The Heroine’s Journey of Nathalie Smadja

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

My job is like a game. Its all about words and stories. I love that every story is different and has its own life after I deliver it: each one is the reflect of the person or the brand for whom I wrote it. Style, words, rhythmEverything is different. There is absolutely no routine. Each day is a new one.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

I remember that day, when a publisher called me to say that my book will be published, and I can say that this was the definition of happiness. So, the perfect happiness would be for my second book to have the same luck.

What is my greatest fear?

Do you know that scene in Shining where you discover that Jack has been writing the same sentence over and over again: « All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy »… Well, my fear is close to that nightmare: I wake up one day and has no more words to express myself, all my vocabulary has gone. Can you imagine?

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

You know the famous tale about The ant and the grasshopper? Well I am the grasshopper and Id love to turn myself into an ant sometimes

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

That is an easy question: those who created the advertisings that I still remember, like Pierre Berville with the campaign « Demain jenlève le haut » or Etienne Chatiliez who created the whole ERAM saga

What is my greatest extravagance?

As a copywriter, my specialty has been, for a long time, to find the right three words to express a whole universe. So, my true extravagance is that I have written a real book. Before that, I was just a regular copywriter.

On what occasion would I lie?

I am a terrible lier. You can read me as an open bookBut I lied everytime I told my child that what he has done was bad and I was laughing inside my head because it was so cute.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Without a doubt the commercial part. The long discussions about the price « they can pay me » for doing my job. Or the fact that I have to make my own advertising.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

I used to say that I have the best job in the world when I was working at the same time for Le Louvre and La Monnaie de Paris, and I was walking from one place to the other through le Pont des Arts on a sunny dayLucky me!

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Id love to be like those people who can sleep only 5 hours and be efficient. Or those who can eat everything they want without adding extra pounds. Are those the same persons?

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Its not really my job, but having my first book published is a true achievement for me.

Where would I most like to live?

Just where I live since I was born: in Paris. But if I had to move, I would love to live in another big city, with more sun, blue sky and if I can ask for more, Id love to have the sea not too far.

What is my most treasured possession?

My books, my computer of course, and my glassesI am not that materialistic. I love new things, I love to move and change what surrounds me, it helps me keeping a fresh look on the world.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I see three points: calm and a true good listener, strongly determined, and maybe a little too much of a perfectionistand chocolate lover.

What is my most inspirational location in my city?

Well, I love to run along the Seine banks, the water and the space aroundwhen Im back, my mind is totally free. The multiplicity of art exhibitions is another great inspiration for meAnd the variety of people you can look at, just sitting at a coffee terraces.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink in my city?

Hard oneI love to eat and drink outside and the choice is wide in Paris. But I will pick two spots: the first one is an African Restaurant called The Waly-Fay, for the atmosphere and the food. The second is in the same neighborhood, and its called Clamato, where the ceviche is just to die.

What books influenced my life and how?

Clearly, I can speak about Fantômette in the « bibliothèque rose » because it is right where my reading experience started. After that, I couldnt stop reading, till a great choc with Andre Brink and Imaginings of sand or Nina: An act of terror. I was really stunned by his capacity of putting himself in the skin of a woman. And that was the beginning of my search for women stories. I think that this is the theme of my life: what drives the women, what give them their strength to go from the « glass slipper of Cinderella » to the « glass ceiling »…

So I read Margret Atwood, Lucia Etxebarria, Eliette Abecassis, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Carole Fivesand a lot of contemporary writers and they all inspire me to write my own stories.

You only die once. What music would you listen on my last day?

If I knew it was my last day, I think I would listen to all the songs that have marked my life. So it would be some Gainsbourg, Bob Dylan, Santana, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Prince, Janis Joplin, but also Adriano Celentano and Lucio Dalla, a bit of Erika Badu and Lauryn Hill and Youssou Ndour, Cheikh Lo and Omar Pene. Is the day over?

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

No hesitation: Wonder Woman! Do I have to say more?

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Karate kidThe new version. Because it has all this atmosphere and it is all about the transmission and wisdom. Patience and work. Ok, it is not about a woman, but the mother is great.

What role plays art in my life and work?

My entire life is about art, my father was a photographer, my mom a stylist, there were tons of books at home and when we were on holidays, we visited museum and galleriesSo art is like my spine.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My dad and mom? My son? My brothers? My best friends? I wont go away with this one without making someone angry at me

Whom would I like to work with in 2019?

Id love to work for the same people whom I work with since a long time. And Id love to write for another cultural institution, maybe create a podcast for them?

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019?

I love to meet new people and create new working relationship, so everyone in the profession is welcome to contact me.

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

Like I already said, Id love to work on podcasts, or maybe a new biographyAnd finish my second novel of course.

What do the words « passion never retires » mean to me?

I have the vision of Picasso, Matisse or Giacometti in their old days, or Jean dOrmesson who died just after finishing a book or David BowieAll those artists who have never stopped creating.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?



Here: and also here:

How can you contact me?

You can write me an email:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s