Today I have one of my favorite interviews to date! Jennifer Scott, author of the Madame chic Collection was gracious enough to be on Fernweh Society to chat a little about her journey into blogging and writing as well as her tips for bloggers starting out now!
I also wanted to share a little BTS (behind the scenes) for everyone; Jennifer and I connected on Instagram! There are so many things I love about social media and how it connects people, this being a big one! Take a chance and reach out to one of your favorite authors, you never know what might happen 🙂
A little background on Jennifer from her site. . .
“Jennifer L. Scott is the New York Times bestselling author of Lessons from Madame Chic, At Home with Madame Chic and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic (Simon & Schuster) and creator of the blog The Daily Connoisseur. She is a contributing writer for Huffington Post Style and has been featured on CNN, BBC, and CBS News, and in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Newsweek, and The Daily Mail. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California.”
Let’s dive in shall we?
For any readers who haven’t yet had the pleasure of coming across you, your blog or books can you share a bit about you and your background?
Thank you for having me on your wonderful blog, Annika! I’m a mother of three children (7, 5 and 1), married to my husband for 11 years, and I am a writer. My three books constitute The Madame Chic series: LESSONS FROM MADAME CHIC, AT HOME WITH MADAME CHIC and POLISH YOUR POISE WITH MADAME CHIC (Simon & Schuster). I’m also the blogger at The Daily Connoisseur and produce weekly videos for my audience of readers and viewers. I really love what I do.
Which came first, the blog or the books? How did you make the switch into the other medium? How do they work together?
My blog, The Daily Connoisseur, came first. I wanted to get back into the habit of writing, so I started my blog in 2008. During that time, I wrote a mystery novel. I could not find a literary agent who wanted to represent me for my mystery, so I just carried on with the blog, hoping to build my own audience there. When my first child was born, I wanted to keep the blog, but didn’t want to do too much work on it while I cared for my newborn, so I pre-wrote a series called, “The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris.” I had the blogs published over 20 weeks, which allowed me to spend time with my daughter and care for her as I adjusted to life as a mom. While I was doing this, I noticed how popular my series had become. I had so much more to say about the lessons I learned in Paris, that I expanded on them and wrote my first book, LESSONS FROM MADAME CHIC. Again, I couldn’t find a literary agent, who would represent me, so I self published LESSONS. It was a bestseller, thanks for my wonderful blog readers, and caught the attention of major publications such as CNN and The New York Times. After its initial self-published success, I was able to find a wonderful literary agent, Erica Silverman at Trident Media Group, and together we sold it to Simon & Schuster. I think writing the books and the blog truly go hand-in-hand. Writing the blog and producing my videos keeps me au courant with what my readers/ viewers need and want to see. I’m able to keep my finger on the pulse of what is relevant and incorporate that into my books.
What had you planned on doing as a career before writing the books/blog?
I always wanted to be a writer when I was growing up, but in my 20s, I worked as an actress. I majored in Theatre at U.S.C. and after graduating toured in a company called, Will & Co., which, back then, did Shakespeare for children. It was wonderful, but at the age of 27, I really longed to go back to my first love: writing.
Had you always been interested in the French way of life or visiting France? Do you visit often still? What are your favorite things to do when you’re there?
I first visited France when I was 18 and spent the summer in Cannes with my parents as my father was working there. I instantly fell in love with the country and knew that I wanted to go back to study abroad in Paris when I went to college. I have visited France once since living with Madame Chic and stayed at the seaside town of Biarritz. My favorite things to do in France are people watching at cafes, shopping in the outdoor markets, visiting the art museums and wandering around the beautifully manicured gardens.
What is your take on the blogging industry? Do you have tips for growing bloggers? Do you feel that the industry is saturated?
There are so many blogs now that one could say the industry is saturated. However, I think it is always a great idea to get specific with what your passion is and write about it. Your audience will find you. The cream always rises to the top. If you are not camera shy, I think an accompanying YouTube channel helps your readers connect with you and can help to grow your blog.
If someone hasn’t yet read your book, which one should they start with?
They should definitely read the books in order, starting with LESSONS FROM MADAME CHIC, then AT HOME and finally POLISH YOUR POISE. Simon & Schuster sell them in a beautifully packaged set called, THE MADAME CHIC COLLECTION.
What was the biggest lesson that you learned in France and why?
The biggest lesson I learned from France was to live a passionate life and to take pleasure out of even the most mundane aspects of the day. That is the inspiration behind my blog title, The Daily Connoisseur.
How are you taking your lessons into everyday life with your family and your kids?
Every lesson you will read about in the Madame Chic book is infused into our daily life. They are life-changing! Many women particularly love the ten-item wardrobe and I have hundreds of testimonials from people who have said it has changed their life for the better.
What is next for you Jennifer? Should we be expecting some new books?
I am featured in an upcoming anthology about Paris called, A PARIS ALL YOUR OWN, that will be released on July 4th of this year. I am also working on a new, exciting project that has not been announced yet.
Thank you so much Jennifer for being on the blog! I think we all have so much to continue learning about the enjoyment of life and how to be a little more poised! Jennifer can be found on Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, her author website and of course her amazing blog!
Happy learning chic readers!