Tatiana de Rosnay: On Writing Sarah’s Key, The Other Story, and Revealing Family Secrets

Tatiana de Rosnay

Tatiana de Rosnay

I’m delighted, honored and enchantée to host Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah’s Key (which has been translated into 38 languages) and who will publish her latest novel, The Other Story, on April 15, 2014.

Diana: The Other Story, like Sarah’s Key, deals with revealing a disturbing secret. Can you tell us a little bit about your interest in personal and national mysteries?

Tatiana de Rosnay: I find family secrets to be incredibly romanesque and inspiring. There is indeed a secret in every single one of my books.  I am however aware of the suffering and pain that longtime secrets can cause when they are finally revealed.

Diana: You were born to a French father from Mauritius, and an English mother born in Rome, giving you a wealth of nationalities.  How has the confluence of countries impacted your writing and language?

Tatiana de Rosnay: It’s true to say that because of my mixed heritage and the fact that so many different nationalities are the background to my family, this has given me the advantage of an open-minded culture and being able to read and write in two languages from very early on.

Diana: You write in The Other Story about Nicolas, the main character, “needing to turn away from his own story to spin another tale.” Does that idea resonate with your own work?

Tatiana de Rosnay: Yes, I’m not the kind of writer who talks about myself directly, but I like to start with something personal and then make it into someone else’s story which is exactly the case in this book.

Diana: Can you tell us a bit about your writing style? What are some rules you follow for your writing? Do you write an outline? Did you know the end of your novel before you got there? And what are you working on now?

Tatiana de Rosnay: I have been writing fiction since I was 11 years old so I guess you can say writing is part of my life. I work every morning and sometimes later into the afternoon. I edit myself ruthlessly. I do write an outline but sometimes when I’m actually writing the book another idea comes to me. I do allow myself some freedom from my basic outline! I describe all this in The Other Story, as the main theme of the book is the exploration of the writing process and how different it is for each writer. I’m working on the biography of a writer I admire.

Diana: Finally, www.thebestchapter.com explores how to write your best chapter and also how to live your best chapter each day in the story of your life.  You have a family and I’d like to think you cook (or eat!) mouth-watering French food. What are some of the things you do to take care of yourself each day?

Tatiana de Rosnay: I hate to disappoint you, but my French blood does not make me into an excellent French cook, I’m afraid! However I do love my city, Paris, and walking along its streets and by the river Seine are one of my greatest pleasures. I love posting photos of Paris to my Instagram account: http://instagram.com/tatianaderosnay

Thank you so much, Tatiana de Rosnay!

You can find The Other Story as well as de Rosnay’s other novels wherever you buy books, including Barnes & Noble and amazon.

Thanks to all of you for reading. Please write and let us know when you get your copy of The Other Story and what you think!

This interview was conducted by Diana Bletter, author of The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women, and The Mom Who Took Off On Her Motorcycle, which you can order here.

Read my other interviews with authors Molly Antopol, Phyllis Chesler, Dara Horn, and Dora Mossanen Levy.




About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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3 Responses to Tatiana de Rosnay: On Writing Sarah’s Key, The Other Story, and Revealing Family Secrets

  1. Sharon says:

    Sarah’s Key was the first book i ever listened to instead of reading, I enjoyed opening myself up to the experience and learning about the history of the Nazi occupation in France as it unfolded through the dramatic story. I look forward to reading Tatiana de Rosnay’s new book. Great interview.

  2. Tatiana, thank you for sharing on Diana’s inspiring blog. All the best with your latest book. 🙂

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