Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Q&A with M.J. Rose


Photo by Doug Scofield



M.J. Rose is the author of the new novel The Jeweler of Stolen Dreams. Her many other novels include The Last Tiara


Q: In your new book's author's note, you write, “The Jeweler of Stolen Dreams is a work of fiction, but one that features the very real and important jewelry designer, Suzanne Belperron...” How did you first learn about her work, and at what point did you decide to write this novel?


A: In 2009 I was window shopping in Paris and saw three pieces on display that mesmerized me. Their style was so unique. I had to know more.


I’d never heard of Belperron but the woman who owned the store — a jewelry designer in her own right — told me all about Belperron and I became fascinated. Nonetheless I didn’t wind up deciding to write this book until 2018. 


Q: The novel also features your fictional character Violine, part of the family that’s featured in your Daughters of La Lune series. Did you know the entire family tree when you began the series, or did you continue adding characters over the years?


A: Both. I knew when I started that I would be adding people so I made sure I gave myself enough members of the family that I could keep going.


Q: How did you research the novel, and did you learn anything that especially surprised you?

A: It was very difficult to research this book because there is so little about Belperron’s personal life that is known. Partly because she was very private but also because French privacy laws are so strict and so much of her personal life is not for public consumption. There are two coffee table books about her work, and I scoured them for the tiniest details as well as every article I could find written during her lifetime that even mentioned her.


But the biggest break came when I tracked down her grandniece who was gracious enough to get me a lot of the information I hadn’t been able to find out on my own.


Q: What role do you see magic playing in the story?


A: I believe that mystery and magic are all around us – in great and small ways – and by exaggerating it in my books, I draw attention to it in ways that will hopefully bring people joy and wonder.


To me the magic in this book is in so many things — from the beauty of a single gemstone that Belperron looked at and saw as the impetus for a stunning design to the ability Violine has of touching an object to learn its history. I want to delight readers as well as entertain them and magic plays into that.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: The ebook will only be $7.99 – we’re keeping the price low so more people can buy it.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with M.J. Rose.

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