yet; I’m not a big fiction writer because I can’t make stuff up. I write to find appropriate ways to position words so that they’re visible and form happy thoughts as opposed to creating aliens or horror.
When did you begin writing?
I began writing for myself maybe five years ago but truly didn’t feel I had anything to say which people needed to hear. This book is a Paris book and you would think that everything to be written about Paris was already done; all the cookbooks, history books and expats in love. There wasn’t a modern fantasy fairytale though and I honestly believe we deserve to see Paris from that perspective.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I write all the time and I think all writers do this; keep a notebook. Ideas come along all the time and disappear if not captured. The better writing for me is done at night when nothing moves. The writing flows better. In the morning there is always an idea to catch or something to edit from last night's work!!
What is this book about?
This book is about being in love and having a fantasy built around it such that you want to create the perfect day/night for the person of your dreams in the only place where it’s possible, Paris.
We all want to one day say, “I had the most amazing day of my entire life.” The book offers a realistic suggestion on how to do that.
What inspired you to write it?
I’ve always been desperately in love with Paris. Then I fell accidentally in love with my wife who happened to be from Paris. Seriously, I wasn’t looking.
Also we had all just come through a pretty rotten recession, America and the rest of the world, so I thought it was time to create a fantasy, something we all could look forward to; a doable fairytale to make people in love a little happier. A fantasy we would remember for the rest of our lives.
It also felt like Disney and the movies hijacked our dreams so we lived them from the warm worn seat of our couches. We need to get up and do something fantastic.
Paris is a fantasy place deliberately created for dreaming.
Who is your biggest supporter?
Eff is my biggest supporter, friend and family in a matter-of-fact way.
Who is your favorite author?
As old as this sounds, I like Fitzgerald. You can tell that he was very careful with his writing and not very egotistic.
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
I believe the best investment regarding promotion will prove to be the book blog tour arranged by Dorothy at pumpupyourbook.com. She’s been extremely responsive and the arrangements have so far been seamless! It would have been agony to pull it together on my own!!
What is up next for you?
I hope to spend the next months marketing this book. Additionally I dabble with titles or opening lines till I find something I can work with, build on, to create a story interesting enough to spend eight months on.