Margaux DeRoux was born in Juneau, Alaska. Before turning to fiction she was a waitress, a teacher, and a marketer. She now lives in California with her husband and daughter. Margaux’s first novel, The Lost Diary of Venice is available now! Margaux was recently featured in the July issue of Welcome Home and generously answered a few questions!
1. Why did you become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing, yet it never occurred to me that I could actually become an author. I thought I needed to get a “real job.” Then, when this story took hold and wouldn’t let go, I thought I needed an MFA degree. My mind, it seemed, kept trying to come up with reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t chase my dream. Fortunately, this book also felt like it had a mind of its own: it wouldn’t stop pestering me until I wrote it down! Now that it’s been published, I can’t help but think of my grandmother, who was also a writer. She ended up raising five children, and got little support for her endeavors. I’m so grateful to have both a very persistent muse, and the freedom to follow my passion.
2. What inspired your current book?
The novel is inspired by the life of an Italian painter from the late Renaissance: Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo, who wrote a treatise on art. I came across his text during grad school, and was instantly fascinated. I had to learn more, and soon began researching his world. I discovered he’d lost his sight the same year that Italy went to war against the Ottoman Empire. His biography and the history of the time period captivated me, and before I knew it, I was writing a book. Once the historical plotline had formed—following an artist who falls in love with the courtesan he’s been commissioned to paint—I developed the modern-day narrative, which focuses on an introverted book restorer grappling with her own identity and love-life.
3. What’s next for you?
I’m a writer who values a happy reader: I absolutely want anyone who loves this book to love my next. To that end, the project I’m currently working on weaves together all my favorite elements: a historical narrative set in a glamorous city, lots of art history, and a healthy dose of romance! Nothing is for certain—particularly now—but if this project comes to life, my hope is that it will deeply satisfy readers who enjoyed The Lost Diary of Venice.