If at first you don’t succeed…

It was Friday morning, with the market in Valbonne in full swing and a lot of people shopping and milling about.  I was doing a “meet the author” book event at the English Book Centre in Valbonne for my books “Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France” and “Sun, Sea & Savoir-Faire – A Travel Focus on the French Riviera.”   Thanks to Lin Wolff, owner and operator – I was graciously hosted and well-positioned in front of the shop ready to meet and greet customers.

Lin had casually mentioned that even when well-known author, Stephen Clarke, had done a book signing at her shop, it had been difficult to get business!  So, what were my expectations?  Basically, to enjoy the lovely morning and profit from a little publicity, rather than book sales.  Unfortunately, there was building work, with a noisy cement mixer, next door to the bookstore, so my trailer video music, as a way to hopefully attract curiosity and attention to my table, was drowned out.  No worries – I just greeted those who walked by, talked at length to a few, handed out business cards, and people watched.  All in all, it was a very pleasant, sunny morning in a lovely town – success can be measured in various ways!

So, ……I’ll try again, and so I did the following month.  Thanks to Lin, I hosted a mid-summer aperitif book event in the late afternoonAgain, it was very quiet, as I sat in the shade in front of the bookstore waiting for passers-by.  Fortunately, the cement mixer was long gone.  I ended up meeting some very nice expat couples and two lovely women, one who had driven from Cannes specifically to meet me.  All in all, a personally rewarding afternoon for the success of meeting new people – priceless!


English Book Centre

Owner, Lin Wolff

Owner, Lin Wolff

Book table

Author, Kim Defforge

A “French Kiss” Location

If you remember the movie, French Kiss, starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline, there is a scene where Luc’s brother drives under an archway into a medieval town square, where they get into a fist fight – that square is Place des Arcades in Valbonne, about a 45 minute drive from Nice.


I was having lunch at the Café des Arcades in this square (at the restaurant where they seemed to have sat) and couldn’t help but think about this movie scene.


(filmed in Valbonne)

The meal was delicious, as I lingered over dessert while a summer rain passed through and people watched. Afterwards, I browsed through some local bric-a-brac shops and stopped by the English Book Centre. A great day, topped off with a “French Kiss” moment!