Author Interview: Renee Duke on "Cocktails, Caviar and Diapers"

Ana: Today we have Renee Duke introducing their book, Cocktails, Caviar and Diapers. I haven't read this book myself, but Renee was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. Renee, how would you describe your book to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your book about?

Renee: The book is a story of a woman's journey to find and free herself from a very difficult marriage back in the 1950s and 60s. It is set amidst the glamour of the rise of the jet-setting age.

While it is fiction, it's a roman-a-clef -- a novel with a key. In other words, the names were changed to protect the innocent. It's autobiographical.

The book was written by my mother, Renee Duke, prior to her passing away last year. I took on the job of editing it and publishing it.

My mother was an amazing woman, who lived in many countries and raised six children. She was a fine artist, a poet, an author and, also was a newspaper reporter for the International Herald Tribune and Fairchild Publications.

Ana: What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your book will mean to a reader?

Renee: I think all people, but women especially, will really feel the pain the main character goes through in a very difficult relationship, and ultimately the release toward the end. While it's not a "feminist" book, especially, my mother did have to disentangle herself from the "chattel-like" mindset of her time and that was not only an act of courage, but it is also inspirational even today.

Ana: What prompted you to write this book and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book? 

Renee: We will never know all of her intentions in writing this book, but I know with certainty that Renee Duke loved to help others -- it was her driving passion in life. If this book can help someone, she would have felt very happy.

Ana: If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your book is their cup of tea?

Renee: I don't have a book to compare this to; but if you like Madmen, or that era in general, this book may give you some additional desirable color of that time.

Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other books? If you have published other books, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more books planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different book or genre?

Renee: This is the only published book by Renee Duke. That's it.

Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your book for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next book comes available?

Renee: It's on Amazon, priced at $.99 and free for lending.

Ana: Thank you. I understand you have the first chapter of your book available as an excerpt for interested readers? Is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?

Renee: Take a look at the sample and see if you like it!

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