Back when Harriet was a secret pseudonym, she needed a birthday to create a Facebook account, and I chose today, November 9, because that is the date (in 2008) I started the first draft of the first version of The Incorrigible. Working title at the time: ”The Bodice-Ripper”. So, happy birthday, book, and happy birthday, Harriet!
Harriet also acquired a personality over time, for the purposes of interviews and inspiration for her stand-ins, and because it’s fun. And so, here are some things you might not know about Ms. Dumont:
Her parents were globetrotters and rarely lived more than a few years in one place; the habit stayed with Harriet and she still travels a lot, and speaks far more languages than I. She now has a home where she can see herself living for many years to come – a stone cottage in a picturesque small town in Skåne, possibly Ystad. It has hollyhocks along the front and Harriet shares it with two cats, called Djuna and Anaïs.
However, Harriet has a number of lovers all over the world, and goes to stay with them for longer or shorter periods of time. She also travels for work – said work being freelancing in almost anything that has to do with books or text. I wouldn’t be surprised if she writes travel guides, probably with a literary focus. One of her degrees is in library science. (Don’t worry, Djuna and Anaïs do not lack for humans to see to their needs.)
The freelance work is of course done very professionally, but when it comes to fiction writing, Harriet has found the perfect method: reclining on the divan wearing floofy slippers, eating chocolates and drinking rum or champagne (”write drunk, edit sober”), and dictating. Either to a dictaphone, or, in a few cases, to her lovers. The latter gives the added benefit of being able to act out scenes, to determine whether they are actually physically possible.
Little as I care about shoes, I am quite tempted to get a pair of floofy slippers myself, just because. I’m also sorely tempted to get a Harriet tattoo. As soon as I figure out exactly what that should be.