Good afternoon friends. It is so great to see you all. Today I have a real treat for you. Photographer Laure Dherbécourt is here to chat about her work. This woman is amazing and each aspect of herself describes just that. Come on over and meet this talented and humble woman.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in France. I wasn’t born there but I grew up in Normandy, in the country surrounded by goats and plenty of other animals and my parents always showed me the sustainable development. I made my entire schooling in Normandy… I worked 8 years near Paris after my graduation from college. It’s when I had my 1st experiences with women… 10 years ago, after I’ve lost my job I had a wonderful opportunity to come in Réunion Island (a French overseas department located in the Indian Ocean). I discovered this Island when I was in middle school. A classmate who spent 5 years over here finished her school-year with us. She showed us some pics during recess. I was intrigued so I asked my parents where Réunion was … They told me to have a look in the dictionary .. It wasn’t enough so I had a look in encyclopedias, I bought some books and fell in love with the Island. When I went to college, I met some people from Réunion and I discovered the creole language … I feel at home over here … Even if I’m the only one person from my blood family over here & I’m single for now, I have a good Life and I enjoy it as a Nature Lover, a bird rescuer, a photographer, a scuba-diver, and plenty other things, surrounded by my heart family (I know one of my heart sister since 21 years) and a few other good friends. I love reading comic books (I’m a huge fan of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” since I was a child) and lesfic paperbacks in English (I also read some Ebooks sometimes ‘cause I’m not totally old fashioned, lmao), singing (working on country songs is another way for me to enjoy the English language), hiking, dancing, cooking, laughing and making the others laugh …
Tell us about your love for Photography. Where can we find your work?
For now Nature photography (including underwater photography) is a hobby and I like it this way. But maybe someday it will be a part of my job… I’ll see later, when I’ll have more pictures, maybe I’ll release a book or two (I’ve already had several requests about that, mostly from US citizen).
I haven’t any personal blog. From time to time I share some pics for my friends on my personal Facebook page. Since I’m not a “friends hunter” I haven’t thousands of friends, I prefer to have only a few (hundreds) of cyber friends but being able to exchange regularly with them. Facebook is also a work tool for me, a way to reach some people I work with.
I’m not very active those last few weeks over there since I’m a bit bored by this social media but I have a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/Payoo974 ) where I share some pics too but less than on Facebook.. Of course I have some common contacts between Facebook and Twitter (since I met plenty of great authors on the Blue Bird) but I haven’t the same use … Twitter is for me a way to reach different kinds of people : scientists, artists, etc.
I must think a bit more about that but maybe someday I’ll share my work on Pinterest. On Instagram, you won’t find me for now since I haven’t any smartphone or tablet (so I can’t use the app which is needed to create the account…). I’ll see when I’ll have the good device for that (I mean when I’ll have no other choice than having a smartphone, lol).
One of my pics of Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) was published 2 years ago in a book about the local wildlife (“La Réunion, Faune et Flore” from Austral Editions).
Where is the most exotic place you’ve visited?
When I lived in France the most exotic places I‘ve visited were Réunion Island and Mauritius (in 2003) But since I live in Réunion now maybe I can say that the most exotic place I‘ve visited is Iceland (it was also in 2003)…
I love travelling … Since I was a child I dream to visit the USA and Canada but I also want to discover Australia, South Africa (and a few other countries in Africa), the Caribbean … I want to be able to dive all around the world …
What do you like to during October? What is this month like in Réunion?
In October and November in Réunion it’s the arrival of the Southern Summer (I can’t say that it’s Spring since we only have 2 real seasons over here) : the days are a bit longer and warmer .. Plenty of flowers bloom and birds are everywhere, preparing their breeding season… Life and Love are in the air and it’s very cool !!
Tell us about your interest in birds of your area.
A long time ago I’ve discovered the Tropicbirds through the lyrics of a local creole song … I instantly fell in love with the name “Payanké”. In French we call them “Phaétons” (Phaethons) or “Pailles-En-Queue” (but, please, don’t translate literally the name by “Straw-In-Tale” like I’ve recently seen … ).
