petite anglaise

February 6, 2008


Filed under: book stuff, navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:15 am

I’m sure it’s normal, a matter of days before a piece of me goes on sale in bookshops, to fall prey to the jitters.

So far, those who have read “petite” all said complimentary things. Admittedly these were people who were supposed to be on my side – agent, publisher, friends, family – but I’m also beginning to hear feedback from interviewers/reviewers and people in the book trade who’ve seen an advance copy. It’s surreal when they say they liked it. I’m never sure how to respond. I suppose I should say ‘thank you?’, although my first impulse is to say ‘really? Are you sure? Why?’

I think I’ve had to read and re-read my own manuscript so many times in the course of the publication process that objectivity went out of the window long ago.

However my jitters have nothing to do with Joe Public reading “petite”. My nervousness is centred on what one particular person will think of it. Of my work. Of me.

You probably think it’s odd that The Boy, of all people, hasn’t yet read it yet. To be fair, it’s not out of indifference on his part, it’s due to a combination of me not wanting him to read it until it was fully finished/copy edited/proofed/corrected and him saying he preferred to wait until it was printed in its final form, with its cover on. I suspect both of us were putting off the inevitable. But now that I have a whole carton full of hardbacks sitting on the floor at the foot of my bed the inevitable can be put off no more.

‘Nice paper,’ he said when he got home from work and I handed him a copy. ‘And look, they’ve embossed the writing, it stands out more than it did on that proof copy you showed me before…’ He paused, looked at me intently. ‘So, I’m allowed to read it now, am I? Finally?’

‘Yes,’ I said, chewing my lip. ‘But, um, not when I’m actually here. I mean, I couldn’t stand it if you were reading it next to me, giving me sidelong glances. It would be excruciating.’

Since we’ve spent every evening together since, and he works all day, he hasn’t had chance to open it yet. (The métro to work is exclusively reserved for the ritual of Libération.)

Why am I so nervous? Well, frankly I doubt the book I’ve written is really his cup of tea. His favourite authors are people like Álvaro Mutis and Borges, at opposite end of the lowbrow/highbrow spectrum. Then there is the language barrier, which means he will understand the gist of the story, but he’s the first to admit that he’s unlikely to fully appreciate my style or voice, and nuances of meaning will be lost on him.

Top of my worry list, however, is the ‘Too Much Information’ factor. Which is why one of my favourite masochistic pastimes, at the moment, is imagining The Boy’s internal dialogue as he turns the pages.

‘Ah yes, she can be annoying like that,’ he thinks to himself, a lightbulb flickering on above his head. ‘So it’s not just with me, then…’


‘Oh, she used that line on me once!’


‘Ew, that bit was corny…’

I decided to ask him to read it when I’m a safe distance away, in England in early March, busy with promotion and too distracted to think about Him Reading My Book. This means, of course, that I’m deferring the inevitable for another whole month.

And when the deed is done, if he doesn’t like it, what then? Would I prefer him to be honest, and explain why? Or should he lie through his teeth if he wants to continue sharing my bed?


  1. Ooooh, tricky! But he has to read it sometime – surely the sooner the better?!

    What if the truth is that he really likes your book? Would you believe him anyway or assume he was being nice?!

    Fingers crossed for the launch – can’t wait to pick up my copy in a few weeks!!!

    Comment by Louisa — February 6, 2008 @ 10:26 am

  2. Don’t worry–it’ll be fine–I’ve ordered the book and I’ll let you know my impressions. OK? So stop chewing your nails, have a cuppa, and get busy with your writing. I’ve told you before: you’re a natural. So..

    Cheers and congratulations from

    Beau in Seattle

    Comment by Beau — February 6, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  3. I’m sure there will be plenty of interesting revelations! It’ll be fine.

    I’ve just pre-ordered my copy from UK Amazon (none of this silly American spelling, thank you) and can’t wait for it to arrive!

