Back in Issue 5 Canadian, Lily Heise told us about her book, JE T’AIME, Me Neither, a story of a true romantic odyssey of a 21st Century woman. After getting dumped by her Parisian boyfriend, Lily was left wondering if je t’aime still exists. We decided to catch up with Lily and find out where she was and where life had taken her since the last time we talked!
So how far have you come since you were featured in Girl Gone International?
I was thrilled to connect with GGI two years ago. It was at a very exciting period in my life; My first book had just been published and I was in the midst of promoting it and juggling my day job at the same time. The book opened up some surprising doors, including being asked to write for two theatre productions, meeting in person or virtually dozens of wonderful people from across the globe and propelling my blog to evolve in unexpected ways. With so much on the go, I left my job at the beginning of the year to focus on all these writing projects (yikes!). Sometimes you have to just take the plunge!
Do you still live in Paris?
Yes, my home base is still Paris. I traveled quite a lot for work the past two years which took me from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, but it also stalled my personal writing work and life, so I’ll be staying put for the next while.
Is there a second or third novel out?
Actually one of the things keeping me in Paris right now is my goal to finish up book two; the sequel to my first book which will be called Je T’Aime… Maybe? After three years of romantic misadventures in the City of Love, Lily is about to turn her back on amour. That is, until she receives a surprising email, one which would revive her hope in finding true love but also stoke the mischievous, seductive vibes of Paris and in the process throw a new series of hazardous men onto her romantic path.
What have you learned since your first book?
I’ve learnt a lot about myself, writing and the publishing industry. Writing a memoir is a very personal act and that does open one's self up to vulnerabilities. I know more about what to expect when I put out my second book. Through all of this, I’ve learnt how important a strong circle of friends and supporters are towards achieving this type of project or entrepreneurship. However, most importantly, I’ve also tried to learn from my romantic mistakes, though I would say my grades on that course are rather mediocre!
Have your dating, sex and love perspectives changed since you wrote your first book?
On one hand they have quite a lot, I really tried to change my mindset about men and be more focused on finding the right relationship, but it’s easier said than done. Part of my problem is going along with things I might not really want to, I’ve gotten better about saying no and having more respect for myself. In the meantime though I’ve accumulated quite a lot of new stories to share!
What advice would you give GGI’s on finding love with foreigners?
First and foremost, be true to yourself. When women travel or live abroad we often have to face different customs or erroneous preconceived notions about foreign women which can put us in tricky or sticky situations. For example, French men can put on moves much sooner than North American men so I’ve had to wrestle with how I want to handle this on many occasions.
Across the world in Argentina, a friend I met in Buenos Aires once had a boy try to take her to a “love hotel” on the first date! If you are single and looking to meet someone, you may want to do a little research on the country’s dating customs before jumping into the love pool on the deep end. International meet-ups and language exchanges are a great place to meet either foreigners who may have similar approaches to you or like-minded locals.
Have you found that being a woman in the industry has remained challenging or improved?
I’ve been lucky, I haven’t found any issues with this, but it could also be because I have a specific niche which is very feminine. I do think the industry has come a long way and female writers are gaining parity to men.
What have you learnt as a GGI that has helped you and the company?
Dare to dream, don’t hold yourself back and chase your ambitions wherever they take you!