The story is about two grad students at the College of William & Mary who fall in love when making music together, agree to marry after graduation, and then have to break up when the godparents who raised the heroine forbid her to marry out of her society circle. When she marries a nobleman and her marriage crashes after an abusive relationship, her former hero tries to resume making music with her and regain her love but faces harrowing obstacles.
What inspired you to write it?
Love for classical music, making music together, but like with many things in life, good things never last and are hard to regain. But you can if you try, are willing to make room for the inevitable life-changing happenings and believe that making music together will save you from defeat.
How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
Love of two human beings joined by the beauty of The Swan, a famous composition by Camille St. Saëns.
If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Angelina Jolie would be Fiona, and Jude Law would be Paul
Is it part of a series or is it a stand-alone novel?Stand alone novel
Where is the novel set and why did you choose to set it there?
The novel starts at the College of William & Mary because of its beautiful setting and good music department, moves to Brussels because the heroine is of Belgian descent, then moves to Geneva in Switzerland because that is where the hero finds his first job, and likes skiing in the Alps, and then ends in New York where the hero must return to continue his career and where he accidentally rejoins the heroine, divorcing and abused, and in utter despair.
What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
I am a romantic and love classical music which is full of romance.
What made you want to become an author?
An underlying drive throughout my life, and the example set by a grand-uncle, Maarten Maartens, who wrote novels in English a century ago and became famous in England and America.
How do you come up with character names?
Names are linked with how I imagine the character's being: Fiona was the name of a lovely girl who gave me her first kiss at six but then died in a horrible accident at the age of sixteen, and I brought her back to life, albeit as a different person. Paul seemed a good name for a brilliant piano player.
Do you struggle to come up with book titles? Do they come before, during or after you've written your book?
Book titles are a work in progress. They evolve from one stage of writing to the next. Enchanting The Swan had several working titles before it was born at a small writers' drill under the pressure of bringing forth the essence of the novel's message.
Name one of your all-time favourite books?
Goodbye Columbus by Philip Roth.
Who, or what, inspires you?
Classical music, romance, human relationships and their evolution.
Where is your favourite place to write?
What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
The Great Gatsby
Name two of your favourite authors.
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
The early death of my father and a forced conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism at the age of nine changed my destiny forever.
Who would play you in the movie about your life?
If they were still alive, it would be Jimmy Steward, or Cary Grant; today it would be Nicholas Hoult, a young British actor.
Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
Washington D.C. area, which is where I went to work, fell in love, married and raised our two children, who both live happily in the same area close by with their children, with great jobs. Lucky me.
What are your (writing) plans for the future?
Two more novels are in the works, Francine-Joan of Arc of the Miners, and Tall Trees, a novel about three brothers who self-destruct but whose family name is restored by a champion horse rider born out of wedlock.
Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Favourite myth / fairytale?
Who/What did you want to be when you were a kid?
John Schwartz, born in Amsterdam, Holland, studied political science and economics in Louvain, Belgium, and in Paris at the Sorbonne, and followed a long career in international trade in Geneva at the GATT/WTO, and in economic development at the World Bank in Washington D.C. After formal retirement, he functioned for many years as a senior international consultant, traveling worldwide. He now resides as a writer in Virginia, is married with two children and two grandchildren, and blogs at his website.
So far, he has published, in 2015, a memoir/coming-of-age story of John van Dorn, Some Women I Have Known; a novel entitled Enchanting The Swan, and Maarten Maartens Rediscovered – The most popular Dutch Author Abroad, a non-fiction summary of the fourteen novels and several short stories, with excerpts, written by his grand-uncle Jozua Marius Willem van der Poorten Schwartz, who wrote under the pseudonym Maarten Maartens at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. All three books received splendid Kirkrus Reviews.
Visit his page on Amazon.