When the novel becomes a tale, a saga, a poem…
The French writer Jean K. SAINTFORT joins the family of benevolent authors committed to personal development : Laurent Gounelle, Virginie Grimaldi, Raphaëlle Giordano, Mélissa Da Costa, Laetitia Colombani…
Invited to New York at the « National Arts Club » by « Rencontre des Auteurs Francophones » on November 30, 2021, his readership is growing in Europe, Canada, the United States and among all readers in love with current French literature.
It is quite rare for a first self-published novel to be praised by national journalists in the months following its release. For example, Jean-Louis BEAUCARNOT, the « pope » of genealogy in France, or Florence GANIVET, from the magazine Conseils des notaires, reviewed « Les secrets de la maison de France ».
This novel made him noticed by JJ VITIELLO, an international airbrush artist. The artist created and offered the cover of his second book: « Le Dernier Temps ». The man and woman featured in the book are from a painting that won the « Mona Lisa International Art Prize 2019 Academia italia in arte nel Mondo associazione culturale ». JJ VITIELLO has been invited to the DUBAI World Exhibition.
« Les secrets de la maison de France », released in the summer of 2020, takes us to the heart of psychogenealogy and family secrets. In the course of a hectic investigation, worthy of a feel-good thriller, the author shows great sensitivity and lightness for a novel that is not. With disconcerting ease, he also makes us understand the complexities of inheritance, learn painting techniques, immerse ourselves in DNA research, discover a cabinet with secret drawers and flirt with the fantastic.
« Le Dernier Temps » has been considered a UFO and a masterpiece by some science fiction readers. More than that, it brought to the novel of anticipation a whole new public which discovered it with enthusiasm, so much the author renews the genre. Jean K. SAINTFORT explores the powers of the human being and the forces of non-violence in the face of the economic interests of multinationals. It talks about intuition, meditation, « music from the stars », rebels, ethnology and a child’s room… His heroes are non-violent and can read minds. Unfortunately, « they are disturbing ».
For the author, who is considered « out of the ordinary » by many of his readers, a novel is a privileged moment to have a good time. Off the beaten track, Jean K. SAINTFORT has succeeded in creating a unique universe. His style is marked by a fluid and charming, almost poetic writing style. The subtle psychology of the characters of his novels and a relentless suspense immerse the reader into an irrepressible need to turn the pages. It is difficult to pin him down to one style, as he sails between genres and worlds, mixing « feel good » thrillers with anticipation stories.
He is a hypersensitive and incurable romantic, he always makes a point of leaving room for romance in each of his books, as well as for Science in the broadest sense. A touch of fantasy spices them up.
Writing under a pseudonym, a graduate of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, with a background in anthropology, economics and engineering, this unrepentant traveller has chosen as his motto: « I seek to meet everyone, because everyone is superior to me in some way.”
Jean K. SAINTFORT has worked with professionals in all fields, first as a self-employed speaker and consultant, then in collective structures. He works in the fields of training, human resources and skills development. Against all odds, he wants to believe that human beings are capable of improving themselves. Taking up positions of responsibility has brought him face to face with real conflicts of value.
After a health incident, which he considers a grace because it allowed him to take stock of what he really wanted, he now favours writing to express his passion for understanding the world and the search for happiness. He publishes a novel every year.
-) Jean, why do you write ?
Jean K. SAINTFORT- When I was a child, I read everything I could get my hands on, all the time, including at the dinner table, to the great despair of my parents; books, comics, newspapers, magazines, of course, but also food labels, product information sheets… I also had to collect everything possible to collect. Every moment was an opportunity to observe, decode, imagine… Basically, maybe I’m trying to understand the world better and pass on my discoveries.
Then came the time of studies, professional life, family life… I stopped reading and writing. Other priorities took precedence. Then my professional career was turned upside down, I didn’t really feel like I belonged. I said to myself « Stop! What do you really want? And I went back to the drawing board.
I pulled out of a drawer a novel I started when I was 20. Stunned by my mistakes, I collected as much information as I could on how to write. I read, reread, wrote, rewrote, corrected, recorrected… I launched into a second novel, « Les secrets de la maison de France ». Then a third. From then on, the need to write was irrepressible.
-) You have a family, a job… When do you find the time?