    Comment by Kristin in Oz — February 6, 2008 @ 10:53 am

  4. No accent in Borges, but there is one in Álvaro…

    Don’t worry too much and enjoy the moment! He’ll probably to really impressed! As for the TMI aspect, well, he’s probably read your blog, so he already has a lot of information about you anyway, as well as his own personal experience…

    Having said that, I would have thought you’d be more jittery about Mr. Frog or Lover reading it…

    Comment by happyforyou — February 6, 2008 @ 10:55 am

  5. I mean there’s no accent in Borges in the original Spanish…..

    Comment by happyforyou — February 6, 2008 @ 10:58 am

  6. He’ll probably BE really impressed, I mean…

    Comment by happyforyou — February 6, 2008 @ 10:58 am

  7. @4 Mr Frog and Lover already did. They had to sign forms to say they were happy with how they were portrayed – as did everyone else with a major ‘role’.

    Oddly I didn’t mind that so much… (They both liked it).

    Comment by petite — February 6, 2008 @ 11:09 am

  8. Your anxiety is understandable, even charming.

    However, be realistic dear. If he decides UGH! TOO MUCH INFORMATION! YUK! I AM OUT OF HERE! surely he will have to a) negotiate on the odds of being in your next book and b) almost certainly, pass a queue of men with flowers on the landing!

    My uninformed guess would be that the media attention might be more likely to disconcert than anything in the book, but what do I know? Rien de tout.

    Good luck.

    Comment by eats wombats — February 6, 2008 @ 11:34 am

  9. Petite, I’ve been reading your blog from the very beginning. Is there new stuff in the book that’s not covered by the blog? or will you tell me – “buy the book and find out!”

    Comment by guccibitch — February 6, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  10. Did tadpole sign a form?

    Comment by JouesRoses — February 6, 2008 @ 12:12 pm

  11. Great that they both accepted the idea and liked how they were depicted…
    I think the Boy will consider them to be more fictional characters rather than real flesh-and-blood people after reading the book – maybe not so much Mr. Frog because of his continued presence in your life, but certainly (former)Lover…

    Comment by happyforyou — February 6, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  12. I think the best way to describe the book is to say that it’s like the director’s cut.

    First of all, it’s completely rewritten and is now in the form of a thirty-four chapter memoir.

    There is a huge amount of new material: extra scenes filling in the gaps I left before, lots of insights into what went on behind the scenes of the blog (the making of).

    So, for example, whereas on my blog I announced a breakup and talked about how I was feeling, in the book you will see the actual breakup scene…

    Comment by petite — February 6, 2008 @ 12:51 pm

  13. You did a very brave thing revisiting the actual scenes … it must have been like reliving them all over again. I really look forward to reading the book, your writing rouses curiousity whatever the subject matter …

    Comment by Victoria — February 6, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

  14. he should lie through his teeth

    Comment by chris — February 6, 2008 @ 1:04 pm

  15. Oh, he definitely has to lie through his teeth. You’re a woman, Petite.

    Comment by BundyGil — February 6, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  16. Good luck on publication day tomorrow.

    Dress up, drink champagne or mimosas and enjoy the moment.

    Richly deserved. Believe your therapist. You might enjoy this quote:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

    Return to Love – Marianne Williamson

    Comment by Duck — February 6, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  17. At the end of the day the book effectively bares your soul….

    As such, as he loves you, he will undoubtedly love the book.

    Of course, in the “sequel” he will be featured too no doubt…. and that could be more tricky perhaps?

    Comment by Sally Lomax — February 6, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  18. My ex described my novel (written during the relationship but published afterwards) to a friend as too close to the truth for comfort. I didn’t have the balls to ask if whether that was good or not (not least because the friend betrayed a confidence).

    Petite, don’t worry. What you’ve written doesn’t change who you are – and he already knows that!

