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What advice do you have for other professional or aspiring bloggers?
Dusoulier: There's no universal advice that you can give to any blogger at all except to stay true to your voice and what you're interested in. I don't think anyone can set out to start a blog and decide that it's going to lead to a book deal. I think it just kind of happens if you're lucky, but I think you should first and foremost have a blog for yourself because it's something that you want to do and not necessarily have an ulterior motive.
Do you consider yourself a personal blogger rather than a journalist?
Dusoulier: My blog is a personal blog and when I do freelance writing, then I'm a journalist. It depends on the venue and whether I have an editor or not.
Did you make any big mistakes along the way?
Dusoulier: Well, history will tell us. But so far I can't think of a big mistake that I've ever made. Things work well or they don't work as well. You know, not every post is as popular as the other, but overall I just blog about what I'm interested in. And that's my only editorial line I would say.
I have to ask for the record, not meaning to insult you, but do you accept any sort of advertising within your blog, such as using a certain product or anything like that?
Dusoulier: No. I sometimes get e-mails from people. Initially, I would say OK but I can't guarantee that I will write about your product. When I occasionally did write about it, I would always mention that I had gotten the book, or the product, or sample for free. Now I very rarely accept, only if I really think that the product is going to be interesting to me, because I find that if I got it for free I'm just not very inspired to write about it. For some reason it doesn't have the same value. I'd rather discover things for myself rather than have them sent to me by a PR person. But transparency is definitely something that I find important when it comes to blogging.
What publishing tools do you use for your blog?
Dusoulier: Moveable Type.
What made you choose that?
Dusoulier: At the time, there wasn't really much of a choice. It was either that or WordPress. I wanted to host it myself and so it was Moveable Type because we had a server at home that we could host it on and because I have a technical background I was able to take care of that.
I host it myself and the design of it is my own, but it's nothing really complicated...But if you don't have any technical background you can still blog; the success of it won't be determined by your technical skills level.
You're known as much for your
photos as you are for blogging about Paris markets and food. What kind of camera and photo editing software do you use?
Dusoulier: I have a Nikon D70 with a Sigma macro lens and I use Photoshop to correct the levels and light and that's it...We initially had a Nikon Coolpix 950. Then when I signed the book deal I decided to get a DSLR because since I was going to shoot my own pictures for the book, I needed professional equipment to make sure the photos were good enough to be published.
All right. So, what's next for you?
Dusoulier: I've recently delivered the manuscript for my second book, which is going to be a guide book to Paris restaurants and shops. It's called Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris and it's going to come out in the spring.
OK, but what is unique to that? There's a lot of restaurant and shopping guides to Paris.
Dusoulier: Not that many and not current and not written by locals. I mean a lot of guide books are written by teams of people without much of a sense of who is talking to you. This one has a personal tone to it. I mean, it's my favorite spots so there's a common voice to all of it, and it has recipes in it.
Are the recipes from the restaurants?
Dusoulier: They're inspired or shared by chefs and bakers. So every once in a while you'll have a restaurant review and you will say see recipe on page blah-blah and there's a recipe for that dish.
And you're going to continue blogging?
Dusoulier: Yeah, yeah. That's not going anywhere. I mean it's been four years now and I can't really imagine my life without having the blog. It's definitely become a big part of how I live and what I do. It's quite an important part of my life.
What are your habits? Do you write in the morning? Do you write in the evening?
Dusoulier: I write mostly in the morning for the blog, but the process for my blogging is quite spread out because there are different phases: when I cook, when I take pictures and when I correct the pictures, when I write the recipe and when I write the story. Then everything comes together. So it usually happens over a few days.