Kathryn Gauci | New Release | The Secret of the Grand Hotel du Lac

Kathryn’s beautiful and critically-acclaimed novels stand out with gorgeous details and emotional plots. I’m excited to chat today about her work, travels and new release, The Secret of the Grand Hotel du Lac. Welcome, Kathryn, and thanks for coming. Your books are set in some remarkable locations, so I’m looking forward to learning more!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on yourself?
Most places I write about I visit, so for the Greek and Turkish themed books, I visited (and worked) in Athens, various islands, in particular Chios, Turkey, especially Istanbul and Anatolia. Also quite a few areas in France.
What music do you listen to when you write? (or don’t you)
I don’t actually listen to music when I write but I do play it between the writing. I think it’s really important to help set the mood. For instance, when writing about Greece and Turkey between WWI and 1923, I played the soundtrack to the Turkish 2005 documentary, Gallipoli. The music is by the Turkish composer, Demir Demirkan and is incredibly poignant. I also played quite a bit of Rebetika and music from Smyrna (Izmir). For my WWII novels, I play almost everything from that era: English, American, French, German, and Greek.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you building a body of work with connections or themes between each book?
At the moment they all stand on their own and the only connection they have to each other is the genre, e.g. WWII. Having said that, three of the books set in Greece and Turkey, come under the umbrella of my Asia Minor trilogy, mainly due to the fact that they are all set around the Asia Minor Catastrophe and the end of the Ottoman Empire. This could change in the future though.
Tell us a little more about your latest release. What kind of research did you do, and how long did it take you?
For The Secret of the Grand Hôtel du Lac, I went to live in the Jura/ Franche-Comté region in Eastern France for two and a half months to study the Resistance and escape routes into Switzerland. After I left, the research didn’t stop. I had to translate French books on the Gestapo and the Resistance, do online research, and read more books. You know what it’s like. Research never stops and one thing leads to another.
When you did your research, did it change your plot or your characters significantly?
In the beginning, I had no idea what I would uncover, and what I found shocked me. The area is beautiful – peaceful and tranquil – yet everywhere there are monuments to the brave maquisards: in the forests, by the side of quiet country lanes, in fields and villages. What I hadn’t realized was that, because of the terrain, much of the terror that took place, especially in 1944, could not have happened had it not been for the hundreds, if not thousands, of collaborators. There was also one important thing that I discovered about the place where I was living and which ended up being central to the story, but I’d better keep that a secret! You’ll have to read the book to find out.
The Secret of the Grand Hotel du Lac | Amazon
Quick Q & A
Tea or Coffee
Dark or Milk Chocolate
When were you the happiest?
Living in Greece during the 1970’s
Favourite Children’s Book
Br’er Rabbit
Favourite Adult Novel
The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric.
Kathryn Gauci was born in Leicestershire, England, and studied textile design at Loughborough College of Art and later at Kidderminster College of Art and Design where she specialised in carpet design and technology. After graduating, Kathryn spent a year in Vienna, Austria before moving to Greece where she worked as a carpet designer in Athens for six years. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia.
You can find Kathryn on line:
Amazon Author Page
Linked In