    Comment by Brennig — February 6, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  19. Don’t worry, he’ll like it. He likes you, doesn’t he? You may not become one of his favourite authors, but he won’t hate it. You said that everybody (book critics included) have liked it so far, and I’m sure you won’t go out with somebody who has literary taste so far removed from everybody else as to hate your book.

    Comment by Karen — February 6, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

  20. Ah, one of my favorite quotes from Duck! Well said, and very appropriate. First I’m happy to hear that Lover signed the release form (I wouldn’t have doubted that Mr. Frog would sign, he sounds quite supportive); I’d have thought THAT might have been a major possible stumbling block had Lover not agreed. [Wiping brow in relief] Good for him.

    You know, of course, that I am observing this entire situation with great interest for many reasons, as it is extremely likely now that parts of my blog are going to become the basis for my next book, and the man in my life will be a central character. The question of what and how much to tell is already in my consciousness, both the parts that involve him AND the parts that don’t. Where to draw the line? And what will he think? He is already my biggest cheerleader and convinced I will be wildly successful as an author (God bless him — even if he’s completely delusional out of love for me, it’s still very nice to hear!) so I do question his ability to be completely objective. He read my first book and liked it well enough, but that was a neutral “how-to” and not a juicy memoir partly involving HIM; huge difference.

    I would say that in THIS situation, you must trust to love and the strength of your relationship with The Boy, that WHATEVER his reaction (even if it is luke-warm) your relationship can take it. If he says he loves it, believe him. If parts of it bother him, acknowledge it but don’t dwell on it. If it’s not his cup of tea, then it isn’t. I think it will be fine in the end. He sounds like a very good sort of man.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — February 6, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

  21. Looks like you are not the only one who’s having jitters in anticipation of his reaction. In his shoes, I’d be pretty uncomfortable too. As you pointed out, this is your work (a lot of it) and it is also yourself. He’s no choice but being moderately approbative, at the very least. Hiding behind the language barrier will not be good enough ;-)

    Comment by ontario frog — February 6, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

  22. Hi

    I’ve read your blog from ‘cover to cover’ (I couldn’t think of another way of describing it and it seems an apt turn of phrase) over the last few weeks and I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed it. I am sure that the book will be fantastic and I hope that you enjoy all the fruits of your labours, preferably accompanied at all times by a glass of something cold and bubbly!

    I’ll be popping in from time to time to see how life goes for you, good luck with the second book, I only wish I could write as well as you do!

    Comment by Chalky — February 6, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

  23. Uh uh … I feel so important right now …
    all those people disscussing me …

    I love it.

    But don’t worry about me people.
    I’m too honest to lie and too smart to tell the truth.

    (plus I’m too cool to be uncomfortable, and too self-centered to be disconcerted by media attention).

    Comment by The Boy — February 6, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

  24. Your publishers, agents etc are not just saying nice things because they’re on your side. The fact that they’re on your side means that they don’t want to see you fall flat on your face and would save you from yourself if it were a stinker (which obviously it’s not). But I can understand your trepidation about the Boy’s reaction. Good luck!

    Comment by Caitlin — February 6, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  25. Like, dislike, love, hate? We all have our personal preferences and I am sure there are lots of things you have rating differences over, so this should be no different.

    He is with you because he loves you and you write because you are a writer. One will not cancel, void or diminish the other.

    Comment by blueseaurchin — February 6, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

  26. Another comment from The Boy… What language barrier??? that sounds pretty fluent to me. Or does The Boy have a ghost-blog writer ?? ;-)

    Well, petite, fear not. He sounds like the real deal, and now that he’s a grown-up 30, I’m sure he’ll be able to take any juicy revelations in his stride… it’ll be another thing for the two of you to share and look back on with fondness many years hence.

    Comment by Teaperson — February 6, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

  27. I just read your 50 answers to the last post, and it is leading me to comment back to your post on doing an American “translation.”

