Lily Heise is a Canadian writer and romance expert based in Paris. When she’s not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel and culture. In addition to her books and website (Je T’Aime, Me Neither) her writing or commentary has been featured in the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Business Insider, Refinery29, The Local France, France Tourism UK, Frommer’s guidebooks, among others.
With her new book, Je T’Aime…Maybe? coming out this Wednesday, it was the perfect time to ask Lily a few questions about the sequel to her first book, her life in Paris and of course, l’amour.
So Lily, how would you describe your new book in three words?
Fun, exciting and surprising.
Who would you recommend this book to?
Je T’Aime… Maybe? isn’t your average Paris book, nor is it an average book on romance. The stories are entirely based on reality, as such it doesn’t cast a rosy glow over the city and the search for romance here. It’s candid, funny, a little gritty and at times very oh la la! Therefore, happy readers tend to be those who have an adventurous spirit and prefer a realistic, witty take on life rather than a dreamy, peachy-keen one. So far enthused readers range from 20-80, however, my book tends to appeal more to women 25-50.
Lily had a number of adventures in the first book, what should we expect from the second?
In my first book, Je T’Aime, Me Neither, I go in search of a light summer fling after being dumped by my long term boyfriend. Instead of meeting the perfect seductive garçon, I stumble into increasingly crazy (and funny) dating disasters. The new book has a different premise. After all those troublesome characters from book one, I change my approach and turn my focus to finding my soul mate. Right then a romantic interest from my past comes back on my amorous horizons. The big catch is that he lives across the world. So while I gradually attempt to kindle romance with him, all kinds of suitors attempt to thwart my efforts. Will this mysterious man be the one to declare je t’aime? Read this new lively adventure to find out.
Your first book was about romance in the city, do you think Paris is really the city of love?
Yes. 100%. I truly think the city exudes and incites love. However, it’s expressed in all degrees of the word: passionate, tender, turbulent, tumultuous, fickle, heart-wrenching, idolized and unconditional. The French can be very quick to shout out je t’aime! and almost as soon grumble je ne t’aime plus. What?? How can you love me after one week… and then you unlove me the next? I suppose this is part of the fun and it keeps us on our toes, but it can also lead to a lot of trouble and heartbreak.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Since the books in this series are based on true stories, they are my main inspiration, that said, there is some selection that takes place regarding what i include or not (a few characters got cut… and a few details left out!). Plus, there are lively conversations with my friends throughout. These are of course “reconstructed,” I had a lot of fun doing these trying to make sure each character’s personalities shone through. I look forward to using what I’ve been fine-tuning on dialogues to future fiction works and other writing projects. Although in general, authentic Paris is my inspiration, whether it be for my books or for my articles. I like to show the real side to the city and life here.
Do you write at home? Outside? In a cafe?
Always at home (or while I’m traveling this could be on a Italian terrace or a Thai beach). If I worked at a café, I would get too distracted by all the cute boys passing by!
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Stay committed and find a regular rhythm, even if it’s just once a week. It’s also important to find a niche or a way to set yourself apart in addition to telling the story you really want to tell – this is how your readers will pick up on the passion you have for your topic.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
I publish a range of offbeat date ideas, unique romantic guides and unique things to do in Paris and other travel destinations on my website Je T’Aime Me Neither. Further information about my books is here on my website or directly on Amazon at this link. My book is available in Paris at the Abbey Bookstore or at a variety of bookstores around the world (if you don’t see it at your favorite one, see if they can order it).
Happy reading and vive l’amour!