"I'm profoundly in love with Jennifer Coburn's memoir We'll Always Have Paris! From Coburn's picture-perfect travelogue to her hilarious observations, she's woven together a powerful narrative with a heartfelt and thoughtful examination of what truly makes a family. I was enthralled from the very first page and I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I want to read this again, tell all my friends about it... and then renew my passport."
About the book:
How her daughter and her passport taught Jennifer Coburn to forget about dying and truly live
Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. It's the reason she drops everything during the summers on a quest to travel through Europe with her daughter, Katie, before it's too late. Even though her husband can't join them, even though she's nervous about the journey, and even though she's perfectly healthy, she spends three to four weeks per trip jamming Katie's mental photo album with memories. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped relinquish her fear of dying...for the sake of living."We'll Always Have Paris reads like a sweet stroll through Europe with a funny friend who shares touching stories of her parent-child relationships. A great escape." -Janice MacLeod, author of Paris Letters
"I am recommending this to all my friends and family and especially to my own daughter. It’s simply fantastique!” -Jamie Cat Callan, author of Ooh La La! French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day
In passages powerful, tender and funny - often in one sentence - Coburn proves as adept at describing the terrain of the human heart as she is the gardens of Alcazar or the streets of Paris.
-Claire and Mia Fontaine, authors of best-selling Comeback and Have Mother, Will Travel
Q. What inspired you to write to memoir?
A. My mother came up with the idea that I should write “We’ll Always Have Paris.” It was Christmas Eve and we were having the most fabulous lazy day: shopping, walking on the beach and gabbing in Coronado. At lunch I was sharing travel stories about my last trip with my daughter Katie, and my mother told me I really ought to write a travel memoir.
Q. What was your favorite part of writing the memoir?
A. It was such fun reliving my travels with Katie – and remembering parts of my own childhood that I wrote about.
Q. What was the toughest part of writing the memoir??
A. It was sometimes painful reliving parts of my own childhood and seeing them through the eyes of an adult. There were evenings when I had to walk away from the keyboard because the memories of my father dying were overwhelming. But pushing through the discomfort, and speaking about issues like death and drug abuse, was extremely therapeutic. I highly recommend writing a memoir, not necessarily to publish it, but to reflect and process one’s own history.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. That’s a tough one because I am head over heels in love with so many books. I adore absolutely everything Jen Lancaster, Jane Green, Marian Keyes, Emily Giffin, and Kim Grunenfelder write. Janet Fitch’s “White Oleander” and Sue Monk Kidd’s “Secret Life of Bees” are beautiful books. And Diablo Cody’s “Candy Girl” is both hilarious and insightful.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. There is an element of me in my fictional protagonist Lucy Klein from “Tales from the Crib” and “The Queen Gene.” I also really identify with Suzanne Finnamore’s protagonists.
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. I would love to spend the weekend in Jamie Cat Callan’s “Ooh La La” so I could learn about the beauty and style of French women from her fabulous Parisian friends. I just read that she’s organizing Ooh la la tours through Paris, which I’d love to take some day!
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Hands-down it’s summer. Longer days, vacation season, sundresses…what’s not to love?
Q. What inspired your book cover?
A. Catherine Casalino, an artist for Sourcebooks, designed the book cover and I absolutely love how whimsical and sweet it is.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I went to Barnes & Noble a week after a book signing for my first novel “The Wife of Reilly,” and I saw a woman walking around the store holding a copy. I gasped and pointed at her book, and said, “That’s my book!” She clutched it to her chest and told me, “No, it’s mine.”
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. I’ve decided to take a break from writing books for the remaining 500 or so days before Katie goes to college. I am working on several articles for magazines and newspapers, but I am waiting until Katie’s off to school before I start another book.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Thank you for taking the time to read about my upcoming travel memoir “We’ll Always Have Paris.” The book will be out on April 8th. If you would like to pre-order it, I will donate my royalties from the first thousand early orders to the American Cancer Society.
Jennifer Coburn is an award-winning writer of the travel memoir, WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS, a mother-daughter adventure through Europe. She is the author of six contemporary novels and contributor to four
literary anthologies. Jennifer has written for U-T San Diego, Miami Herald, Mothering magazine, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, and numerous other newspapers and magazines. She lives in San Diego with her husband William and their daughter Katie.