Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Interview with Heather Webb

Yesterday I reviewed Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb, a delightful debut novel about one of my favorite historical figures, Josephine Bonaparte. I just fell in love with Webb's articulation of her, and I'm excited to share my interview with her. Read on to learn more about her and her book and what she does when she's not writing.

Photo: author Heather WebbWhat was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

You’re looking at it! LOL. Becoming Josephine was my first novel. I had a handful of historical romance short stories that I piddled with in junior high, but I never finished any of them.

Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

I leave my house every Saturday and Sunday morning and hunker down in a coffee shop somewhere and write for 5-7 hours. It’s when I get the bulk of it done, mostly because I receive fewer emails and have less social media crapola to deal with on those days. But also, because I still have young kids at home. Weekends, my husband is home. I’m looking forward to next year when I can spend the work/school day writing and the weekends with the family.

book cover: Becoming Josephine by Heather WebbWas Becoming Josephine the original title of your book?

The original title of the book was Becoming Josephine: The First French Empress. Needless to say, that’s way too long and the book is much more about Josephine growing into herself than it is about her being an Empress.

As you were writing Becoming Josephine, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you?

Surprised me? Hmm…not really. But a scene I ADORED writing was the bal de victims, in which Josephine and her best friend Theresia met the wicked Paul Barras, wore shocking red silk, and the banquet of Terreur-themed foods were served. The verbal sparring between Josephine and Paul practically wrote itself. It was a blast!

You have a wonderful blog that includes, among other themes, a foodie theme! What food or drink do you associate with your time writing Becoming Josephine? Is there a food or drink you associate with Josephine and her life?

Good question! For a beverage I would say brandy. I tried several different varieties while researching what men drank during that time. In terms of foods, maybe petit fours or sugared plums; a few of Josephine’s favorites.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

As you mentioned above, I’m a bit of a foodie so I love to try new recipes and new restaurants. I mean, what girl doesn’t love to eat? But also, I enjoy spending time with the kiddos, traveling, beaching it, Tarot cards, reading, films…

Read any good books recently?

Yes! Several, actually. I’ve just finished Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole and The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh. I loved both! The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn and Longbourn by Jo Baker are next on my list.

*** *** ***

My thanks to Ms. Webb for her time and answers. You can learn more about her and her books at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

blog tour banner

I'm thrilled to offer a copy of Becoming Josephine to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US and Canadian readers only, ends 1/31.


  1. I can't wait to read Becoming Josephine, it's on my list!

  2. Wow, she's dedicated to spend her weekends like that!

    1. Right?! But I'm so impressed with that -- makes me more determined to carve out my own time to write.

  3. I'm very impressed by her writing weekends, too. Becoming Josephine sounds like a good read.