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


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

Posted at 8:00

Veronique Larocche

Veronique Larocche
The print

Léa Olivier’s character was very inspired by your life. Is this the same for Juliette Papillon’s?

Yes. It is always easier for me to draw inspiration from the things I have experienced. The early twenties, for many people, are an identity crisis. Let’s get to know each other. We discover who we are by often making monumental mistakes. We are driven to make decisions very quickly and experience experiences for the first time. I’m a good example of this, because I was completely wrong. [Comme Juliette], I had enrolled in art history, because I had to swarm to make a decision for my studies. You worried me a lot. Through this, I was going through a huge heartbreak for 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 themes mean to you?

Human bonds are my inspiration. I couldn’t not write about it, because that’s what shapes me. This is the most important thing in my life: my family, my brothers, my friends. For me, the first 20 years are many, many. For example, I am inspired by my first apartment with my best friend. My most toxic first loves, I also experienced them in this period. It is a slightly more adult theme that I wanted to explore.

In the novel you deal with the topic of mental health. We are witnessing Juliette’s first panic attack. Can you tell us about this passage?

I have had panic attacks like those described in the novel, in which you think you will die, outright. I, in the middle of the night, took cold showers because I no longer felt my limbs and didn’t know why. This is what led me to consult. My first panic attacks came when I was twenty. It was very important for me to integrate them into the novel, because otherwise I found myself not being honest. I wanted to remove this ailment from the taboos and make it accessible.

Juliette is going through great pain, she made a mistake, she is lost, but [elle ne vit] no big drama. Panic disorder can affect 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 person” told you. Why have these words marked you?

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

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

my God. It would be fun, 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 also two different Catherine. I think Juliette, in hindsight, looks a little more like me than Léa. Léa is even more sparkling than me. I had a more introverted side.

You just finished writing on the 16thAnd volume of The complicated life of Léa Olivier. Will it be the last?

It is not the last. The end of such a long series is a process. I don’t want to write it too quickly. I don’t want to be in a hurry, but I’m positioning it. I have super contradictory feelings. On the one hand, I am so grateful for everything that has happened to me in relation to this character and this series. On the other hand, I am excited to move forward.

The statements have been reduced and condensed for clarity and conciseness.

You don't shoot flowers to make them grow

You don’t shoot flowers to make them grow

Les Malins editions

192 pages

What does Catherine Girard-Audet read?

On the eve of the day “I buy a book from Quebec”, The print asked Catherine Girard-Audet three favorites from her summer readings.

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


Leave a Comment