Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Q&A with Carole Bumpus

Carole Bumpus is the author of the new book Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Book Two. It's the second in her Savoring the Olde Ways series. Her other books include the novel A Cup of Redemption. A retired family therapist, she lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Q: This is the second in your Savoring the Olde Ways series--how does this book build on the first book, which also focused on France? 

A: The second book begins exactly where the first book left off—in Paris. This is the same culinary tour, with the very same focus—families, traditions and traditional foods.

Q: Did you need to do additional research to write this second book in the series, and if so, what surprised you this time around? 

A: In the second book, it is a continuation of the same journey, but we were going through different regions. I am also delighted by the influences of each region’s traditions and cuisine. And, also, I enjoy getting to know the people who have a different perspective of the world and their history.

Q: What did you learn about your friend Josiane's late mother, Marcelle, in the course of working on the book?

A: One of the main purposes of this actual trip was to search for traces of Marcelle’s father. She was born on the last day of World War I (November 11, 1918) in Brittany, never knew her father, did not know where her last name came from, and never knew if he had died during the War, or simply failed to return home.

During this journey, we were able to find answers to a number of very important questions, especially: Who am I? My historical novel, A Cup of Redemption, is based on Marcelle’s life.

Q: The third book in the series focuses on Italy. What would you say are some of the important differences--and similarities--between Italian and French food?

A: This book was written before the French books, but the timing for publication was set to follow the French books. The Italian journey was a one-month jaunt throughout Italy and was where I fell in love with the connection of food and traditions with families.

As a retired family therapist, my interest was more about what holds a family together and I discovered the answer to be found in the very traditional ritual—the daily sacrament—of putting food on the table.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: Finishing up the Italian title, before working on possibly another Italian journey (as I traveled there often) and/or one more French. Plus, there is also Greece, or Turkey, or any number of wondrous places I’ve traveled.

Q: Anything else we should know? 

A: I am also thinking of writing of my travels with World War II veterans throughout France. Now, there is a real book. I traveled with these lovely men and their families on their 65th and 70th anniversary of their “liberation tours.” This was to gain background for my historical novel, A Cup of Redemption.

What I learned about World War II can now be found as a subtext in every book I’ve written since. 

My website is

--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Carole Bumpus.

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