1. Why did you choose this particular writing spot to draft your novel?
J. Arlene: Because it’s beautiful.
2. Share a story (funny or serious) that occurred at your favourite writing spot.
J. Arlene: This room looks beautiful now, but when I bought the house, it was a disaster. The previous owner had tried to modernize an eighteenth-century house using modern, cheap and ugly materials. Believe me, this was the sort of place only a madwoman would buy. It took four years of ripping out plastic ceilings, cement floors, plasterboard walls, and endless bad wiring to find the original house. After that, with my sweetie, we pointed the walls with sand and lime, put down old quarry tiles, and presto, the place was healthy and lovely.
3. Can you only write at this certain spot? Or is there another place that you like to write?
J. Arlene: I can write anywhere. It doesn’t matter. In the winter, we are often in the Paris area, not out here in the country, and I write in a closet without windows.
4. How about the atmosphere. Do you need certain lighting, perhaps music, or silence? Share what goes on while you’re writing.
J. Arlene: I need calm. Since my partner, Bernard, is an artist and needs calm too, we work in separate spaces and meet for meals.
5. Do you have any other comments?
J. Arlene: Thank you so much, Maggie Blackbird, for having me here.