On the eve of The Forgetting Flower‘s book release, the TFF T-shirt is in Paris with my dear friend Pierre-Marie Dufour! When he isn’t taking photos in front of flower shops and being a part-time model, he manages a magazine and travels the world. We talked about his first impressions of Paris, his translation of Dan Savage’s The Kid, a dreamy vacation home in Spain, and the secrets of the Vatican.
Who are you and what do you do for fun (either in your job or outside of your job)?
My name is Pierre, I’m 55 years old (already!) and I’ve been married to Frédéric for five years now (although we’ve been together for 15 years). My main occupation is being editor-in-chief of a magazine aimed at owners of second homes in south Brittany in France. It’s called Le Journal des Propriétaires de la baie de Quiberon.
As you can imagine, writing is one of my passions, so is culture in general. I translated the book, The Kid by Dan Savage, into French, a few years ago. I especially love to attend concerts featuring my favorite pop or jazz artists, visit art exhibitions … and read good books.
You were born and raised in France, and have lived in Paris for decades. How has the city changed since you first moved there?
I was born in Normandy, but since it was a period of economic boom, my parents moved around the country each time my dad was offered a better-paying job. They eventually settled in the Poitiers area.
In the late 1980s, I spent a year in Paris as a student. I hated it. I had very little money and thought everything was expensive. The people seemed unfriendly. Later, I moved to Paris in 1994 when I became the assistant to Fnac Music‘s general manager. After I settled in, I loved living in the City of Light. I’ve made many friends here, including my partner. Now, I love the fact that the city, as it’s one of the world’s cultural hubs, is much more environmentally friendly.
You also live in Mijas, Spain. Why did you choose Spain? What do you like about it? What’s not so great?
Through our friend Laurent, we got a chance to buy a small house with a pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. At first, we had no intention to buy a second home, as we thought it would diminish our opportunities to travel to other parts of the world, but we fell in love with the place. As we are now able to receive Internet through optical fiber there, I am able to work from Spain, and I try to spend at least 15 days every two months there. I even tend to extend my stay when the weather is beautiful — which is very often!
What’s not so great about Spain is Spanish people are very friendly but it is sometimes difficult to navigate through the administrative processes.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
Let’s talk about French authors. Most of their publications are not translated in English, but this one is, and it’s one of the last books I’ve read and enjoyed: In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexulality, Hypocrisy. Its author, Frédéric Martel, is a well-regarded journalist, who spent four years researching for the book. The title tells what it is all about, and I read its 500 plus pages like it was a captivating novel.
Do you have a website or project you’d like people to know about?
The magazine website is not kept up to date as it takes lots of effort to maintain. Most of our readers subscribe to the paper magazine and the rest buy it at newsstands anyway. That brings in half of our revenue. The other half comes from print advertising. Advertisers love the fact that we have a very targeted audience that they have no other way to reach. So our print magazine is still going strong after 15 years! If you’re in Brittany, you can check it out at a local newsstand.