Today I’m welcoming MJ Rose to the blog as part of her tour for The Book of Lost Fragrances! She was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, so please welcome her to the blog.
MJ, you’ve published numerous books (with the newest being The Book of Lost Fragrances), and your book Lip Service was the first e-book to be picked up by a major publishing house! How did you celebrate when you got the news?
Someone really close to me was in intensive care when I got the news about Lip Service. I did burst into tears – but that was half worry.
Your novels have been called genre-bending. What genre do you think they identify most with?
Can you tell us a bit about The Book of Lost Fragrances?
Here’s the write up – we spent such a long time on it – I think I should just give you what’s on the flap copy.
A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra–and lost for 2,000 years.
Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances–and of her mother’s suicide–she moved to America. Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with it’s financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing–leaving a dead body in his wake–Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.
Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L’Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation – or is it just another dream infused perfume?
The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.
Why do you think smell plays such an important part where memory is concerned?
It’s actually scientific. The olfactory nerve is located near the amygdala, which is the area of our brains connected to to emotion – including emotional memory. It’s also near the hippocampus, with is associated with memory.
And as it turns out – you need memory in order to identify a scent. To know hwat it is you need to remember when you smelled it and connect that to something visual that occurred at the same time.
A scent can instantly take you back to a memory in a way that our other senses don’t.
What’s one of your most powerful memories that you associate with a particular smell?
When I smell Shalimar I remember my mom… it was the only perfume she wore.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
I actually did a whole Pinterest board about that HERE
If you could read one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
The Secret Garden
If you could sit down and have drinks with anyone (literary or otherwise), who would it be?
F. Scott Fitzgerald
When you do manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
Going on walks, musuems, movies, out to dinner, traveling, shopping, looking at the water, swimming. Shopping. OH I said that already:)
Is there any other news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share with us?
I have a tour starting , I hope you’ll come – details here http://mjrose.com/fragrances/tour.asp
Keep up with MJ: Website | Twitter
Click here for all of the tour stops!