Author Interview: Jane LeMaux

How long have you been writing for?

About a year

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?


What genre do you generally write?

Reference / cook book

Do you have a favourite author and why?

I like people such as L.J. Ross and Faith Martin, a real good read without being too challenging. I really admire Yasmine Mohammed, because she made me think and changed my views on things. Its hard to pick a favourite.

What is your book called and how did you choose this title?

Settling in France, A Household Guide and Cookery Book. I got the idea from a book on my mother’s bookshelf in Kenya, published in 1947 called Kenya Settlers Cookery Book and Household Guide.


This book is for English speakers who have recently moved to France. It will help you to find your feet.

To begin with, the book gives you the name for cooking ingredients in France and where to buy them. It answers questions such as ‘what is baking powder called here?’, and ‘where can you buy double cream’ and includes an explanation of some weights and measures for those of us who live in France but rely ever more heavily on the internet for recipe inspiration.

The second part of the book deals with what you might grow in your garden ‘potager’, and what to do with any produce so that you will have a collection of delicious recipes, designed to deal with any glut.

The third part has diverse topics including gardening, DIY, buying firewood, the healthcare system and tips regarding paperwork in general. There are also sections on coping with the French language, the French postal system and organisations where you can get help; how to type accented letters on a PC QWERTY keyboard, useful books and useful apps and some tips on fitting in socially.

Has your book been published and how did you go about this?

Yes – I self published on Amazon, having first helped someone else publish their book.

Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?

About 5 months

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Just sit down and get on with it. Don’t expect to get rich, unless you are very lucky and chose a market where there may be a big audience.

Do you use social media to promote your book? If yes, then which social networks do you like the most?

I tried to use Facebook, but most groups do not like you to advertise.

What other ways do you market your book/s?

I got an estate agent to publish an ad in their brochure.

Have you enrolled your book onto Amazon’s KDP Select and how have you found it?

Yes, and even over the short time I’ve used their site it has improved a lot.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would try to tackle one subject at a time, rather than 3 very different things, include a lot less photos as the colour version of my book is far too expensive.

What books do you like to read in your spare time?

Crime fiction

What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?

Getting the idea, doing the research, marketing.

How did you go about designing the cover for your book?

The original idea came from a friend who was reading the book for errors, we then spent ages photographing things around the idea, and extending the idea to cover other areas of the book and a graphic designer friend patiently stuck all the bits together.

Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?

Yes – called something like Gardening in France, (or SW France).

Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?

Retired, IT Consultant, who has had to “settle” in UK, America, and France.

Check out Jane’s book, Settling in France: A Household Guide and Cookery Book