Thursday, April 30, 2020

Paris and Gigi Pandian

Continuing with responses from friends who love Paris as much as I do.

When I asked Gigi Pandian what she missed most, or what she might want to do when first returning to Paris, she said - 

"Where to begin about what I love most about Paris? As someone who’s always been drawn to mystery and history (not to mention good food), Paris is heaven.

I love how old and new exist side by side: modern art next to ancient cathedrals, museums next to nightclubs, and layers of history in the catacombs beneath the modern city. 

When wandering through the city, there are countless secret alleys and courtyards to explore. And of course an abundance of cafes for leisurely breaks, both for sustenance and people-watching.

My high school French works well enough for Parisians to know I’m at least making an effort, and I’ve always had positive interactions with the people I’ve met. My challenge is that as soon as someone answers me in rapid French, I have to ask them to speak more slowly!

It was the gargoyles of Paris that first captured my imagination. I was lucky enough to visit Paris as a teenager, on one of my professor mom’s summer research trips to Europe. On each return trip, I would climb the steps of Notre Dame to visit the gallery of gargoyles who watch over the city. I hope I’ll be able to do so again one day.

When I became a writer, I didn’t think I’d end up writing about the gargoyles of Paris. But the character of Dorian Robert-Houdin, a gargoyle who was originally carved in stone for Notre Dame before being accidentally brought to life through alchemy, sprung from the page and there’s been no stopping him. (Um… yes, I might be one of those authors who listens to my characters as if they’re real people.)

My imagination keeps pulling me back to Paris in my fiction. The Lost Gargoyle of Paris, an ebook novella set after the tragic fire at Notre Dame, came out just last month.

I also took my characters to Paris in The Elusive Elixir: An Accidental Alchemist Mystery, and Quicksand: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery. The treasure hunt in Paris and Mont St. Michel was inspired by the time I was trapped in the Louvre during a real-life art heist. But that’s another story!"

USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood traveling around the world on their research trips, and now lives outside San Francisco with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the garden.


Lesa said...

I want to hear that story about being trapped in the Louvre, Gigi!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Me too, Gigi!