Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Paulita Kincer

Paris Runaway by Paulita Kincer is featured on my blog today and she was so gracious and wrote a guest blog post. A big thank you to Paulita!

Feeling Safe in France

In my latest novel, Paris Runaway, when a 17-year-old bolts to Paris, all the mother can picture is danger. She’s seen the movie Taken! She knows her daughter could fall into the hands of sex-slave traders. But even more, she fears the radical terrorists who make Europe their home – the suburbs of Paris or the outer arrondisements of Brussels where immigrants live in poverty. She watched the news that November night when terrorists killed young people in restaurants and at concerts in Paris, when we all posted “Je suis Paris” on our Facebook pages. So the mother chases after her daughter, hoping to find her safe and take her back to Florida. What the mother finds is a different way of life that seduces her.

The same is true for me. When I am in France, I don’t feel in danger.

Sure, when I was young and traipsed through the streets of Paris alone, I received some male attention. I was 23 when I spent three months in France. Freed from my nanny duty, I would venture into downtown Paris by train and see the sights – the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, l’Orangerie where Monet’s water lily paintings covered the walls.

As I walked through Paris, my eyes round in amazement, men would call out to me, try to engage me in conversation. My plan of action was to ignore them – no eye contact, no smile, no recognition. And for the most part it worked – until it didn’t.

I’m not sure where I had been that day, when a persistent young man decided to get my attention. He called out to me in French. Then in English. He tried Spanish and a few other languages too. I continued to walk, head up, ignoring him.

He walked backward beside me for a while, trying to get my attention. Then he simply followed me, speaking the whole time, wheedling, trying to entice me. As the minutes passed, I began to grow worried at his refusal to leave me alone.

Ahead of me, inside a black, wrought-iron fence churchyard, I saw a door open in a stone building and the sound of organ music filtered out. Without glancing at the insistent man again, I slipped into the door and perched on a wooden kneeler, sitting through an entire mass to escape the dogged man who might, or might not, have been a danger to me.

Now, I’m a true grown up. Men might occasionally smile at me or nod their heads, but no one tenaciously tries to win my attention as I sightsee in Paris or Marseille or Aix en Provence.

When I tell friends and relatives that my husband and I plan to move to France, they cluck in worry. “It’s so dangerous there,” they’ll say.

Sometimes I simply point to the newspaper and the latest gun deaths in the United States, which is much higher than in France. Most of the time, I’ll shrug (I’m practicing my French shrugs) and say, “C’est la vie!” That’s life. We can’t be afraid to live the life we want; otherwise, we might get to the end and realize that we made it safely, but we forgot to enjoy the journey.
I hope you’ll take a journey in Paris Runaway and see what the main character, Sadie, chooses to do.


  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to write a guest post. Hope you enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks so much for allowing me to share a guest post and my love for France, along with my book Paris Runaway.