By Stephanie Cowell (W&M Regular Contributor)
I’m giving away a copy of CLAUDE & CAMILLE: A NOVEL OF MONET. The novel grew from my childhood; both my parents were artists. The easel, the drawing tale, the precious brushes and pens and curled tubes of oil paint were a natural part of my life. One day at the age of about thirteen my mother drew a beautiful reclining nude of me; unfortunately she hung it in the hallway so that boyfriends arriving to pick me up in the next few years got a good look at me. When I asked her to take it down, she exclaimed, “Are you ashamed of your mother’s art work?” (!)
CLAUDE & CAMILLE was not an easy book to write; it would not flow as a novel for a long time. It’s actually not easy to take a life which did not really have a plot and carve one from it. It went through many versions, including one which was greatly from the point of view of Claude’s friend Frédéric. But all my love for him was still poured into the final draft even if his scenes were curtailed to make way for more of the love story! And Camille turned out to be the most fascinating character.
About the author: Historical novelist Stephanie Cowell is the author of Nicholas Cooke, The Physician of London, The Players: a novel of the young Shakespeare, Marrying Mozart and Claude & Camille: a novel of Monet. She is the recipient of the American Book Award. Her work has been translated into nine languages. She is currently working on several projects. Her website is http://www.stephaniecowell.com