Friday, January 16, 2015

Guest Blog with Frédérique Molay

The Making of a Hero

Frédérique Molay is an award-winner author of a series of police procedurals set in Paris and a master of suspense and detail. Her novels transport readers to the French capital, taking them behind the scenes with the city’s elite detectives. The 7th Woman is an international bestseller available in English from Le French Book. The second Paris Homicide mystery, Crossing the Line, came out in September 2014, and the third, The City of Blood, hits the bookstores on January 20, 2014. Here she shares some of the inspiration behind her central character, Chief of Police Nico Sirsky. I adored my paternal grandmother. She never spoke much about her Ukrainian background, but when she did, her stories were either filled with suffering—her own and that of a whole population—or marvelous and incredible. Her family lived in Odessa during the Russian Empire, and one of my ancestors was a captain in the czar’s imperial guard. One mission involved standing in for the czar as a look-alike. The family fled in 1902, immigrating to France. One of my grandmother’s uncles began working as a Russian dancer in a Parisian nightclub, before driving a taxi, then working as a furrier, and finally moving to the United States to make a fortune in industrial dry cleaning in Hollywood. What a story! There is a bit of my grandmother in Anya, Nico’s mother. I miss her, which is probably why I created Anya. They have the same deep blue eyes and picturesque Slavic personality. By choosing a hero with Ukrainian origins, I am in a way able to connect with my own family background. In The City of Blood, for example, readers discover the Russian Paris, which was an emotionally charged experience for me as a writer. Add to that my uncertain attraction to superheroes, whom I’m always hoping to meet one day in the streets. Chief Nico Sirsky is one of them, in his own way. He is a resolutely positive hero, even as he faces the ups and downs of everyday modern life and human cruelty. Link to City of Blood's website

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