    I just had a real problem figuring out what you were saying here:

    >>41. …I was such a swot at school that I got praised for most things … I must have been chuffed about that as it has stayed with me for twenty years…<<

    I am fairly familiar with a whole lot of English expressions, but I haven’t got a clue as to what directions “swot” and “chuffed” should be taking me in understanding just exactly what you were trying to say.

    This is just one example of how confusion can reign in a common language.

    PS: Just what DO they mean?

    Comment by azurienne — February 6, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

  28. His opinion should be honest, and you should grow a carapace. Quickly.

    If it’s not his ‘bag baby’, then worry not. I’m sure it won’t be everyones cup of tea and many a copy may end up being swapped at second hand book fairs.

    On the other hand, it may be a runaway success, he may really enjoy it, and you both may live happily ever after, together.

    So suck it up sister, because life is about experiences, and the experiences you have, will no doubt flavour your future.

    Comment by Steve... — February 6, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  29. “Mr Frog and Lover already did. They had to sign forms to say they were happy with how they were portrayed – as did everyone else with a major ‘role’.”

    Wow, Petite. You are brave – I break out in hives thinking of the men in my life reading what I write about them! (Which is why it’s all gone on live journal and not my blog).

    I love Boy’s response upstream, but what do you really want him to do? How do you want him to handle both criticisms and praise? I’m very curious.

    Long ago I had a boyfriend who wrote and it took me a while to realize he did NOT want to hear anything from me but raves. Criticism from others was okay, but not from me.

    Comment by Artemisia — February 6, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

  30. It’s not easy to put one’s self on display like that, is it? You strip yourself pretty much bare before complete strangers, those who know you, and hope that somehow it all turns out for the best. I am assuming that there are things you may not have told him about your past relationships with Mr. Frog and Lover. If you had told him everything about them, then what he will be reading won’t come as much of a shock, one would think.

    The way I see it, you have two choices: Tell him everything now, before he reads it, so it won’t come as a surprise. When he reads it, he can comment more on the writing style than the content per se, and then you can come up with a quick line, such as, “Well, then YOU try to write a book!” ;-)
    (Even with the language barrier, you can tell him yourself, in French. Have him draw up a list of questions so that you can explain things that may get lost in translation.)

    The other choice is to carry on as you have described, and wait and hope for the best. The best you can do is to provide him with the information he needs to understand you. If he cares for you as much as we here can only suspect, then it won’t matter what is in the book. He is living with the person you are now, not necessarily who you were 2-3 years ago.

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 6, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

  31. Lie, lie lie – that’s what he should do LIE, that is, if he doesn’t like the book. If he loves it; he should take you out to dinner, buy you chocolate, buy you roses and PRAISE you sky high!

    Comment by teeweewonders — February 6, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  32. “Lie, lie lie – that’s what he should do LIE, that is, if he doesn’t like the book. If he loves it; he should take you out to dinner, buy you chocolate, buy you roses and PRAISE you sky high!”

    Ok, forget what I wrote, this seems more practical….and more likely will allow The Boy to keep certain body parts attached…….

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 6, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

  33. Two words sprung to mind reading that last comment.

    Lorena and Bobbit.

    Comment by petite — February 6, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  34. Yes I can understand your concern (although it seems to have been calmed if indeed “TheBoy” is infact “TheBoy” and not an imposter – not convinced myself!) especially given French men’s tendancy to be jealous, unless you are lucky to be with one that’s not. But jealous or not, it may be difficult for him to read about exactly what happened in your past. Has he read the blog from “cover to cover” or from its first post until the latest? I’m sure you have asked yourself how you would feel to know all about his past relationship. It has taken a lot of courage talking about your private life and leaving yourself bare to all kinds of comments – including on this blog. I’m sure Boy will be adult about it and see it as an insight into who you are whilst respecting that what is in the past stays in the past.

