IWSG, Writing

How Many Croissants Can You Realistically Eat? Plus Plunge by Liesbet Collaert | IWSG

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a place to share and encourage, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without appearing foolish or weak. It’s a great place to mingle with like minded people each month during IWSG day.

Every month there’s an optional question which may prompt folks to share advice, insights, a personal experience or story. Some folks answer the question in their IWSG blog post or let it inspire them if they’re struggling with what to say.

This month’s question is:

Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

Check out how people have answered this month’s question, as well as the other insecurities and writing topics they may have shared by visiting the IWSG sign-up list HERE. Instead of answering the question, I’m chatting briefly about autobiographical moments in my fiction, as well as featuring the fascinating travel memoir, Plunge, by Liesbet Collaert.

I could never write an autobiography or memoir for one simple reason – I have the worst memory.

“Why don’t you keep a journal?” I hear some of you saying.

Well, in addition to having the worst memory, I also have pretty bad handwriting. Even if I wrote stuff down, I wouldn’t be able to read it.

“Um, you know you can keep a journal online, don’t you? You don’t have to write it out by hand.”

Yeah, but where’s the fun in that? Journals are supposed to be full of stickers, washi tape, and written in gorgeous script. At least, that’s how I picture them in my head.

In all honesty, I do keep a log book for our camping adventures, but the contents aren’t all that interesting. Nothing that would make for a riveting memoir. My imagination is a zillion times more interesting than my real life.

But, having said that, I do draw on my real life in my fiction. There are some autobiographical elements interspersed in my books. Take Mollie McGhie – my main character in my cozy mystery series. She’s a reluctant sailor. I was a reluctant sailor. She eats a lot of chocolate. I eat a lot of chocolate. She finds dead bodies and solves murder mysteries . . . and that’s where the similarities end.

Currently, I’m finishing up my latest rom-com, Smitten with Croissants. Spoiler alert: the main character, Mia, eats a lot of croissants. But perhaps you already figured that out from the title?

I have also eaten a lot of croissants in my time. In writing the croissant scenes, I drew on my own experiences eating those delicious, flaky pastries in France. Cafe au lait and a croissant, what could be better?

I also drew on my own experiences eating way too many chocolate croissants when I lived in New Zealand. There was this fabulous bakery in Auckland where you could buy pastries to take home and bake in your oven. For some reason, they sold them in packs of six which is just asking for trouble. Of course, I couldn’t stop eating after one, or two, or even three. I mean, come on, those things are to die for when they’re freshly baked and oozing chocolate.

Needless to say, I got a tummy ache. Totally worth it though.

Naturally, I decided that Mia should eat too many croissants and feel a tad bit worse for wear. Autobiography in fiction! It’s about as close to a memoir as I’m ever going to get.

As a fiction writer, I’m in awe of people who write memoirs and share their lives (warts and all) with us, like Liesbet Collaert. It’s a fabulous book – have a look below to get the scoop.

Like all memoir writers, Liesbet Collaert doesn’t shirk from telling the truth about her life. Because that’s what memoir is – the truth about one’s life told in nonfiction narrative writing. But, let’s be honest, not all personal memories are that fascinating. Day-to-day life can be quite dull and ordinary.

Not so the case with Liesbet Collaert. This is a woman actively in search of a life less ordinary and, boy oh boy, has she ever found one! In Plunge, she shares a riveting tale of her life as a nomad, exploring the world from a sailboat and embracing the highs and lows of life at sea. I think this memoir will appeal to all sorts of readers, not just sailors, because, ultimately, it’s a story about the choices one woman makes in search of love, fulfillment, and happiness – choices many of us can relate to.

{You can read my review of Plunge on Goodreads.}

About Plunge

Tropical waters turn tumultuous in this travel memoir as a free-spirited woman jumps headfirst into a sailing adventure with a new man and his two dogs.

Join Liesbet as she faces a decision that sends her into a whirlwind of love, loss, and living in the moment. When she swaps life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat, she succumbs to seasickness and a growing desire to be alone.

Guided by impulsiveness and the joys of an alternative lifestyle, she must navigate personal storms, trouble with US immigration, adverse weather conditions, and doubts about her newfound love.

Does Liesbet find happiness? Will the dogs outlast the man? Or is this just another reality check on a dream to live at sea?

Grab your copy of this fascinating memoir on Amazon. Available in ebook and paperback.

About Liesbet Collaert

Liesbet Collaert is a bilingual freelance writer, translator, editor, and photographer from Belgium who has been writing and traveling her entire life. Her work is published internationally in anthologies and magazines, including Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, Ocean Navigator, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, Islands, Yachting World, Sailing Today, All At Sea, Caribbean Compass, and Zeilen. She also created walking tours for Marigot and Philipsburg in St. Martin.

