I’ve been a serious fan of Paris since the seventies, when my new wife Jan, already a frequent visitor, guided me on my first tour. In the decades since, we’ve lived in Germany and visited Paris many times, to the point that I feel as much at home there as I do in Sarasota, where we live for most of the year.
But we still spend part of the year in our favorite place, the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris, the Montparnasse area where Hemingway and the other expat writers lived and wrote.
When we left Frankfurt in the mid-70s we spent a couple of months touring Italy and Greece before we returned to Washington. We spent hours probing the relics of classical civilization and enjoying the good food, and in my spare time I tried to starting writing a Cold War spy novel. I was going to be the next Le Carré. That didn’t work out so well -- I found the notebook, containing several pages of a mangled opening chapter, on a closet shelf last year.
I got around to that first novel in 2012, after months of pondering a very different plot, one based on the knowledge of Paris I’d accumulated over dozens of visits. “Treasure of Saint-Lazare” came out at the end of the year, followed by “Last Stop: Paris” in 2015. The third, “Finding Pegasus,” is a 2018 project. I think I’m learning how to do it and can push up the pace a bit, so I hope to have a fourth one out in less than a year, and there’s a list of plots waiting for later.
The good people at Readers’ Favorite, the big review website, chose Treasure as its highest-ranked historical mystery of 2014. Shelf Unbound Magazine picked Last Stop as one of the ten best indie books of 2015, for which I thank both of them.
The books call on the wordsmithing skills I learned as an Associated Press reporter in Washington and as editor of an English-language business magazine in Germany. Jan, a former Washington Post reporter, edited her own magazine, and together we wrote special financial sections for the International Herald Tribune (now the International New York Times).
I left journalism when we came back from Germany and went into the securities industry, then we moved to Sarasota and bought a business. When we sold that I was able to turn my attention fully to learning how to be a novelist.
You can follow my blog at PartTimeParisian.com and my books at JohnPearceBooks.com. I invite you to join my mailing list, which I call the Eddie Grant Readers Group after the protagonist of my first two novels. You can subscribe on either of my sites and, of course, unsubscribe any time.
I hope you enjoy my books.
Sarasota, May 2018