Wednesday, April 15, 2015

RODIN'S LOVER, by Heather Webb

Last year, I interviewed Heather Webb about Becoming Josephine, a historical romance about Rose Tascher and her suitor--a man that would become Napolean Bonaparte.

Heather's newest book, RODIN'S LOVER, also takes place in historic France. The voice and tone of the book are exquisite, and put me right into the story. Have a look for yourself:

As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.

Rodin’s Lover brings to life the volatile love affair between one of the era’s greatest artists and a woman entwined in a tragic dilemma she cannot escape.

Heather also answered some follow-up interview questions:

In our last interview, you said you grew significantly as a writer while you penned RODIN'S LOVER. Can you elaborate on what changed for you, and how your writing process developed?

I think, if writers are truly growing, they push themselves with each new book. That was certainly the case for me with Rodin's Lover. I learned so much about both my research process as well as how I construct the overall structure of the novel. I've learned to be more efficient in shorter periods of time and I had far fewer drafts this time as all of the plotting I did saved a lot of time in edits.

It's comforting to know that efficiency can be gained with practice! RODIN'S LOVER takes place about one hundred years after BECOMING JOSEPHINE. What drove the decision to set the novel there, and what sorts of elements (besides mental illness) did you get to play with?

The first time I had ever heard of Camille Claudel was in my French film class in college. There's a fabulous 1988 movie that won all kinds of awards about her life and love affair with Rodin. It doesn't go nearly as in depth as my book (but that's almost always the case with movies anyway, isn't it?), but still worth seeing. While finishing Becoming Josephine, I started thinking about a new topic. I kept running into renditions of Rodin's The Thinker everywhere and I took that as a sign! I re-watched the film and fell in love with their story all over again. 

Beyond mental illness, I spent a lot of time learning about sculpture and the art of sculpting itself. That was utterly fascinating! After all of that research, I still marvel at the way people envision some gorgeous, emotionally gripping piece in a block of stone. And then there was all of that historical research about artists of the day and the scandals they caused. Good, juicy stuff!

I love that you've included some of the sculptures in the book too! On January 27, RODIN'S LOVER had a Facebook party and giveaway. What other ways have you spread word about your books? Do you feel blog tours are effective? 

This is a question more for writers than readers. It's hard to say what works, honestly, outside of good ol' fashioned word of mouth and writing more good books. Other than that, maybe ads and publicity coverage, which writers can't really control. That's in the hands of our publishers, mixed with some serendipity and much homage to the gods. Ha!

Speaking of writing more good books, what are some of your current projects? 

I'm currently working on a short story for an anthology called A FALL OF POPPIES that centers on the first and controversial Armistice Day during WWI along with 8 other authors. That will be released from HarperCollins next year. I'm also working on a full length novel that's shaping up to be a Gothic thriller set during Belle Epoque Paris once again. It's a retelling of a popular story that I can't talk too much about just yet. After that, I'm headed to New World!  

And we can't wait to go there with you! Thanks, Heather, for another wonderful interview!

To grab RODIN'S LOVER and/or BECOMING JOSEPHINE for yourself, feel free to click the Amazon icons below:



Heather Webb is the author of historical novels BECOMING JOSEPHINE and RODIN’S LOVER.  A freelance editor and blogger, she spends oodles of time helping writers hone their skills—something she adores. Find her twittering @msheatherwebb or contributing to her favorite award-winning sites and

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