I’ve often wondered how the main characters in my memoir, the Dubois family, would feel if any of them picked up a copy of French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley. For those of you unfamiliar with my story, I worked as an au pair for Madame and Monsieur Dubois in France in 1979. In 2007, when I decided to write my memoir, I searched the internet using their real names and found nothing. No mention of them at all. Another search using the name of their chateau produced zero results, so with trepidation I progressed with my project. Five years later, when I published my memoir, I revisited the subject of how the Dubois family might react to my story. I had changed the names of everyone I met in France and followed my diary religiously, but I still worried about the reaction of the Dubois Family. My name was on the cover, after all, and I was sure that Madame Dubois still cursed the day she took me in. Read my book and you’ll understand.
I figured that Madame and Monsieur Dubois would currently be about sixty-five to seventy years old and their children would be in their late thirties to early forties. What if they came across my memoir in a French book store? I imagined Madame reading a few pages, gasping and stumbling to a nearby chair. Her wide eyes would skim the pages while her heart raced. She might even whisper to hear husband, “No, Armand, this can’t be happening to us. You must find that evil woman and make her take down her book.” Oh dear…now my heart was racing.
With this scenario in mind, I investigated my options and signed up for a Multimedia Liability Policy with Axis Insurance Company. This insurance policy lasts the lifetime of the book, and if a lawsuit is filed, the company will supply me with an attorney who will defend me in court. Overkill? Perhaps, but this insurance policy calms me every time I sell a book in France.