Her youth series The Complicated Life of Léa Olivier has sold more than 1.7 million copies. With her new trilogy, Catherine Girard-Audet has taken the plunge, towards a more informed and mature audience; young adults.
How does it feel to move away from “your” youth, after all this time?
Honestly, writing something more personal and intimate, delving into that part of my life, was therapeutic. This new series is more like the adult Catherine. With Léa Olivier, I go there more in emotion than in experience… There is no censorship in what I write, with On ne tir pas on the flowers. Freeing myself from that, the time of a trilogy, I admit that it feels good!
Besides, why the title We don't don't shoot the flowers to make them grow?
This is a sentence that was served to me in therapy. And I still repeat it to myself often. I have a lot of trouble being in the present moment, not stressing over what's to come, letting go. I'm getting better!
It looks like what Juliette Papillon, your main character, is experiencing, with themes explored such as anxiety, heartbreak, the existential quest that continues.. .
That's really it. Juliette's story begins when she realizes, in her second year of university, that she made a mistake in her choice of program. From there arises this existential quest: where am I going? I don't want to disappoint others or disappoint myself… Everything in Juliette's life is uncertain. At the same time, she is going through a big heartbreak and her ex is still playing in her head. These are all things I wanted to “dig into” because that is so much of life.
Already a little time has passed since the release of this new novel. Did you feel any pressure with the reaction of your readers, since you are moving away from your usual readership?
I have worked very hard to get rid of the “pressure” Léa Olivier. It's amazing what I've been living for ten years with such success. I realize my luck. What I wanted was to deliver a novel of which I am proud. It's a part of me that's more vulnerable, but I think I couldn't have done better. From there, I can't control the rest. I look zen, but it's been months and months of work (laughs)!
You're talking about a trilogy, for this series. So let's go with three words that describe your early twenties, when you were Juliet's age!
I'll be honest and go with the word “party.” I really partied! Then, “quest for identity” and “intensity”. I was very intense. I still am, but I manage myself!
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128