Thursday, February 5, 2015

Interview with Heather Webb

Earlier this week I reviewed Rodin's Lover by Heather Webb, a fabulous historical novel about the gifted sculptor Camille Claudel. I'm thrilled to share my interview with Ms. Webb about this book.

Heather Webb
Was Rodin’s Lover the original title of your book?

No! Actually it was The Eternal Idol, a piece by Rodin that I thought perfectly summed up Camille and Auguste's relationship together, but it wasn't "marketable" enough so we went with my second choice, sadly. I really preferred the other.

As you were writing Rodin’s Lover, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you?

A scene popped up which I hadn't plotted originally was the one in which Camille and Rodin go to Le Chat Noir, a famous night club in Montmartre. What a fun scene that was to write! I had a ball researching it as well. In fact, I got lost in the details of the era in Montmartre and had to reign myself in from the rabbit hole of research.

You have a foodie section of your blog, so what food or drink do you associate with Rodin's Lover?

I would have to say absinthe because there's a scene in the book when Camille and her brother Paul drink some. Or possibly a little cherry brandy.

What lead you to Camille Claudel's story?

I fell in love with Camille while in my French film class in college. The film, simply called Camille Claudel, was multiple award-winning in Europe and the U.S. with stars Isabelle Adjani and GĆ©rard Depardieu playing the roles of Camille and Rodin. Their tragic love story gripped me and I swooned at the beauty they created both together and separately. After the film, I became rather obsessed with sculpture in general. Many years later, I had not forgotten Camille, and knew I wanted to delve more into her life. It has been an incredible experience spending time exploring her brilliant mind, and ultimately sharing her story.

What is your favorite of Camille's work?

The Waltz is my favorite because it's sensuous and breathtaking--the lovers look enraptured by their love but also melancholy, forlorn as if they know a secret that torments them that no one else knows.

Read any good books recently?

I'm always reading good books. :) All the Light We Cannot See was excellent! Brilliant! I'm currently reading The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig and House Broken by Sonja Yoerg.

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My thanks to Ms. Webb for her time and her thoughtful answers. To learn more about her and her books, check out her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I love The Eternal Idol for a title!! But Rodin's Lover is great too (I think) because once you read the book that person could either be Camille or (since she seemed to be such a great love of Rodin's) his longtime mistress who he just couldn't put aside. It kind of opens up the question of who is the mistress and who the legitimate woman in his life, the woman of his heart or the woman of his home?

    Thinking of the drinks, I actually bought a bottle of Pernod (another drink mentioned in the story) when in Scotland and while I really liked (it kind of tastes like licorice) it was STRONG! I can't imagine being able to think straight let alone create art on that sort of stuff.

    Great interview, thank you!

  2. Nice interview. I always like knowing more about authors and their inspiration and research.