France In The Edward Ware Thrillers At War Series:
Where all have you traveled in France? I came close to returning there two years ago. We were not far away, but it was a no go. The closest we got was Luxembourg City in 2015. Then we went to Waterloo instead of Dunkirk.
But when I was a kid, I went to Paris, of course. We went to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre (where we saw the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, and Mona Lisa the quick tour route), Versailles, Fontainbleau, Napoleon’s Tomb, Montmartre where I also spent a Bastille Day watching Frenchmen dance in the streets and shoot off fireworks, and the Ritz where my brother and I actually ate lunch. I also arranged a special driver to take me to Illiers where Marcel Proust was born. In those days he was my favorite French writer. I got to see his teacups and his petite pastries that he made so much of. On the way back to Paris we saw the Romanesque Chartres Cathedral.

On the Bastille Day that we spent in Paris I don’t think I ever saw a bigger fireworks display anywhere else.

Our only French setting in Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series is in Wallonia instead of France itself. Wallonia is the French section of Belgium near Waterloo. And Waterloo is the subject of the novel Inn at the Crossroads, soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC.

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Parlez-vous Francais? Do You Speak French?

Do you know French? When I was in third grade I had a teacher named Maya Monsieur who taught children to speak simple French after school. I took the course. It was the only French I ever had. I still remember how to count to ten in French. I know a few simple phrases such as “Thank you very much” in French which came in handy two years ago when I found myself in French-speaking Belgium in Wallonia. This was in stark contrast to Germany. I am 100% ethnically German but I can’t speak one word in German. I was mute during my travels there while Gary did all the talking. I can sing a complete song about Napoleon in French to this day, but I don’t know what I am saying. So much for third grade French!

It is interesting to hear that Trump is visiting the Jules Verne Restaurant at the Eiffel Tower. I, too, visited the Eiffel Tower. I am sure you did, too. I didn’t go up in it. But I was there. I even have a photo. More recently Jules Verne has been influential on what I write. I really like Journey to the Center of the Earth for instance. Have we ever discussed Jules Verne before? My current novel Old Faithful Plot is actually influenced by that novel. Do you remember the ending? A Scottish scientist leads a team of scientists and one wife of a scientist under the earth. They discover the Lost Continent of Atlantis. Then at the end they get spewed up into the ocean by a volcano. Well, Old Faithful Plot is all about the Yellowstone supervolcano and what it might do someday. I need not say more.

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