Author Spotlight: Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
May 21, 2021
We are pleased to feature author Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau and her debut YA novel, KISSES AND CROISSANTS (Delacorte Press, April 2021). Enter to win a copy!
|art by Carolina Melis; design by Casey Moses|
Tell us about yourself and how you came to write for teens.
Bonjour! I’m Anne-Sophie (my friends call me Anso). I’m French and moved abroad after graduating university. I lived in Amsterdam first, where I worked in advertising, then in Melbourne, and I’ve now been in New York City since 2011. Over a decade ago, I connected with an editor at Fleurus, a large publisher in France, who was looking for an author for a guide to fashion for teenage girls. This became my first published book, and I ended up publishing many more nonfiction books for teens, on a variety of topics. Writing young adult fiction was a natural transition. There’s something very special about all the “firsts” that happen in our teen years, and I think it makes for fascinating stories.
Congrats on your debut young adult novel, Kisses and Croissants! Tell us about the story and what inspired you.
Thank you so much! Kisses and Croissants is about Mia, an aspiring ballerina who travels to Paris for a summer intensive dance program. There, she meets Louis, a very cute French boy, and together they explore the city, along with a family mystery related to a Degas painting.
I had always wanted to write a love story set in Paris that would also be a love story with Paris and it felt like the perfect place for a novel about a ballerina with a family mystery surrounding Edgar Degas’s work. I loved the juxtaposition of the artistry of ballet and the beauty of Paris; they’re both so romantic and ethereal.
Did you have a playlist while writing the novel? or a representative song?
I don’t listen to music as I write, but I did watch many Swan Lake videos for research, and listened to some of the songs from the ballet on repeat. After I finished working on the book, I put together a Kisses and Croissants playlist, and I’m still figuring out the best way to share it with readers.
Was your road to publication long and winding, short and sweet, or something in between?
I went through it in France first and it was pretty short and sweet. My road to publication in the U.S. was longer, with several twists and turns along the way. Overall I’d say it took about four/five years from the moment I started writing novels in English to getting my U.S. book deal.
What projects are you working on now?
I recently finished a draft of my next novel, also a standalone YA romance, and I’ll be working on revisions for the next few months. It’s currently slated to be published in fall 2022, also with Random House, Delacorte Press. I don’t know how much I can say about it yet, but food is a big theme.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Is this the same as you'd give to aspiring authors?
I’d tell my younger self to learn to get more comfortable with rejection and self-doubt. These two things have been a constant part of my writing career and by now I feel like they’ll never go away.
I’d also tell her, as I would tell aspiring authors, to just write. It’s such simple advice, but I don’t think I’m alone in getting into my own head, finding a million reasons not to do it. What if this story is bad? What if no one wants to read it? What if I can’t finish it? The thing is you’ll never know if you don’t actually write it.
I also think that trying to find a writing practice that works for you is so important: figure out at what times you write best, where (whether that’s in your home or elsewhere), or if you work better with a detailed outline or just going with the flow. Of course your process might change over time, but getting to understand what helps you move forward feels really good.
That I didn’t grow up speaking English. In fact, outside of two short trips to London, I didn’t really speak it at all until I was in my twenties.
I’m on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok and my handle on all platforms is @asjouhanneau. My website is www.asjouhanneau.com
Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau is a bilingual French author of young adult fiction and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into seven languages. Kisses and Croissants (Random House Delacorte Press, 2021) is her U.S. debut. After graduating university in France, she moved to Amsterdam to begin a career in advertising. She then spent a few years in Melbourne before settling in New York City, where she lives with her Australian husband. Find her on social media @asjouhanneau.
a Rafflecopter giveaway