Interview on
Les Secrets de la maison de France

-) You start off very strongly with Madeline, your heroine: « In my family, the men leave or die, and the women are left alone”. Yet, in reality, your novel is very cheerful. Is it because of a family secret that she is alone ?

Yes and no. As I was writing it, I wondered if everything had to be said, if everything was worth saying. Madeline understood what was at stake: « Sometimes we keep quiet for the sake of the other. But, in the end, we do more harm than good.” Her grandmother Adèle offers her an alternative: dive into the past and discover the keys to freeing herself or turn the page for good.

Sincerely, I don’t know if psychogenealogy is true or not. I am aware that there can be abuses. I was inspired in particular by the works of Anne Ancelin Schützenberger, starting with « Aïe, mes aïeux!  But I didn’t want to take sides. I just wanted to be astonished by the surprising correspondences.
Otherwise, yes, the novel is joyful, full of humour. I wanted the reader to have a good time.
-) What about genealogy ?

Like 70% of the French, I have researched my origins and gone back hundreds and hundreds of years in time. It’s a passion. Madeline has to discover who her parents, grandparents and forefathers were in order to unravel the secret… The clues are there. It’s up to the reader to investigate.

-) You also wrote a romance. Between Madeline and Andrea.

Yes. They shared a magical moment in their childhood, as only children can experience with each other. So magical that Madeline preferred to forget it. So magical that, on the other hand, Andrea cannot forget it. Mars and Venus… This story is also about their reunion.

-) Finally, you have written a novel for women… and male readers enjoy it just as much.
It’s true. They also find each other. Deep down, men and women, we are profoundly different. But also so similar.
-) Andrea is a painter and has Asperger’s syndrome ?

I didn’t go that far. He has autistic tendencies, as some gifted people sometimes have. The question is whether he manages to live with it and build a relationship or not. The question of the ability to live with a difference in a so-called normal environment, not to say normalized or hostile to difference, to talents, is a guiding thread in all my novels.

-) You talk about inheritance, painting techniques, 2CV’s car, garage sales… you know about all these things ?
Hey, isn’t that just life…?
-) You weren’t afraid to talk about aging? Some of the characters are quite something, like your old notary !

I had a lot of fun with this character. Why should an old man be serious and conform to what is expected of him? As for ageing, we are and will all be confronted with it. A reader paid me a very nice tribute: « Jean K. Saintfort reminds us of the importance of telling our loved ones that we love them, before we are caught up in time. »

-) You have a writing style that is full of charm, emotion, poetry, sensitive, addictive… One can’t stop turning the pages… All readers are struck by this « beautiful writing » that you offer. And more than one reader confesses to having shed a tear or laughed out loud.
You might as well have a good time. The emotion is on the surface. But I wanted a joyful, « peppy » novel, with a touch of fantasy…
-) You awake my curiosity…
It’s up to you to find out !

87% of French people are interested in genealogy.
51% have already conducted research on their family.

A GIFT for YOU: Madeline tries her hand at jogging.

Faithful reader, I offer you an unpublished episode, not present in the novel. Before starting swimming, Madeline had tried several physical activities. Running, for example.
Warm regards,
Jean K. Saintfort

An unpublished episode to download

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