Artist Danielle Boissé lives in Perpignan and has written four books in the Dominique d’Astie series, set in Perpignan, as well as a novel and a book of short stories.
I met the lovely Dani in Espi on Quai Vauban and she told me about her interesting life and how she ended up living in Perpignan. Dani was born in The Loire region in France but her parents decided to move to America when she was a baby. There , her parents embraced the American dream, learnt English, worked hard and were very successful. Dani spent many happy summers visiting France, hanging out with her French cousins and always felt much more at home in her native country. She married an Irish man and had a son called Matthieu and when this marriage broke up she decided to come and live in France with her new husband and 7 year old son and so began the French chapter…
They bought a little farm in a little village of 50 inhabitants called Le Projet in Le Quércy and enjoyed an idyllic time there. Her son went to school with the 12 other children in the village and was soon speaking French fluently and running wild in the French countryside, loving the freedom of rural France. The little boy became ill though and was sent to a Sanatorium in the Pyrenees to recover. Dani moved to Banyuls sur Mer to be closer to her only son and this allowed her to visit him at the weekends. Matthieu recovered but they stayed in Banyuls for many years and had an artist’s studio while her husband was a sculptor. Finally, on husband number three, she decided to move to Perpignan where she now lives with her Spanish husband. Dani is trilingual, speaking French, English and Spanish completely fluently.
She began writing when she was 15 years old. Encouraged and flattered by her English teacher, she wrote short stories.While painting was her lifelong passion, she continued to write as a hobby all her life. It was only relatively recently in 2007 that she published her first book “The Triangle Mystery” a criminal investigation set in Perpignan. There are now 4 books in this series and another one in the writing.
She has been described as a local modern day Agatha Christie and I can concur with this as I am currently reading the Triangle. It’s an enjoyable easy read, made all the more interesting if you know Perpignan city as all the action takes place in the streets of the city with all the recognizable sights and sounds..
When Danni is writing she gets up early and starts writing at 7 and continues until about 11h30. She writes the old fashioned way with a pencil, paper and eraser in spiral notebooks, transferring her work to the computer once she is happy with it. The local schools love her books and she works a lot with the colleges in the area.
The good news for English readers is that The Triangle and The Poet Assasin ( the first two books in the detective series) are available in English. You can purchase them at the bookstore Chapitre at 10 rue Dr Pous in Perpignan or online at www.lespresseslitteraires.com. For someone who knows and loves Perpignan, it would make an ideal gift.
I’ll certainly be looking out for the books from this very interesting and inspirational lady.
Merci et Bonne Continuation Dani!