My first interview of author: Sam Riversag

Photo Sam Riversag. French Author of novel "Pour un selfie avec lui" featuring actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Photo copyright Sam Riversag author of novel “A selfie with Benedict”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam Riversag is a young author, living in France. She started writing two years ago, with her first novel Pour un selfie avec lui, which she published on Amazon. Alongside her career as a writer, she works as a lawyer for a well-known French company, after studying Law at university and living in French Guyana.

Her latest novel, A selfie with Benedict, is an ironic look into a world where men are weak, and women have strong personalities and are pigeonholed in ways they did not choose. With a mix of feminist views and a romantic glance, Sam Riversag writes in order to portray her vision of a world full of frienship and betrayal.

(Follow her story on her website: samriversag.com)

Hi Sam, can you tell readers little about your book, For a selfie with Benedict? What they can expect from the book?

Mary and Lola are quite typical of their generation…They’re fighters who don’t take life lying down. They want both professional and personal fulfillment. They’re looking for the love of their lives, the real article. They’re a couple of romantics dreaming about a Prince Charming and it’s for that reason their fantasies turn towards Benedict Cumberbatch, because he personifies the type of guy they’re desperately in search of. They want it all: an interesting career, a caring, attentive lover and to be able to start a family.

How did you come up with the idea for your book? The friendship of two fans of Benedict Cumberbatch as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in London ?

It came by quite by accident really. Being a fan of the Sherlock series, I attended a convention and obviously the person who everyone wanted to see was Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of the series. When I saw a girl leaping up and down and hugging her mother round the neck, her cheeks blushing with joy and crying “Thanks, mum!” while waving a selfie of herself and Benedict as though it were an immense fortune, the thought of basing a novel on that situation sprang to mind and I wanted the main character to resemble her.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I went down the self-published route, purely because I want to be free and love doing everything by myself. Marketing my own novel, creating the cover of the book are all things I wanted to do. I started writing this novel two years ago, finishing the first draft in around four month. Then I posted in on Amazon, and I ordered the hard copies later.

What was the most interesting aspect of writing “A selfie with Benedict”?

To write a story in hommage of Cumberbatch. Simply because he’s a very talented and charismatic performer both on stage and screen, a child of the theatre. He portrays the arrogant yet charismatic genius capable of a devastating and sexually appealing logic. There’s such a suave, haunting air about him, a disturbing intensity in his gaze and then that deep baritone voice! He’s seductive in a sort of weird but intellectual way that drives you wild. (It isn’t just me who says that.) He’s got millions of fans all over the world, myself included. Apart from the actor there is above all the man who is good and humane.

What inspired you for humoristic setting of “A selfie with Benedict”?

Theatre has been a great inspiration; the pace of the action, the reversal of situations, the dialogue, the flamboyance of the characters, the actors speaking directly to the audience from the stage. P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster combo was a great influence as well: the upper-crust toff, Bertie, always getting himself into a jam and having to rely on Jeeves, the butler, to save the day. I owe a lot to movies for the sentimental angle, the more emotional passages of the story. I borrowed the idea of the impossible romance from the musical “La La Land”, which I try to convey in my own way, funny and offbeat.

What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

My favorite part about being an author is actually writing and imaginating stories, characters, and situations, but unfortunately that is a small percentage of what I have found that being an author entails. The ultimate reward is when people tell you that they laughed or cried whilst reading my book. It’s the most motivating feeling in the world. My least favorite thing is getting off the hook with the marketing.

What is the next project you’re working on?

Having travelled widely, the experiences I have lived in various countries have further animated me to share my memories in print. After returning from a tour of the Amazon, I’m working on a novel which featured as its main character a sensitive and somewhat romantic cop tasked with solving a complex mystery in order to save his son.

Can you describe “A selfie with Benedict” in five words?

Original. Funny. Addictive. Romantic. Modern.

Thank you Sam for your kindness, and congratulations for your success, you deserved it!

My favorite book of the year:

Pour un selfie avec lui, un roman feel-good de Sam Riversag

“For a selfie with Benedict” by Sam Riversag

Mary is living what seems to be the ideal life with the man of her dreams in the capital city.  Suddenly, her world is turned completely upside down when she walks in on the boyfriend in his birthday suit busily occupied in bed with another woman in their shared apartment. She is overwhelmed by the unanticipated force of her reaction, discovering an inner strength she never knew existed. To hell with all the bed-hopping, cheating bastards! From now on it’s free reign to the liberated and independent woman!  

This code seems easy enough to live by. Mary has a slightly batty best mate, Lola, who has a bit of a dodgy gift for foretelling the future but she does her utmost to help Mary find new suitors.

Following an endless series disappointments with the opposite sex, our heroine decides to take refuge in a purely platonic relationship, after falling for the drop-dead gorgeous movie star, Benedict Cumberbatch.

EXCERPT

And I’ve still got that bloody cat under my feet! Should’ve left him with Simon as he reminds me of him so much. The more he keeps it up, the more he gets on my wick although to be fair I forgot to buy him his food. Well, tough luck on poor pussy. Besides, he’s fat enough as it is. He’ll eat better tomorrow. No milk today, my love is gone away… 

     He was so cute and adorable when he was a kitten…nothing like the great lump he is now…

    We hesitated for a while before choosing a name because we wanted to sus “her” personality.

