Catherine Girard-Audet | After Léa Olivier, here is Juliette Papillon

After he had immense success with his youth series The complicated life of Léa OlivierCatherine Girard-Audet addresses an older audience. You don’t shoot flowers to make them grow, her first novel for young adults, is out this Thursday, just in time for the day 12. August, I’m buying a Quebec book”. Discussion about this new adventure and its heroine Juliette Papillon, a student facing a great challenge.

Posted at 8:00 am

Veronique Larocque

Veronique Larocque
The press

The character of Léa Olivier was heavily inspired by her life. Does that also apply to Juliette Papillon?

Yes. It’s always easier for me to be inspired by things I’ve experienced. The early 20’s are an identity crisis for many people. We get to know each other. We discover who we are by making often monumental mistakes. We are pushed to decisions very quickly and have experiences for the first time. I am a good example of this because I was completely wrong. [Comme Juliette]I enrolled in art history because I needed to have a crush before deciding on my major. It worried me a lot. This made me go through a mega heartbreak of a super complicated long distance relationship.

Just like in the series The complicated life of Léa Olivier, friendship and love are omnipresent in this first volume of a trilogy. What do these topics mean to you?

Human bonds are my inspiration. I couldn’t not write about it because it shapes me. That’s the most important thing in my life: my family, my siblings, my friends. Early 20’s are a lot for me. For example, I’m inspired by my first apartment with my best friend. My more toxic first loves, I’ve experienced them during this time as well. It’s a slightly more mature topic that I wanted to delve into.

You address the issue of mental health in the novel. We witness Juliette’s first panic attack. Can you tell us something about this passage?

I had panic attacks like the ones I described in the novel, where you immediately think you’re going to die. I took a cold shower in the middle of the night because I couldn’t feel my limbs anymore and I didn’t know why. That’s what prompted me to consult. My first panic attacks came in my twenties. It was super important for me to integrate them into the novel, because otherwise I realized that I wasn’t being honest. I wanted to take this disorder out of the taboo and make it accessible.

Juliette is going through a big heartbreak, she made a mistake, she is lost but [elle ne vit] no big dramas. Panic disorder can strike anyone at any time. I think it’s something you learn to tame.

Catherine Girard-Audet

The title of the book is a phrase that a “very wise man” said to you. Why did these words shape you?

I’m having a lot of trouble not controlling what’s coming. Let’s go with the flow, that’s not really me. I’m learning to let go, but sometimes I fall back into my old ways. I say to myself, “What’s next? » I often have to tell myself that we have to give the flowers time to grow and that we don’t pull on them to make them grow. It’s really a little principle I’m trying to remember. A principle that I slowly integrated into the therapy.

Juliette Papillon is attending university, Léa Olivier is now at CEGEP. Could the two heroines meet in a novel?

Oh dear God. It would be funny but I don’t think so. For me they are two different universes, they are two different tones, they are two different characters. They are even two different Catherines. In hindsight, I think Juliette resembles me a bit more than Léa. Léa is still livelier than me. I had a more introverted side.

You just finished 16e volume from The complicated life of Léa Olivier. Will this be the last?

It’s not the last. The end of such a long series is a process. I don’t want to write it too fast. I don’t want to rush it, but I’m placing it. I live super conflicting feelings. On one hand, I’m so grateful for everything that’s happened to me in relation to this character and this series. On the other hand, I look forward to continuing.

For reasons of clarity and conciseness, the statements have been shortened and condensed.

You don't shoot flowers to make them grow

You don’t shoot flowers to make them grow

Les Malins editions

192 pages

What is Catherine Girard-Audet reading?

On the eve of I’ll buy a book from Quebec Day, The press Catherine Girard-Audet asked about three favorites among her summer readings.

  1. Fitby Lili Boisvert
  2. A thousand secrets, a thousand dangersby Alain Farah
  3. In the land of quiet desperation by Marie Pierre Duval

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