Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Ohio Author to Write 18th-century French Novel Series

 A novel about Madame du Barry's Zamor. From Cision:

Patti Flinn had never heard of Louis-Benoit Zamor until she came across the portrait of him painted by Marie-Victoire Lemoine, on Pinterest. The full-time executive assistant—and part-time romance novelist—was browsing French art for her living room wall when she discovered Zamor, a black man who lived in 18th-century France. That portrait led to a three-book fictional series called The Last Favorite’s Page, of which the first book, The Greatest Thing, is set to release in October 2023.

“Pinterest is great because there’s no pressure to engage,” says Flinn. “On any other social media site, just looking and not engaging makes you a lurker—which sounds bad from the outset—but on Pinterest anyone can just share or browse.”

Cruising past the portrait of Louis-Benoit, something in his eyes caused her to back up and click on the link. That was when she learned about Zamor, the personal servant—or page—who lived in the Palace of Versailles during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. He’s best known as the traitor who helped send Madame Jeanne du Barry (former mistress of King Louis XV) to the guillotine during the French Revolution.

Admitting she knew little about the history of black people on mainland France in the 18th century, Flinn wondered if others might be as curious about the period or if they’d even be interested at all. She decided to pen Véronique’s Journey and Véronique’s Moon, parallel stories based on a character from the Zamor series. Though she didn’t want to take too much time from the main story, Flinn felt there was a need to introduce readers to the unexplored subject matter. Already, Véronique’s Journey has won an IPPY (Independent Book Publishing Award). Véronique’s Moon, set to release July 2023, ends just after the character’s introduction to Louis-Benoit Zamor.

“I’m excited that other people are as interested in what was happening with black people during that time as I am. We see these images on social media and rarely put a story to the faces. Before seeing that portrait I never even considered writing a historical novel but something about this man’s eyes opened up a whole new world for me. That’s the beauty of visual arts – they touch us in different ways. I’ve seen many portraits of people of that time but seeing Zamor’s face was, instantly, like looking at an old friend. I felt compelled to continue in response, one artist to another.” (Read more.)


More on Zamor, HERE.


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