    By the way, for all those who love Petite’s blog, have you found anything compareable? I too have loved the blog but can’t find many other blogs that I really like in the same way.


    Comment by laroseanglaise — February 6, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  35. @No 27:

    Swot = pencil geek or cereb or more kindly, a class grafter.

    Chuffed = Over the moon, tickled pink, or just plain pleased.

    What we hope The Boy will be….

    Comment by Tim — February 6, 2008 @ 5:24 pm

  36. A swot is someone who got on with their work, or indeed messed around but still did well, or worst case scenario – teacher’s pet, which you could be simply for being labelled a swot!

    Petite says ‘such a swot’ which suggests that perhaps she was bringing apples in for Miss!

    Chuffed means pretty pleased.
    Please use them correctly in a sentance today!

    Comment by Chicky — February 6, 2008 @ 5:31 pm

  37. I think you forget that he’ll also read bits and think, “Oh, I love it when she does that.” And, “I’m so glad she stopped doing that before she met me.”

    And he’ll be a bit disappointed that he doesn’t get a mention – even though he came along too late to be mentioned – because everyone has an ego!

    Comment by Damian — February 6, 2008 @ 5:32 pm

  38. He’s a bloke. We would all lie through our teeth to share your bed. But he might like it though.

    Comment by joeinvegas — February 6, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  39. I fully empathise. I don’t even like My Mista reading the emails I write! :)

    Comment by clarissa — February 6, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  40. to n° 34 – Rose
    I ain’t no imposter (see … broken english)
    But maybe YOU are. Who knows. Internet is such a strange place …

    to n° 28 – Steve
    I’ll go for the “and they lived happily ever after”

    to n° 32 – Dave
    You should read my comment …

    and … yes i’m not busy at work today

    The Boy

    Comment by The Boy — February 6, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  41. It really is The Boy – I can see his email address…

    In answer to the question ‘has he read the blog’. Well that’s just it. He’s only read the entries I wrote since we met. Never the previous stuff. Which he regards as private.

    Hence my concerns, even though I’ve told him about the events (in far less detail).

    Comment by petite — February 6, 2008 @ 6:00 pm

  42. wow, what restraint on his part. My sick, twisted self tortoring side would never allow me to NOT read those entries if I were in his shoes. But wait, I’m a woman, and forget that men generally don’t give a crap about all that. They are generally only concerned with what you think of and how you are around them, and not any preivous amours. Which bodes well for you petite, since you are obviously one smitten kitten.

    Comment by susie — February 6, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

  43. #34: I had a couple of other blogs I picked up along the way, but they ended up either not being adequately interesting to me in the first place to continue with, or else they changed course from what had first interested me, and I just don’t go to them anymore.

    This blog almost did the same thing. Back in the Mr. Frog days, I loved the blog for its outlook on living in Paris. Then there was the famous break-up and romance with Lover. It was like reading a real life soap opera and was spellbinding. After that, PA’s life settled down and she totally changed course of what she wrote about (many have complained of that here). It personally was no longer nearly as interesting to me, and I would have long lapses between readings (which others could also do without complaining about it). But she was interesting enough that I kept an eye out for something I cared about.

    After she was outed, I must admit her comments got way too lengthy for how much time I had to read, and I missed the closeness of the family of posters I’d gotten familiar with as all kinds of new people discovered the blog through the publicity.

    However, it’s a tribute to her ability to find something to interest everyone that she’s kept, not only me but apparently a number of other long-term names I recognize.

    I think I’m using her blog as a standard without realizing it when coming across a new one. And most have come up short — nothing to actively add to my RSS feed to keep up with.

    Life moves on, so has this blog, but it is still captivating enough to keep a variety of interests happy over a long period of time.

    Comment by azurienne — February 6, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  44. Bonjour Petite.

    J’ai lu tout votre blog en 3 jours.
    je n’ai pas tout compris mais je vous adore.
    Vous passerez le bonjour au Tétard.