I saw my 1st real Tropicbird in 2003 when I went under the tropics for the 1st time. Seeing those birds in flesh and feathers was amazing and I fell head over heels in love with them.. I wanted to know them better so I did some research but it was disappointing.
Eight years ago I joined the local ornithological association. I’ve learned plenty of things about plenty of birds. I’m a volunteer involved in the Rescue Network as “Head of Network”, it means that I’m an area manager or sort of and that I’m able to make some diagnostics about the rescued birds, take care of them, collect the data that scientists need for their studies, put a ring on them and, the best part .. release them !!) It’s very interesting but, once again, I wasn’t able to learn a lot about Tropicbirds until, lucky me, I found the part of the “Handbook of the birds of the world” which talked about Tropicbirds. I scanned it and I translated it into French … I learned a lot of things. But each day some new things are discovered so I try to stay informed since I’m currently, for the association a least, the Tropicbirds expert. More recently, a new book with a chapter about Tropicbirds was published : “The Birds of Africa: Volume VIII , The Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mascarenes”. What a surprise I had when I read it : I found my name in it about what it stays for now the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed in my life…
I love all birds but Tropicbirds are my favorites …
I currently lead a scientific study for the association (my 1st one !!) , I’ll let you guess what its subject is … LOL
What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen in your life?
Like I said, Tropicbirds are my favorite birds and I can tell you that the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed was on April 18th 2011 when a Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) laid her egg in my hand … , when 46 days later (one day after the egg has hatched) PhaOnce opened his little eyes and looked at me right in the eyes (I was the 1st person he’s seen so I became his Mom). PhaOnce’s development lasted 4 months (against an average of 3 months in Nature) but he was able to take off. I cried a lot on October 4th 2011 … I was sad to see him leave but I was, most of all, very proud of him and happy to see him being able to live his life in the Wild, where he belongs like ALL the birds (and other wild animals) in the World …
PhaOnce stands for “Phaethon Once” .. but, at the same time, it’s a tribute to a former local slave who escaped, lived in a place called “Piton Rouge” (Red Piton) and was named “King Phaonce” …
Where is a great place to go hiking and see nature in Réunion? Which parts have you connected to?
Réunion (aka “the Little Hawaii”) offers several kinds of unique and unforgettable landscapes What is great over here is that from the crashing waves to the summit of the mountains Nature is everywhere … and our sunsets are amazing!
We regularly (and literally) feel the beating heart of the planet over here, we can for real take the pulse of our Earth because of the “Piton de la Fournaise” (Peak of the Furnace), one of the most active volcanoes of the planet..
The National Park covers 42% of the island and it offers hundreds of kilometers of walking trails. Of course, you’ll also find walking trails outside of the National Park, in some protected areas.
If you want to explore entirely my lovely island, you must dive : snorkeling is great but nothing to compare with scuba diving !! And no need to be afraid of sharks. Sadly, we never see them when we scuba dive …
OK in Réunion you won’t find a very large range of wildlife (compared to Hawaii or Madagascar) but in the same time we have plenty of endemic birds, insects and plants …
What caught your interest in beta reading manuscripts for authors?
I’ve been beta-reading in French and Creole for a friend of mine for several years now, and for almost two years, I’ve been reading lesfic in English. It was a bit hard in the beginning since I hadn’t practiced much English since graduating from college. But I’ve worked hard ( a lot of vocabulary searches), and step by step my skills have improved. I’ve noticed mistakes in novels from time to time, providing that information to the editors. They’ve always thanked me and assured that they would correct the errors before the next release of the book. I was happy to help.
I became interested in beta-reading lesfic after reading two novels written by the same author which were full of nonsense and typos (change in the name of the characters, poor pronoun usage, etc.). I was very disappointed with the quality, and I told myself that as a non-anglophone by birth, if I was able to catch those mistakes, maybe I could do some beta reading.