The author has been interviewed about her alternative lifestyle by Multihull Sailor, Modern Day Nomads, Ocean Navigator, The Wayward Home, The Professional Hobo, and Grey Globetrotters among others. She contributed to extensive cruising surveys for All At Sea and Caribbean Compass and became an assistant-editor for Caribbean Compass in January 2019.

Liesbet loves animals, nature, and the promise of adventure. A nomad since 2003, she calls herself a world citizen and currently lives “on the road” in North America with her husband and rescue dog. Find her stories and photos at It’s Irie and Roaming About. Plunge is her first book.

Connect with Liesbet on Facebook (Author Page) | Facebook (Roaming About Page) | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon

Do you like to read and/or write memoir? If so, what do you enjoy about it? If you’re a fiction writer, have you ever shared autobiographical details about yourself in your work?

21 thoughts on “How Many Croissants Can You Realistically Eat? Plus Plunge by Liesbet Collaert | IWSG”

  1. I love memoirs, especially foodie and travel memoirs, but I can’t imagine ever writing one! Like you, I prefer to stick with fiction.

    Both books sound great. I hope you’re well, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like Holli, I love food and travel memories. Really, all kinds of memoirs, but I adore food and travel. A big congratulations to Liesbet!

    P.S. I can realistically eat two croissants,

    Like

  3. Hi Ellen!

    I’ll start with answering one of your questions first: yes, I like writing (and reading) memoirs. 🙂 I like getting inside the heads of the authors (except, it’s not always fun to be in my own head).

    Thank you so much for featuring Plunge here! I think the way you are writing fiction is the best of both worlds, especially with a super duper active imagination like yours. You get to create scenes and characters AND you manage to add interesting tidbits about your own life. Like it is or like you want it to be. 🙂 Way to go!

    Pains-au-chocolate are my all-time favorite pastries. I guess they are similar to chocolate croissants, but better, especially in France and Belgium. Time for lunch now? Luckily, I do have a little bit of chocolate for dessert!

    Hey, this is a two-in-one blog bonus visit, as you’re on my list as a co-host. 🙂

    Like

  4. I love reading travel memoirs, so I’m looking forward to reading Liesbet’s book! 🙂
    I have written short vignette type memoirs – creative essays, but I have never written anything longer. Maybe someday…my mom always wants me to…but…I like writing fantasy and science fiction. My characters have small traits from me. Amaya likes thinking about narratives and how real life can be tied neatly into them (mentioned in one chapter of Liftoff), and I like thinking about narratives and how life can be tied neatly up that way. Amaya knows martial arts and has mad survival skills…I don’t. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Can we say you are writing fictional nonfiction since Molly is the embodiment of your life with exaggeration? Yes, I love life storytelling and encourage everyone to tell their life story. A memoir is just one part of a life story under a magnifying glass. Since I’ve been offering workshops on life writing, I felt I really should write a memoir, so I did. Amazing the new perspectives a writer discovers when situations are looked at through the lens of time.

    Like

  6. Grats to Liesbet!

    I usually can’t handle that many sweets, and usually don’t indulge in pastries. Thankfully, in a house of five people, I wouldn’t have to worry about who would eat all six of the pastries. (My kids would split the last one.)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So no washi tape in my journals. And, on the not finding dead bodies and solves murder mysteries part? Bwahaha – your secrets are safe with me. 😀

    Congrats to Leisbet on her new release!

    Like

  8. I definitely don’t want to write my memoir. A friend of mine is writing a book based on a handful of details of my life. That should be dramatic enough.
    Great post. Keep on writing!

    Like

  9. I am like you and give my fictional characters elements of myself, or set them in events that happened in my life. I can’t see me ever writing a memoir–on the whole, I’m not that interesting! But I do love croissants, especially those pain au chocolat!
    Also, I’m happy to say that I already have Liesbet’s book on my TBR list!

    Like

  10. I love chocolate croissants. Way back in the 80s I used to walk to my job in the morning as a hostess for a restaurant in a trendy part of St. Louis. On the way I’d pass a deli that sold chocolate croissants. I had to get there early or they’d be sold out. They were quite the treat for someone with a college degree living in a dank basement and working a minimum wage job.

    I often think about writing a memoir but I don’t have a good memory either. I wish I kept a journal. But im not so disciplined.

    I am so impressed with Liesbet! If anyone comments after me and reads this, Plunge is definitely worth checking out!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lol! Me write a memoir? Yeah…no. A journal is another thing which has never and will never happen. As for chocolate croissants, those are totally worth a stomach-ache.

    Like

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