    The Reader

    Comment by The Reader — February 6, 2008 @ 6:46 pm

  45. @No 33: Beware, Boy, beware!! lol

    Comment by Sunny — February 6, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

  46. Also, I’m with Teaperson- anyone who can say ‘too self-centered to be disconcerted’ can’t have too many problems.

    (… then again, I’m no foreigner, but Petite has prompted me to whip out a dictionary once in a while).

    I guess if the Boy is able to comprehend your blog, he can do likewise with the book.

    And Petite… congratulations on finding a great way of expressing your feelings. You’re a real inspiration, and if you’re happy with your book then he (by default) will be equally happy. Regardless of whether or not its really his cup of tea.

    Comment by Sunny — February 6, 2008 @ 7:23 pm

  47. Nice touch The Boy.

    Petite, surely he can tell you the truth and still share your bed?

    God I sound naive ;-).

    Looking forward to reading it.

    Comment by Jeremy — February 6, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  48. I can imagine your anxiety! Tomorrow you are taking off and one part of you in the bookselves around the world! Congratulations!
    p.s I am looking forward to read it.

    Comment by penelope — February 6, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

  49. N hasn’t read my book either, yet– I too am waiting til it is bound and published! tho I may let him read a galley.

    Comment by maitresse — February 7, 2008 @ 2:18 am

  50. This reminds me of a Sex & the City episode where Carrie tells her boyfriend she didn’t like part of his book…and they break-up. Sorry for the negativity, but I think maybe he shouldn’t read it. Just give him the gist and keep certain things unsaid.

    Comment by mich — February 7, 2008 @ 2:42 am

  51. “to n° 32 – Dave
    You should read my comment …”

    I did. I guess this means you won’t have to go out and buy that steel codpiece after all, huh? ;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 7, 2008 @ 3:06 am

  52. “Two words sprung to mind reading that last comment.
    Lorena and Bobbit.”


    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 7, 2008 @ 3:11 am

  53. Lie, lie, lie.

    He will love it. But if he doesn’t he should lie.

    Comment by Jennifer — February 7, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  54. I’m sure lying won’t be necessary.

    Congratulations! Very exciting to finally be published!

    Comment by ewe_are_here — February 7, 2008 @ 10:55 am

  55. ouch the boy bites! I didn’t realise that I had said anything so offensive as to deserve that (huf!). Point is that the English was not broken, was well written and had no Franglish so could well have been another reader signing off as The Boy. And what did Dave of the Lake do to offend? Alright mate, calm down, no one is getting at you its Petite we care about!

    Comment by laroseanglaise — February 7, 2008 @ 11:23 am

  56. to n° 55 – Rose
    I don’t bite don’t worry, you misunderstood me

    I didn’t mean to be offensive to you or Dave

    I just wanted to say ; “yes it’s me” and “I know when and how to lie or tell the truth”

    that’s all

    The Boy

    Comment by The Boy — February 7, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

  57. The Boy,
    ok, no offence then. Hope you enjoy reading the book and I look forward to your comments. Petite, do you think The Boy could have a guest post?
    The Boy, your English seems to be very good.

    And Azurienne, I agree, its difficult to find blogs as interesting as Petite’s but still, I believe they are out there, I’ll just have to keep looking.

    Comment by laroseanglaise — February 7, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  58. “I didn’t mean to be offensive to you or Dave”

    LOL! I did not think you were being offensive at all. I think maybe we have a bit of a disconnect when it comes to cultural humor maybe, but I did NOT take offense in any way. Petite, did you get the joke? (I hope so.)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — February 7, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

  59. Wow, if we’re not careful The Boy might not come back, and it’s nice to know that he’s keeping us company sometimes. Happy reading, when you’re allowed!

    Comment by Lisa — February 8, 2008 @ 3:05 am

  60. You are so funny. I really enjoy reading your bits and pieces. I am sure your book will go really well and I, for one, will be buying a copy. Congratulations. As for your Boy – good luck with that.