A few months ago, I saw an announcement posted by a friend of someone searching for beta readers. I responded saying that I was interested but asked if it was okay as English is not my mother language. When my offer was declined for that precise reason, I confess that I was offended, sad, and disappointed. BUT … (yeah there’s always a « but » somewhere) KA Moll saw the comment and directly asked me if I wanted to join her beta-reader-team. I was so touched and happy!! No need to tell you that I said yes without any hesitation. As a test, we worked on her then current WIP, “Close Enough To Touch,” written under her pen name “Cade Brogan”. We both appreciated the collaboration and decided to pursue it further. We’re currently working on, “Whispers of the Heart,” a sequel to “Change of Heart.”
A bit after I finished working with KA, another author sent me a friend request on Facebook. She’d heard about my good work from KA and asked if I would agree to beta-read for her. I want everybody to know that that author is you, Lynn … You’re very welcome BTW!! I appreciated our first experience working together and am happy to be reading your current WIP.
More recently, I had an exchange with Tey Holden about her novel, “Turning On A Dime” (Addy and Karen Series – Book 1). I wanted to read it but, sadly, I wasn’t able to purchase it as the paperback format was out of stock on Amazon. We began to chat about this problem, and as a solution, she asked me to join her beta-reader-team. So, here we go again!! We’re currently working together on her next novel.
I’m really touched by your trust ladies, THANK YOU !!!
KA Moll: http://www.kamoll.com/home.html
Lynn Lawler: www.lynnlawler.blogspot.com
Tey Holden: https://www.amazon.com/Tey-Holden/e/B071ZTXFB4
What is the last lesfic book you read? What did you like about it?
The last lesfic novel I’ve read is Erica Abbott‘s “Fragmentary Blue” (Thriller series Book 1). It’s a discovery for me since I’ve never read anything by Erica before. I confess that I liked it a lot : there’s a good chemistry between CJ & Alex, some quite erotic passages, some action and a bit of humor… Definitely a good book !! Can’t wait to read the others in the series …
I love the novels which allow us to ask ourselves some questions for a permanent self-discovery journey (even if it’s a very emotional one) , which help us to evolve and become a better “Self”. Suzie Carr is very good in that both in her novels and on her blog : http://curveswelcome.com/
I’m a huge fan of thrillers and other cops novels. I also love the docs stories, the soldiers stories but also the more common people stories …
Sadly, some authors seem to forget that nobody’s has a “perfect body”, so, I really appreciate when the main character of a novel has a disability … I want to remind that the beauty & the « physical perfection » will always be different due to the eyes which watch … The best way to truly love someone is not to watch outside but deeply inside the other person, to understand her heart, her mind and her soul …
I like a lot the “paranormal” topic. I know the Soul Mates / Twin Mates exist .. my Soul Mate, the ONE is somewhere, over here, or over there and we’ll find each other when the good time will arrive … Waiting for her, I enjoy my life and find the romance I need in those novels I love.
Since I haven’t read any sci-fi novels yet , I won’t talk about this topic, for now … I’m not a beginner any more since I read for almost 2 years now but I have still plenty of great authors to discover and hundreds (maybe thousands) of books to read before re-reading some of them …
Who is the person you admire the most and has been inspiring on your journey of life?
My parents showed me that, even it’s not the most easy path, it’s better to follow our dreams in Life, so … When , after having read Paolo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” I understood what I was supposed to do, I did it !! And my parents supported me …
My favorite singer, Véronique Sanson, inspires me a lot ‘cause she’s an engaged and courageous person…
On the Nature side, the Commandant Jean-Yves Cousteau inspired me a lot … I wasn’t able to become a marine biologist but is doesn’t matter, I deeply love the Ocean and do my best to protect it. Nonetheless, I’m in contact with several members of the Cousteau family … And since I’m a scuba diver myself, I hope, someday, I’ll be able to dive with some of them …
How does the ‘glass is half full’ apply to your life now?
