Behind the Author: Andre Phillip-Hautecoeur

I am pleased to invite author Andre Phillip-Hautecouer to Acting Balanced today as part of his Pump Up Your Book tour for his book One Exquisite Night in Paris!

1. Tell us a little bit about how you write your books: 

Honestly I think I go about it a little ass-backwards. I start with the title or an opening line or two. Then if it generates any emotion in me I’ll test it on a friend or two then I’ll see if I can add some meat to make a story.
For example the thing that I’m working on – a line came to me in the shower – “I watched my mother kill my father. I was ten.” Then I have to figure out how it all came to that, who am I in the story, who is mom; and daddy must have done something very silly to deserve it.
I don’t go looking for some deep social topic nor do I make up stuff about aliens.

2. How long have you been writing and what do you love about it? 

I’ve been writing short stories for about seven years but never tried to publish anything. Mostly because I think “why would anybody want to read that?”
What I really love about writing is finding the right and few words to present a feeling. So it becomes a puzzle of write-edit-write till every word means exactly something or remains semantic only if I intend it to be.

3. What hobbies/interests do you have?  

Not many hobbies at all. I write and I read and I think about marketing. Marketing is an excellent hobby; fine-tuning a suggestion till someone embraces a thing which they may never have considered before. I know it sounds boring but it presses you to present properly and face disappointment regularly.
Recently I had been reading quite a bit of French history.

4. Something people would be surprised to know about me is…  

People would be surprised to know that there is nothing surprising to know about me at all. I’m insipidly normal, I have existential angst like everyone else, I would never buy a vacation home because that’s just foolish, I live in an apartment because I’m not handy around the house and I’m one of the most superficial people I know. Not fake just superficial in my outlook, I don’t play it out.

5. If you could invite 4 people (real or fictional, living or dead) to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve?  

Jesus, that’s a tricky question but like most people I think I would invite Jesus. Coco Chanel would be first though; I love her-the older version of her in her seventies. Then believe it or not I would invite Adolph. I would really like to know what was he thinking. I mean really; the whole world war, the whole thing. Was it power based thinking, economic; what?
Then Arjuna the son of Pandu (from the Bhagavad Gita). I read the whole thing in my teens about passionate caring with indifference to result and I think it shaped my outlook.

I would serve Kobe stakes with the bone and a gorgonzola-port sauce, small bleached potatoes with pesto and a Chateau Margaux 2009 (3 bottles). We would try the Shipwrecked 1907 Heidseick to start but keep some normal champagne on hand in case it’s corked.
Now Arjuna might not appreciate the beef, being Indian and all but who knows. A cheese plate with toast ends after and then cigars and 50 year old rum.

6. I can’t live without…  Water, my laptop and I love oranges.

7. Tell us a little about this current book - what was your favorite part about writing it? 

My favorite challenge was to attempt to create imagery such that if you had never been to or heard about Paris, each chapter would make you feel like you wanted to see this thing or do that thing and that you would come away breathless feeling you could have the most amazing day of your life by doing this trip.
We live between Brooklyn and Paris so it was annoying if I couldn’t quite remember some details while in Brooklyn. I would have to pause till I got to Paris to get it right. But it was great seeing things critically knowing I was to write about them.
Also of the personal story, I didn’t want to make it too ideal (wine and roses) though there wasn’t really any trauma to report.

8. What's next for your writing?  

What’s next for the writing is actually marketing. I think it’s important to spend the next few months marketing/promoting this book. Just being on Amazon doesn’t suggest that the book will sell.
I started writing at intervals on a first line but haven’t flushed out characters, plot or anything. I’m open to suggestions regarding direction for this opening phrase: “I watched my mother kill my father. I was ten.”

9. How can your fans stay up to date with what you are doing? My blog is at:

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Readers - if you have more questions, please leave them in the comments!