Popping to Paris to Meet Joel Dicker

One of the things that I love about doing this book blog is the people I have got to meet and the opportunities that I have got to participate in all because of a love and enthusiasm for books… well and writing about them a lot and having you lovely folk popping by. When I received an email a few weeks ago asking if I would like to go to Paris to meet Joel Dicker and talk about a book he had written for the car company DS, I promptly ignored it as I thought it was either a) meant for someone else b) a joke. However when another email came back less than a week later asking again I thought it really must be meant for me and so I emailed back and suddenly a few weeks later I am flying from Heathrow to Paris in all it’s autumn glory!

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The wonder of literature, hey! So what on earth was all this actually about? Well, it turns out that DS (who are a car company formed by a merge of sorts between Peugeot and Citroen) have been looking at ways to get their brand out whilst also doing really different things with other creative types in all sorts of industries. They have been working with a fashion designer, an astrophysicist, and architect and now with a writer, the author Joel Dicker who many of you will know from the huge success that was The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair which came out here in the UK in 2014, to create a one off book and a whole mini series of webisodes around it.

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I spoke to Joel about the whole process and interestingly, before any of you cynics start kicking off ha, he said that since the success of his writing (and by success he means millions of copies sold, though is too humble and polite – for he is charming – to say it) he has been made many offers by many different companies and often turns them down because he feels their heart or reasons behind the project might not be in the right place. However when DS approached him he knew fairly quickly that the project was for him because they wanted him to create a story and not just in the normal form. He would get to write the story, but he would also get to write, direct and star in a series of films about the writing process, something which he finds as fascinating as every other reader and lover of stories. Plus when he was younger he wanted to be a commercial/advertising executive, a director and a film star and here he got to do all three… and write a novella, which for an author who likes to write long novels was also a real challenge. Here it is…

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I have read it and will talk to you all about it tomorrow. I will say it is set in the Black Forest and Paris, is brimming with murders and is completely gripping. You of course want to know how you can get your hands on a copy (like a wally I completely forgot to get a signed copy for one of you lucky lot, sorry) and the answer is that once the four websiodes have aired, each which give you a hint behind the chapter that you can then read on the DS Writer website here, which is a brilliant site and makes you feel part of the story/show/book. The catch? There is a tiny one, and that is that when the fifth film comes out the only way you can get to read the fifth chapter is by going to a DS showroom and test driving the new DS4, after which you can have a copy of the book and find out the secret of the mystery. Here is the trailer of it all, click and be hooked, I was…

Now before you cynics out there start rolling your eyes, hang fire. I think it is really incredible when big corporations do things with a cultural edge, and not just because they sent me on a trip to Paris, which admittedly was very lovely, but because authors, artists and culture need support both to create and also financially to live. As someone who works in the cultural and arts world, and who has also had lots of dealings with the publishing industry, I know how valuable these sort of relationships can be. After all DS could have simply just created some new generic fancy pants adverts couldn’t they? Instead they have worked with an author to create a story that tells itself on many different levels and gives the story behind the story it’s own space too, and I think that is quite brilliant. I would like to see many more big companies doing the same… Imagine all the stories that we readers would get and all the different ways those stories could be told? So go and have a gander and let me know what you think!

1 Comment

Filed under Random Savidgeness

One response to “Popping to Paris to Meet Joel Dicker

  1. Pingback: For Insiders Only – Joel Dicker | Savidge Reads

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