Tuesday 5 March 2013
A chat with Jan Moran author of Scent of Triumph
Why did you want to become a writer?
As a child, I was an avid reader. Writers were my rock stars! Books were my passport to exotic locales and fascinating characters.
What are some of your favorite locales, objects, or activities that a reader might find in your books?
I often include my favorite locales. Paris, New York, Grasse, London, Hong Kong, and California are among my favorite places that I like to write about, and perfumery and fashion are twin passions. I’m also a strong advocate of the entrepreneurial path, especially for women.
Who are your favorite authors and books?
A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford was an early inspiration. Also love Shanghai Girls by Lisa See and The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory. And who can forget Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, or War and Peace - the best Russian soap opera ever!
Is there a message you want readers to take from your books?
Hope, triumph over adversity, appreciation of other cultures, belief in your own abilities.
What inspires your writing?
Travel always inspires me - I love to explore new cities, countries and cultures that I can share with readers. Strong female protagonists and entrepreneurs who forge their own paths to success are also a source of inspiration. Finally, I like to learn something fascinating along the way, about history, unusual careers, or interesting people.
Where did the idea come from for your books?
Most of my ideas stem from my personal experience, although my books are not autobiographical per se. But in both Scent of Triumph and Hostile Beauty you will learn about places I’ve lived and traveled (such as Paris, Beverly Hills, New York), the work I’ve done in perfume and beauty, period fashions, history, and more. I don’t like to drop designer names or labels simply for the sake of doing so, but I will when it’s germane to characterization, setting, or historical reference. I also like to include details about what it’s like to create a product, run a business, and obtain funding – key aspects of any entrepreneur’s experience. My characters are quite entrepreneurial, and I suppose that stems from my own experience as well.
Tell us about Scent of Triumph in one sentence.
Scent of Triumph is one woman’s journey, a journey filled with courage and creativity, with love
and loss, and at the heart of it all, a relentless will to survive, to triumph on her own terms.
Why is it a must read?
Scent of Triumph is a character-driven story set against a tumultuous time of history - World War II. The protagonist, Danielle Bretancourt, is the kind of modern young woman that you really want to know, and, despite her mistakes, that you can root for. She’s a hard worker, cherishes her family, and longs for a partner. She’s wonderfully creative and has a sense of innate sense of style - even I envy her for that!
What was the inspiration behind Scent of Triumph?
Scent of Triumph was initially inspired by my love of perfumery, but the main character quickly took charge and began building a business, despite her many setbacks. I was inspired by female entrepreneurs from the early part of the twentieth century, such as Elizabeth Arden, Coco Chanel, Madame Gres, Nina Ricci, Estee Lauder, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others in the beauty and fashion industries. Family is also vitally important in this story; Danielle’s love and devotion to her children is really the root of her ambition, as it is with many female entrepreneurs who wish to create a better life for themselves and their children. She is an ordinary woman, who achieves extraordinary things. Like any one of us can.
Is Scent of Triumph only for female readers?
Not at all! If you visit Amazon or Goodreads, you’ll see reviews from many of my male fans. Scent of Triumph resonates with both genders. Entrepreneurial struggles, family, love, and World War II are topics that both men and women can relate to.
Scent of Triumph on Amazon UK