    Comment by Julie — February 8, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  61. Maybe you should not read it at all Mr. Boy. I mean does he HAVE to petite? Perhaps it should be The Book You Wrote Before and just let it go. It is what it is and is unlikely to be his favorite of all you will write in your career and there seems to be a bigger chance it could come between you rather than bring you closer. Men (and Boys) are weird about those things sometimes and your relationship is still new-ish. It could be something he reads on your 20th anniversary.

    Comment by Jules — February 9, 2008 @ 1:07 am

  62. Cannot believe the crassness of laroseanglaise – her telling The Boy to ‘alright mate calm down’, when he’s the one who’s being dissected by scores of nutty strangers!

    Comment by dan — February 9, 2008 @ 5:35 am

  63. How very strange… The Boy doesn’t read the book, het waits, he waits another month, the book is in his hands, he can touch it, see it, open it, but why bother? It’s very funny, actually. This isn’t politeness, I’m afraid, this is uhm… well… think about it: your lover has written a book, a very personal book about her life – her lovelife, to be precise – and all you can think is: ‘Sure, I can wait another month. Or a year. Whatever.’

    The boy should hide in the bathroom (or anywhere else) and READ it. That’s what he should do. He sould be curious, interested, fascinated, unable to stop himself. If he doesn’t feel that way about this book – and he doesn’t, apparently – he should be deeply ashamed of himself!

    Comment by Nadine — February 10, 2008 @ 12:24 am

  64. I approve “Jules comment”, you share this book with your readers first and preserve your private life.

    Being Flemish I would love having a copy to give to someone in Belgium, but first of all I prefer reading the English version.


    Comment by hilde — February 10, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

  65. Petite, I’m very jealous that you’ve already got a box full of your books next to your bed – I have pre-ordered my copy on Amazon and simply CAN’T wait to read it! I’m going to Nice and Monaco on 6th March, so it should have arrived by the time I’ve come back from my mini-holiday. Any chance you’ll be in Nice around that time, for a book-signing session or something?!
    BTW I love the new layout and features of your blog. Very professional and ‘digne d’une ecrivain’. Bravo!

    Comment by Lotus Flower — February 11, 2008 @ 1:21 pm

  66. No, of course not – you won’t be in France early March, you’ll be in England (while The Boy reads your book in cosy Paris). Never mind…
    I’m sure The Boy will love the book, and even if he doesn’t, at least he’ll be proud of you for your achievements.

    Comment by Lotus Flower — February 11, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  67. I just ordered my (original, UK) version of the book on Amazon UK–all the way from Colorado!! Just a little encouragement that many of us across the pond simply will NOT wait until June to read Petite. You have some very loyal readers by the way…

    It’s set to get to me 12th of March. SO exciting.

    Comment by Aly — February 11, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

  68. Having just recently published my book ”The Cockroach Catcher” myself, I can fully empathise with you. Now that some of the friends around me are reading it, it is definitely nerve wrecking. The worst is when you spot the kind of mistakes that should never have been there on first proof reading not to say the tenth. For me the most testing was not when my wife or children read it as they had been reading my many drafts. It was when my medical colleagues received their copies. No news for one day, then two, then three. Then news came via email: very exciting read; riveting; it is like talking to you again; there was a time when working in NHS was fun. My worst worry was: “Were they just being kind?”

    Then my wife was told: I like the bit about you as his girl friend.

    Now she wants to take that off the approved version.


    The Cockroach Catcher

    Comment by Am Ang Zhang — February 12, 2008 @ 6:23 am

  69. Heb zojuist uw intervieuw gelezen in het weekblad Knack.
    Ik las met veel interesse uw levensverhaal in mijn favoriete stad Parijs.
    Uw blog staat vanaf heden bij mijn favorieten.


    Comment by Studax — February 14, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

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