The Collector of Dying Breaths: Author Interview with M.J. Rose | Author Jan Moran
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Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

The Collector of Dying Breaths: Author Interview with M.J. Rose

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Today I have the pleasure of sharing a conversation with one of my favorite authors, M.J. Rose, author of the new book, The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspenseir?t=janmor 20&l=as2&o=1&a=1451621531, a lush gothic tale of a mythologist, Jac L'Etoile, who investigates mysteries, usually with historic backdrops.

An accomplished storyteller and bestselling author, M.J. has been featured in Time magazine, ForbesThe New York TimesWorking WomanNewsweek, and New York Magazine, and has appeared on The Today Show and Fox News.

My take on it: Perfume + suspense + history = a magical 5-star book to savor.

M.J. Rose books and author imageM.J. Rose – Author & Entrepreneur

M.J. is also the founder of AuthorBuzz, a marketing and promotion company for authors, and the author of What To Do Before Your Book Launchir?t=janmor 20&l=as2&o=1&a=0985861118.

My admiration for her work — and her gumption — goes way back. Several years ago, I heard about how M.J. had self-published a novel, Lip Service, long before it was fashionable — or easy — to do so. She was a pioneer who believed in her work, and had the professional skills to market it. In fact, her work and success inspired me to take the indie plunge. Today, Atria Books publishes The Collector of Dying Breaths.

So, without further ado, here's my interview with the incomparable M.J. Rose, one of the top authors on Amazon today.

Why did you want to become a writer?

I wanted to read the books that were in my head.

Please tell us a little about your book. Why is it a must-read?

Here’s the basis of the novel – a time shift novel of fragrance and suspense.

Florence, Italy—1533:

An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fragrances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the potential to reanimate  the dead.

In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country, but also the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, René doesn't begin to imagine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.

Paris, France—The Present:

A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile—trying to recover from personal heartache by throwing herself into her work—learns of the sixteenth-century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomes obsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breaths he had collected during his lifetime.

Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Florentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection, a woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means.

This gothic tale zigzags from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first-century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit cha­teaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.

What are some of your favorite locales, objects, or activities that a reader might find in your books?

Paris… all of France actually… gardens, both secret and public parks, the sea, and ancient ruins.

Of course, I have to ask…what are some of your favorite perfumes?

  • Vol de Nuit by Guerlain (but only vintage) – Wood, iris, vanilla, spices, green notes
  • Orchidee Vanille Eau de Parfum by Van Cleef & Arpels – Vanilla, almond, chocolate, litchi, Bulgarian rose, and violet.
  • Coromandel by Chanel – a true Oriental blend with amber tones.
  • Golconda by JAR – the perfumer has never revealed what the notes are, but I smell cinnamon, jasmine, carnation…  and heaven. 

What inspires your writing?

I believe mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Are your character based on real people? Or imaginary people?

Other than the historical figures in my books – everyone else is imaginary. No one is ever based on someone I know.

What’s your favorite genre?

Mysteries about the art world.

What’s your favorite place?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Where did the idea come from for your book? 

I was doing research on another book and learned that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, who both believed in reincarnation, supported the idea that in death, the soul leaves the body with its last breath.

Edison’s dying breath, collected by his son, Charles, is in fact on display at the Edison Winter Home in Fort Myers, Florida.  I was totally taken with the idea of our souls being expelled in that last breath and it became the thesis of my novel.

Do you have a website or blog?

Both at

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Some of the authors who I am compared to are Katherine Neville, Kate Mosse, Deborah Harkness, and Susana Kearsley.

More Books by M.J. Rose

There you have the inside story from one of today's greatest storytellers. Check out M.J. Rose's books on Amazon or on Barnes & Noble, or at your favorite independent bookseller. While you're at it, check out her other books in the Jac L'Etoile series below. If you've read any of M.J.'s books, which were your favorite?

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The Collector of Dying Breaths: A Novel of Suspense

The Book of Lost Fragrances by author MJ Rose

 The Book of Lost Fragrances

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Where to Buy Jan's Books

  • Buy on AppleBooks
  • Buy on Amazon
  • Buy on Barnes & Noble
  • Buy from Google Play
  • Buy from Kobo
  • Buy from IndieBound
  • Buy from Audible

Jan’s books are also available to purchase in Deutsch, Dutch, Italiano, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. More languages coming soon!

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