    We finally opted for Kate since she seemed to have a really graceful and distinguished walk. She had lots of finesse, dead posh. Anyway, Kate grew up and we found ourselves obliged to rename her William. Well…nobody’s perfect. We can all make mistakes. Besides, he/she was our first cat. How were we to know she was a he?

     I was the first to notice one fine day when I picked her up to give her a cuddle and I suddenly remarked to Simon.  

  “Hey, are you sure we were right to name her Kate?”

 “Yeah, why?”

“Well, there’s just a slight problem.”

“Now what’s up? Have you already changed your mind?”

“It’s not that! Have a look!”

“Oh, shit, yeah…she’s got a thingy.”

“We’ll have to change her name!”

“Okay, let’s call him Batman then.”

“Absolutely no way!”

“Mr. Bean?”

“No! William, that’s it, we’ll call him William. That way he won’t get fucked up. We don’t want to give him the impression that he’s descending the social ladder.”

“You what?  It’s a fucking cat!

“So? Just ‘cos he can’t speak doesn’t mean he can’t cop on to what’s happening. I mean, he could become depressive.”

“Oh, don’t be such a snob!”

“It’s got nothing to do with snobbery; it’s a question of psychology.” 

“Yeah well in that case, call him Harry. Suits him better. He’s a ginger tom. Harry’s a ginger top.”

“God, you’re so dim sometimes! William goes better with Kate. William and Kate, ye know?”

     And so, thanks to me, our pussycat underwent a name change without experiencing the slightest trauma in connection with his social standing or gender identity. Five minutes later, the cat’s continuing to remind me about his food and I’m stricken with remorse. After all it’s not the poor bloody animal’s fault. I shouldn’t be taking it out on him. Come on, he won’t bloody starve to death! But he keeps on bothering me. God he pisses me off! He’s definitely a bloke all right!

     Okay, a final and vain attempt at resistance. After having tried to ignore him for the last time, I’m so wracked with shame and guilt that I end up sharing my dinner with the poor little bugger. But his continually complaining meows are telling me that he’s not going  to settle for that muck!  I finally find myself having to dash out in the rain to fetch him a few tins from the corner shop.

     I climb the stairs loaded down with cat food while congratulating myself for having come back out on top after the break-up. Me, a girl who previously was so behind the times at last become a modern and liberated woman. Down with submission !  Well, almost. I only give in to the opposite sex when it comes to the moggy.  

My opinion :

I liked this book, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I was expecting a sort of romance, finding herself sort of story but instead I got humor, emotion, twists. It made me doubt what was happening, or what happened, the characters were deceiving and I certainly did not see that twist coming. It was an exciting read and I couldn’t get through it quick enough to find out what happened!!

With all the humor, awkward moments and slow burn of the classic RomComs, complete with a couple “What are you doing Mary!” moments, this book hooks you in and the next thing you know it’s 2am. This book focuses on not only the chemistry between Mary and Trevor, but the friendship as well, giving you all the young modern girls feels, as well as the romantic ones. Sam Riversag doesn’t shy away from some heavy topics in this one: cheating, friendship, love, revenge, and more – yet remains witty and clever.

This book wouldn’t be what it is without Sam Riversag’s particular style. She writes in a droll and biting fashion where there’s no room for the serious and she handles it really well.

An hilarious story from Sam Riversag. I loved Lola, Mary and Trevor, but I hated Simon. This book was well written, it kept me gripped and entertained. I loved the dialogues between Mary and Lola, the Ouija board séance with Churchill, the Christmas eve fight. Great story, great writing and great characters.

For a selfie with Benedict is fun, light, but emotional too. I highly recommend it, and now I absolutely cannot wait for Mary and Lola’s story next!

My favorite trip: New York!

We quickly got ourselves freshened up, appropriately dressed and we were out to explore the big apple!

Our first aim was to get my partner a pair of uggs.

We then visited Macy’s, The Empire State Building & Madison square garden.

We got to Grand Central Station to take some photos.

We then got the tube to Times Square and had a little explore around there. 

As we were both pretty tired, we decided to get a few slices of pizza, a pepperoni slice and had a few drinks whilst watching a movie before having a relatively early night in preparation for our first full day in the city that never sleeps.

Walked down to Brooklyn Heights Promenade for some photographs

Jane’s Carousel. We really enjoyed this!

Dumbo – lovely place, very arty. We went for a starbucks here to check our emails.

Brooklyn Bridge – A really nice walk, despite the cold and my partner being verbally assaulted by a homeless woman!

We visited Wall Street / Financial district

Had a look in Tiffany’s

Took the water taxi ferry ride. I would highly recommend this. Great views of Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Skyline, Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

We went up the Rockefeller top of the rock building (brilliant views!)

I’m not only a student…

I’m not a full time blogger. I’m passionate about riding, reading, and travelling.

It’s an old edition from a second hand book shop, the new cover is different, but…

Here’s an unexpected entertainment. Jilly Cooper’s turns of phrase are so cleverly written that I found myself quietly reading along only to be caught by a character or scenario that catapulted me into paroxysms of laughter. As for the subject, plus ça change..

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