A long time ago I understood that, even if there are rough paths in Life, tough moments never last .. So I’ve always been the positive kind of person. Life has already proven me several times that I’m right to think like that. So .. no matter what, even after a few very difficult years on all the sides of my life, I still enjoy what I have, I am grateful for it and look right in front of me , it’s the better way to move forward…
Some songs are great to remind you the need to move on. Right now the three which come to my mind are:
Chely Wright’s “Shut up and drive” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6NmMe7RYhk );
Which other photographers do you follow?
I follow a bunch of photographers … on Twitter and/or on Facebook or elsewhere.
Gabriel Barathieu (winner of the Underwater Photographer of the year: http://www.underwaterphotographeroftheyear.com/winners/2017-winning-images/ ). : www.underwater-landscape.com. or https://www.facebook.com/GabyBarathieu/
Nicolas Rakotopare Photography : https://www.facebook.com/nicolasrakotoparephotography/ or https://vimeo.com/nrakotoparephotography
Still on the artistic side, I also love: Street art, Scultpure, Drawing, Painting, Music , Singing with harmonies made only with human voices, etc …
Do you create ‘dark room’ photos? If so, do you have one you’d like to share?
Nope .. no “dark room” required for me ‘cause I work only with a digital camera (I can’t afford to take silver halide photography, it’s far too expensive … ).
Please, note that I don’t need Lightroom or Photoshop either. What you see on your screen when I share a pic is what my eye has caught .. I never work on my pics. I use Photoshop only to put my copyright on the pics. One could think it a shame not to use such a powerful tool but it’s my choice : I’m a Nature Photographer, so , I keep only what Nature gives to me, in the way she gives it to me …
Besides photography, in what other ways do you express yourself in the world?
When I was a bit younger I used to write some poems .. Mostly in French and a few ones in creole from Réunion … No translation in English available for now but maybe I’ll translate them someday to share them with the entire planet … Still about poetry I have a few ideas for some creations, directly in English this time but nothing concrete for now.
On Facebook I tried plenty of groups around a lot of topics but in plenty of these groups people are not there to share and exchange, they just want to flatter their egos. Since I’m not interested by this sort of people, I’ve left those spaces.
Still on Facebook , I joined several groups (mostly lesfic related). Each time I share, I do it in all of them but some are not very dynamic so IDK if I’ll stay long … The one where I deeply enjoy the dynamism , where I feel really good and, so, where I’m the most active is Sheena Lemos Ebersohn‘s “The Lesbian Review Book Club” : https://www.facebook.com/groups/LesReviewBookClub/
In spite of the strict rules in the groups, I’ve recently been harassed on Facebook (via PM) by a few women, and I don’t want to live all this once again.
I want to precise that, since I had very bad experiences before, I haven’t joined any dating groups (or dating sites BTW) Why ??? Just because I’m not on the internet to flirt (I trust the Universe to bring Love in my life … ) , I’m on the web to discover new things and places, exchange and share with people from the entire world. Our World is great and what makes is beauty is its diversity …
Oh … I wanted you to know that I also love inspirational quotations.. As example I can give you :
° “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
° “Work For A Cause, Not For Applause. Live Life To Express, Not To Impress. Don’t Strive To Make Your Presence Noticed, Just Make Your Absence Felt” – Unknown
° “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt
° “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander den Heijer
From time to time, I like pairing some of them with my pics as an illustration and share them on my timeline and in “Feed your Joy”, the group created by Suzie Carr on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/feedyourjoy/) …
What is next for you?
I’m a former Purchase and Logistics Manager. Since a few days I’m officially back on the employment market 😊 . It’s a total professional reconversion so I make my come back with the help of a cooperative (they help people during a while, to let them the time to start their own business). Between a few other things (mostly translator and beta reader), I’m now a tourism consultant (for eco-tourism) and this new job will allow me to work on, for and with my passions … Life is good !!!
I want to thank Laure for stopping by. If you’d like to know more about Laure, go to these links:
Feel free to ask her questions in the comments section.
Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be posting my review for author Candace Walsh’s ‘Janeland.’
Until next time,
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Photos are copywritten.