It’s not easy. It’s a real discipline. My goal is to write every day, even for an hour. Often early in the morning or late in the afternoon. I don’t always succeed. But no week goes by without writing. I also make the most of weekends and holidays, between nature outings and playing with the children.
I always collect a mass of documentation and spread it around my computer. I put a glass of water next to it, close the door… Well, it’s a bit theoretical. It doesn’t work too well with the family, it’s often interspersed with « Dad, can you come over here, please? « .
-) The inspiration ?
Even when I’m down, I make a point of sitting down at my desk and producing. Even if it’s just ideas, comments, critical observations… I never go back. I go back to the last paragraph written the day before, no more. To go back is to take the risk of never moving forward.
At night I sometimes fall asleep with a question and the answer comes while I am sleeping. When I wake up, I write down the ideas. The technique works well.
After the first draft, I do a lot of rewriting, as long as the initial writing. Then I submit my novels to beta-readers.
-) What are you trying to bring to them ?
First of all, simply to have a good time.
Then, many things touch me, revolt me. I can’t stand the injustices that surround us. In my stories, I try to understand, to share my emotions, to provide keys. In life, we do as we can, not always as we want. My characters are like in life, confronted with difficulties; with their tiredness and their cracks, their desires and their courage. I don’t judge them. They have their own lives. Yet I believe we are all extraordinary, all capable of doing extraordinary things. But we have forgotten that.
-) Do your characters have their own life? What do you mean ?
At some point, they escape me. It is no longer me who directs their actions. They make their own choices, not necessarily the most rational ones. But they are their own. I try to transcribe their intimacy. I offer them what I can. They are confronted with conflicts, things that are difficult to live with. I give them a little human warmth, empathy.
-) You think that a novel should be an opportunity to learn something?
Yes, it’s a delicate exercise. My aim is to give the reader a good time. To achieve this, the writing must be fluid, the scenes must follow one another in an addictive way. However, a novel is also an opportunity for discovery, for learning. I like to touch on everything. With « Les secrets de la maison de France », I evoked the worlds of genealogy, psychogenealogy, Asperger’s…
But Madeline, my heroine, drinks coffee, enjoys Muscat, drives a 2CV Charleston’s car, clears out her furniture at a garage sale, is passionate about painting… Everyday life is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. For me, the real heroes are the everyday people who know that life is not so easy. Yet they believe in it, they move forward, they seek happiness.
-) You have completely changed your universe with « Le Dernier Temps », aren’t you afraid to confuse your readers ?
« Le Dernier Temps » asks the fundamental questions of the meaning one wishes to give to one’s life, of maintaining one’s integrity in a corrupt world, of using non-violence in the face of violence in all its forms. I also wanted to « break the codes » and open my novel to saga, tale and poetry. For all that, I remain an incurable romantic.
I don’t want to lock myself into one style. Writing is an extraordinary space of freedom: why deprive myself of it? My readers also remain free. In fact, many of them have followed me. And I know that I have introduced many of them to literature that they would not otherwise have discovered. They have been dazzled by it and have thanked me. Others keep their preference for a particular novel and look forward to a sequel.
I value the complicity with my readers and offer them to exchange on the website, my Facebook page, by email. Their feedback is essential. Comments are the best gift that readers can give to an author.
-) Your readers are surprised and even worried. Almost two years without a novel. Yet you said you write every day…
Some authors write in pain. I don’t. I need a minimum of peace of mind to put my words down. I had to deal with other priorities that forced me to take a break But, you can reassure your readers, I am back to writing.
-) Great! Tell us everything…
What about the mystery? Come on, a little scoop because it’s you… I’ve picked up two shelved novels… that revolve around Madeline’s story. And I’m not forgetting Le Dernier Temps…
-) You, you know how to keep the suspense alive… I feel that your fans will rush…
A GIFT for YOU: Madeline and the Great Deer
Faithful reader, I offer you an unpublished episode, not present in the novel.
When Madeline realises that she may be the descendant of a murderer, she becomes worried. On her way to old Xolin, the solicitor’s father, in the Charleston, she nearly runs her car into the ditch. She recalls a sad childhood memory with a little squirrel.
With all my friendship,
Jean K. Saintfort
An UNPUBLISHED episode to download