07 Apr Party with Moms Interviews Rozsa Gaston, Prolific Author!
What do you love to do with your children?
1. Travel. Here we are at Bled Castle in Bled, Slovenia when my son was 13 months old.
2. Read with them.
My 13-year-old and I are reading Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine together for her required nightly reading. Neither of us understands the story but we love the way it’s written. It’s like looking into another world and not understanding what you’re seeing but knowing that it’s beautiful.
My 4-year-old and I just finished re-reading A Giraffe Goes to Paris. It’s delightful and is based on the true story of a giraffe named Belle given to Charles X, King of France by Muhammad Ali, the Pasha of Egypt in 1826.
How old are they?
Thirteen and four.
And what is your greatest wish for them?
That they befriend each other. My oldest has special needs, so this is not a given (is it ever a given?). There is a wish buried deep in my heart that our youngest will look out for our eldest after my husband and I have passed through immortal gates. I know I mustn’t count on this, but it is something I hope for.
When and where are you the happiest?
In the summertime at an outdoor cafe with friends or family. Here I am with my favorite princess:
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
1. Anywhere with warm weather and outdoor cafes.
2. St. Paul de Vence, France. Stylish and breathtakingly beautiful.
3. Lac de Sainte Croix deep in the heart of Provence, next to the Gorges de Verdun and next to the village of Sainte Marie de Moustiers. This is the hidden, little known part of Provence, three hours north of the Riviera, deep in the Var interior. Very la France profonde, one of the deeply countrified regions of France celebrated in Marcel Pagnol’s movies, Jean de Florette and Manon de la Source.
4. The French Riviera, which has its reasons for being so acclaimed. I have always wanted to go to Èze, a stylish village atop a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. My girlfriend Leslie Gueguen, whose daughter attends the best pre-school in the universe (Putnam Indian Field School in Greenwich, CT, but you already knew that), recommended it to me. Èze is on the way to Monaco from Nice. There is something about Èze that whispers “ease” to me. Wouldn’t you agree?
5. Bled, Slovenia. It’s a medieval, magical place that closely resembles a Colorado ski town. No one seems to know much about Slovenia; in fact a large percentage of people think it’s the same place as Slovakia. It’s all greens and blues in Slovenia, my son’s favorite colors.
What quality do you most admire in a mother?
Ineffable style combined with a zest for life. Being the kind of mom girls wish to emulate and boys wish to marry. I like moms who remain women of mystery to their children (and to their husbands, of course.)
And what woman has had the biggest impression on you?
Jackie Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994)- A wonderful mother who possessed great mystique and style.
Gabrielle Sidonie Colette (1873-1954)- An amazing writer. Her descriptive abilities transport me. Her fictional character Claudine delights me with her blend of teenage-boy-like exuberance with deep feminine sophistication. One day I will look up Colette in heaven or wherever I am shipped. Surely she and I will end up in the same place.
Coco Chanel (1883-1971)- Born into a family of street peddlers, Gabrielle Coco Chanel was abandoned by her father, bereaved of her mother at age eleven, and raised by nuns from eleven to seventeen. Chanel overcame all. Great style, combined with an unerring sense of what comes next way before it arrives. Lisa Chaney says of Chanel in her biography Coco Chanel,” Her unusual mentality provided her with a ruthless attention to the texture of the present.”
Here’s some of Chanel’s bon mots, all from Lisa Chaney’s biography Coco Chanel:
- I am not a heroine. But I have chosen the person I wanted to be.
- The eccentricity should be in the woman not the dress.
- I’m very well aware that everyone is out of date.
- Fashion should express the place, the moment… Fashion has a meaning in time but none in space.
Follow me on Twitter at @rozsagaston if you would like more of the same. For the past month I’ve been tweeting words of wisdom from Colette and Chanel, who were contemporaries.
What is your favorite book?
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Followed by Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, the most stylish book I ever read.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Getting my books published. I like to finish a job.
What do you feel is your strongest talent?
Finishing a project. It drives me insane not to finish a book project I’ve begun. I’ve got to run the race to the end. Even if I’m slow, even if I’m not convinced I wrote a book at least as good as War and Peace (and no one else is either), I’ve simply got to get it done.
What do you like to do for fun?
Write. Read. Run. Drink coffee in the morning, wine in the evening.
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
Sunset. Enough said.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?
I would love to party with moms in a garden scented with lilac and lavender, filled with decorative and inflammatory femmes fatales, of which Greenwich is replete. Bring it on, ladies!
I would sip on a Sauvignon Blanc that hints of pear, kiwi, and grapefruit. Yes, I mean from New Zealand. I love all things French, except when it comes to wines. Then for reasons beyond me, I crave the Commonwealth offerings: South African, New Zealand, Australian wines. Come join me on my blog, www.finewinesfinequotes.com. Weigh in with your wine choices and let me know what you think of my chosen quotes. Ooohh, I feel one coming on now:
She’s one of those women one simply must invite to at-home-days. She’s both decorative and inflammatory.—Colette, Claudine in Paris.
A final word for Party with Moms readers – My fifth book came out last week. Black is Not a Color is the sequel to my first book Paris Adieu, the tale of Ava Fodor’s journey of self discovery (spice level is high).
I’m having a book signing party Wed., May 14, 11-2 pm and Fri. May 23, 5-8 pm in conjunction with my friend Laura Brounstein, who will be showing absolutely superb women’s fashion designs by Doncaster. Come join us at the Doncaster Pop-up store at 219 East Putnam Avenue, Cos Cob in the Mill Pond shopping center (next to the UPS/Fedex store.)
Keep on reading Party with Moms Mom of the Week posts and sparkle on, ladies!