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Interview with Samantha Brick, author of Head Over Heels in France

samantha brick

Samantha Brick juggles life as a freelance TV consultant, journalist, yogi, French housewife and writer of best-selling book “Head over Heels in France”, the story of falling in love and finding a new life in rural France.

Birmingham-born, having lived in London for 18 years, as well as resided and worked extensively in Los Angeles and New York, Samantha now lives in tranquillity in South-West France in a chocolate box perfect home in the countryside. She lives happily with her French husband artisan carpenter Pascal, with stepchildren passing through. Samantha blissfully co-exists with a variety of much-loved animals – the elderly, the rescued, brand spanking new puppies and simply the very cute podgy woofers…

She is famous for her outspoken and controversial column in the UK newspaper The Daily Mail and French Book worm was delighted to interview her:

At school I was terrible at …

French. Oh the irony! But I couldn’t stand it, the teacher was woefully uninspiring and I didn’t give a monkies about Marie-Claude or where the train station was. Oh how often I’ve howled in frustration at not paying more attention in class, now that I live in France permanently!

I started writing when / because ….

I’ve never not written! As a child I’d write about holidays, days out, birthdays – godawful dross probably but I really believe that it is something you can get better at with repetition.

The hardest part of writing a book is ….

Being disciplined about writing every single day. Unless you have a huge advance (I wish!) that’s tied up in a scary contract with a deadline to meet then there is actually no requirement on you to write.

I work best when ….

It’s early. I get up at 5am and I write for three hours. The dogs and the husband are still snoring – sound asleep in bed. All I hear are the owls hooting and, in spring, birdsong around dawn. It’s very inspiring, I can be found next to the log fire in the winter and in the summer in my office watching the sun rise.

If I wasn’t a writer I would…

Be a dog breeder! I adore my animals and it’s taken me time to realise that you can work with them for a living. You won’t get rich unless you’re breeding those dinky little teacup dogs, but I can’t think of anything worse. You can’t walk around the French countryside with those.

If you could have dinner with a French celebrity/historic character – living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?

Brigitte Bardot – I adore her. Not her sex-kitten movie star years but after that is when she gets really interesting. I’m full of admiration with her decision to walk away from the limelight at 38 and commit her life to supporting animals.

If you were to cook for that person – what would you prepare?

Given where she lives – fresh sea food. But honestly? Whatever she wanted. She’s a goddess because of the animals’ lives she’s saved.

Desert Island book – if you could only take three books to a deserted island what would they be?

Any three of Jilly Cooper’s – I love her mix of characters and her racy plots. She is extraordinary. Her book Rivals really nailed the television industry. She’s brilliant and her library of works demonstrates she is head and shoulders above other female writers.

I am kept awake at night by…

Owls hooting – especially the baby ones. I don’t mind in the slightest – it makes me appreciate life in the Lot.

My guiltiest pleasure is…

Chocolate. But I can’t stop when I start – so it’s banned in our house.

Red or white wine?

Rosé everytime.

If I could go back in time I would…

Spend time with my husband’s grandparents – they have left an indelible trace on our lives. They escaped Franco’s regime during the Spanish civil war. My husband’s grandmother was pregnant with my father-in-law at the time. Our home is festooned every spring and summer with bright red geraniums-because that’s what Pascal remembers of his grandmother. They were very brave people…

If Steven Spielberg (other director) sees this interview on The Good Life France website and decides to make Head Over Heels in France into a film who would he get to play Samantha and Pascal?

Ha! My friends reckon Jean Reno for Pascal and I quietly reckon that Kate Winslet could tackle my idiosyncrasies rather well!

When Steven Spielberg’s film Head Over Heels in France hits the silver screen – how do you think your friends and neighbours will react to your fame?

Disbelief! Plus I will no doubt get told off for missing ‘important’ bits out…

Head Over Heels in France by Samantha Brick is available at Amazon.

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