In 2012 I set up The Good Life France website to keep in touch with family and friends from France, but it rapidly became a website for everyone. From less than 500 visitors in its first month to 60,000 in six months and now reaching more than 1.5 million people each month. It is a dream come true and my dream job. I write about the wonderful places I visit in France and share my insider knowledge and secret places. I work with tourist offices and PR companies throughout France to make sure I know what’s new and what’s great so I can share it. I also work with companies and brands from all over the world to connect great products and services with my readers and followers.
I launched The Good Life France Magazine in November 2015 – it enables me to publish longer features in more detail and with wonderful photographs. It’s completely free to read online and has grown over the years into a glossy publication with a subscribership of more than 33,000 people. It’s additionally shared with our social media and newsletter subscribers – another 230,000 people.
Want to know more about me? Here are 20 secrets!
1. I have had a home in France for 14 years and I’ve been renovating it for 14 years and still not finished!
2. I used to sing in a band in London.
3. I love French cakes as you may know if you follow me on Facebook where I share a ton of photos! I go into almost every boulangerie and patisserie I see in France and take a photo, much to the amusement of the people who work there.
4. I adore French Chateaux and I write a lot about them! In December 2013 I wrote about the Chateau de Gudanes. The Australian owner had fallen in love with this gorgeous abandoned chateau and I knew immediately that it was an amazing story and I couldn’t understand how she only had 126 followers on her Facebook page. I wrote her story and it went viral, just over a year later she had almost 300,000 followers on Facebook and has been in magazines, newspapers and TV programmes around the world.
5. I have 3 dogs and 6 cats and my vet has made me promise to stop taking in stray animals.
6. Cheese is my weakness. I won the 2014 ABTOF (Association of British Tourist Operators to France) Award for best French online article for my story of my local cheese producer, AKA The Goat Lady.
7. I have 16 ducks, 4 geese and 17 chickens who are mostly so old they don’t lay eggs but they’re happy. I love chickens and I write a column for Your Chickens Magazine.
8. My great grandma was an Italian trapeze artist – I have no circus skills whatsoever, though I love to dance (I have always wanted to be a top disco dancer).
9. My favourite region of France? Impossible but I am very fond of Nord-Pas de Calais where I have a home in the stunning and off the beaten track Seven Valleys. I also love Paris and won the French Media Awards Best Social Media feature 2016 for my article about where to kiss in Paris!
10. I wanted to be a writer from the age of 3.
11. I first visited France when I was 14 and on a school exchange visit and I completely fell in love with tarte tatin and the French way of life.
12. I like to grow vegetables and once grew a pumpkin that was nearly as big as me.
13. I cannot cook. My French friends call me Flop Chef (the opposite of Top Chef!).
14. My favourite French actor is Gerard Depardieu and I once stayed in a hotel where he had stayed in Sarlat in the Dordogne which is the nearest I have got to meeting him. (ps if you read this Monsieur Depardieu – please feel free to email me!).
15. My favourite French drink is Champagne.
16. I used to work in McDonalds in London in my school holidays!
18. I hate flying. As a freelance travel writer this is not good but I manage!
19. I love writing – okay, that’s probably not a secret!
20. I’ve written three books. That’s not really a secret either since I am trying very hard to tell absolutely everyone about them. You can get them on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Book Depository and loads of other places. Here they are on Amazon UK