How you gained the moniker “naughty grandmother?”
When I presented my novel in Geneva, a local newspaper journalist put my photo on the front page and dubbed me “naughty grandmother.” Well, I am naughty but I’m not a grandmother yet! But it was a title that sold newspapers.
What inspired you to write the book?
I wanted to write a romance novel – slightly erotic – that would stand out from other romantic novels that were too “goody-goody” for my taste. As a professional artist, I decided to put images of my etchings in the book, which are also somewhat erotic in nature. I wanted to combine my writing with my art.
What is the novel about?
It is a tale of love, passion and forgiveness. As I am of Middle Eastern descent (Armenian origin), I wanted to describe the life of a young Middle Eastern girl in Cairo in the 1950s and her self-discovery in Europe in the 1960s. The main character, Julie, wants to find a man of marriage material who is also very passionate and exciting.
The 50s and 60s were the most exciting times of my life. I was born and raised in Cairo and lived most of my life in Switzerland, so I have traveled extensively. I moved to La Jolla in 2009, but still travel to Switzerland and Florida on a regular basis.
Is the story autobiographical?
Most people think it’s autobiographical, but it’s not. People might think it strange that I chose eroticism as a subject at my age. Why not? I am adventurous and feel young and have never followed the norm or been politically correct.
How did you come up with the idea?
At the time, I was reading a book by Anais Nin and her writing is very sensual. This gave me the idea of writing an erotic novel, inventing characters to my liking and making the heroine a seductive and passionate young woman.
As for the cover of the book, I chose one of my own etchings titled “Girl on a Flying Carpet” which is very appropriate as the subject of the story is the heroine flying from one man to the other.
You’ve enjoyed several successful careers up until now, correct?
I am a go-getter and fortunately, I have done most of the things I have wanted to do in my life. I started out being a secretary in Cairo, because there were no other jobs for women at the time. I became a photographic model in Montreal, and then a fashion designer in Boston and Manhattan. I then divorced my first husband, went to Europe on a whim, and had a good time going from one boyfriend to another. In fact, I wasn’t ever without a boyfriend since I was 15 years old.
Now, for the second time, I have been happily married for 45 years and have two grown-up sons. I worked very hard to get the things I wanted and to be where I am today.
To purchase Hinaekian’s book, visit www.OfJuliaAndMen.com. It’s also available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Warwick’s in La Jolla.
Hinaekian will also be exhibiting her art at the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival this weekend, Oct. 7 and 8,