Hey there word nerds!
Today’s DIY MFA Radio guest has a fascinating double life.
Author Frédérique Molay began her career in politics and administration as chief of staff for a commission of the French National Assembly. She then worked for local government in Burgundy, ran in the European elections, and was elected in Saône-et-Loire.
She also writes crime novels and won France’s prestigious crime fiction award the Prix du Quai des Orfèvres for The 7th Woman, which went on to become an international bestseller.
We had our conversation through a translator: the fabulous Anne Trager from Le French Book, who helped set up this interview. This is a slightly different format from our usual at DIY MFA Radio, but I have a feeling you’re going to love it. Frédérique has some brilliant insights about writing and I’m so excited to introduce you to her on today’s episode.
In this episode Frédérique and I discuss:
- Publishing foreign titles in the United States with Le French Book, and her writing journey
- Vulnerability and idealism in writing, and why she she writes crime fiction
- The inspiring story behind her winning the Prix du Quai des Orfèvres
- Work life, family life, writing life, and how to find a balance that works
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
About the Author
Writing has always been a passion for Frédérique Molay, author of the award-winning international bestselling Paris Homicide series. She graduated from France’s prestigious grande école the Institut d’Études Politique and has a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She began her career in politics and administration as chief of staff for a commission of the French National Assembly. She then worked for local government in Burgundy, ran in the European elections, and was elected in Saône-et-Loire.
At the height of this brilliant political career, Molay was also writing crime novels and won France’s prestigious crime fiction award the Prix du Quai des Orfèvres for The 7th Woman, which went on to become an international bestseller. She took a break from politics to write Crossing the Line and The City of Blood, two other titles in the Paris Homicide series.
In addition to being a knight in the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin—an order of wine lovers who promote Burgundy wines—Frédérique also taught French in middle school for a short time, sharing her passion for writing with young teens.
The political virus never left her, however, and in June 2015, while writing Looking to the Woods, Frédérique returned to politics, as chief of staff for a newly elected senator. She now splits her time between Paris and Chalon-sur-Saône, between police procedurals and politics.
When a ten-year-old girl’s mutilated body is found in a public park in Paris, chief of police Nico Sirsky takes action. But his elite team of homicide detectives isn’t on the case for even twenty-four hours before a second child is found murdered and left to rot inside a middle-school classroom. With the City of Light on edge awaiting another gruesome discovery, the clock starts ticking for Sirsky to catch the elusive killer who calls himself the gamemaster.
As the pressure mounts, Sirsky is also confronted with a conundrum in his personal life: his girlfriend is inexplicably pulling away from him. But he must once again put his own problems aside when the investigation turns up nothing but taunts from the killer. It will take an entire team of police psychologists, forensic specialists, and criminal investigators to uncover the truth hidden in a web of murder more tangled than any of them could have imagined.
Looking to the Woods (affiliate link) is out now from Le French Book and Amazon Crossing. As with this and other affiliate links on this page, if you decide to purchase, DIY MFA will make a commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting DIIY MFA!
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!