“A Day in the Life” avec auteure Montréalaise Marie-Françoise Taggart

5 : 54; 5 : 54; 5 : 54; 5 : 54;
5 : 55;
5 : 55; 5 : 55; 5 : 55;

Le cadran clignote et pulse dans la pénombre son signal lumineux, baignant à chaque battement le rideau et une partie des draps de sa lueur rougeâtre aux chiffres mensongers.* À Ottawa, Victoria, Marrakech, Tokyo, Montréal ou San Jose de Costa Rica, il doit être l’heure indiquée. Ces villes ont tour à tour accueilli Marie-Françoise Taggart en tant que professeure, artiste et écrivaine en résidence.

Marie se fait un café bien serré et se met une trame musicale de circonstance pour accompagner sa séance d’écriture matinale: de Vian à Vivaldi, de Bach à Brubeck, de Jarre à Jobim. Elle s’attèle à la tâche et laisse son imagination prendre son envol. Les quelques démons crépusculaires qui s’obstinaient encore il y a quelques instants prennent vite la poudre d’escampette.

Née à Montréal, on remarque très tôt les talents de Marie pour l’écriture. Elle publie son premier roman à l’âge de 17 ans et récidivera trois autres fois par la suite. Dans son dernier roman, Elizabethville, ont découvre toute la maturité de son écriture et de sa pensée. Étiquette oblige, les libraires le classeront dans la catégorie « polar » mais ce serait trop réducteur. Le livre mêle habillement l’intrigue à la critique sociale. Il nourrit notre soif de divertissement par une prose tantôt jouissive, tantôt macabre et un humour décapant. Il tire aussi à boulet rouge sur les tortionnaires innommables des laissés-pour-compte dans notre « plus meilleur pays du monde ». À découvrir.

-Par Robert Boutin, ami de Marie-Françoise
*Quelques lignes tirées d’Elizabethville aux Éditions Mains Libres

Writing at dawn. I’m an early riser, and I do my best writing in the morning, with coffee.
I used to be what writers like to call a “pantser” – a creator who flies by the seat of their pants – meaning someone who enjoys discovering the story as it unfolds while they write. Then, I decided to challenge myself, and tackle a murder mystery, which implies a certain degree of planning. It was a bit intimidating. I thought planning would kill inspiration… au contraire. The only killing going on was those of characters! And I loved the experience. I want to do it again. And again.
On my desk, these cartoon characters. I love to surround myself with reminders of the story I’m writing: music, scents, colours, images… While I wrote Elizabethville, the guy sitting (right) stood next to me, offering a representation of my main character, Maurice Orage.
Physical activity, outdoors whenever possible, is important to stay healthy, in the body and, more importantly, in the mind! I love love love going for long walks, bike, or rollerblade along the river. But my favorite activity is by far dancing the Charleston and shuffling on electro-swing music. I find a peaceful flat area in the shade somewhere, take my earbuds or mp3 player and just go. In the winter I still do it on my balcony. I turned 53 this year and am having more fun than ever.
I am so lucky to be a French literature cegep teacher. Every day I learn from my students. They are wonderful. I found that in the past years, students need more and more reassurance in a confusing world; however, once their anxiety has been addressed and is more or less out of the way, they are on fire. The new generations are hardworking, dedicated, and full of creativity.
I grew up playing the flute. My parents destined me to a musical career. But I was stubborn. I wanted to become a writer. I still play. Music and musicality inhabit me when I write. Here with my son Patrick on the piano.
Write, write, write. And read. And write. Edison said something along the lines that creation was 1 percent imagination and 99 percent perspiration… and that’s pretty much that!
On days when I’m lucky I get to go to Montreal. I prefer the train by far. I watch the scenery and read.

Quel quartier habitez-vous?

I live in Ottawa, in a neighborhood called “Carlingwood”. It’s quaint and quiet, next to the river. For me, it’s important to live near a body of water.

Vous êtes autrice à temps plein ou si vous avez une autre occupation?

I prefer the term “auteure” to “autrice”. Incidentally, I am also a teacheure. Heu… oops! I mean teacher, or professeure, at the Cégep de l’Outaouais located on the other side of the river.

Travaillez-vous sur un manuscrit en ce moment?

Right now, I’m working on my next novel, Morsure mortelle, which takes place in a college. The body of young male student is found in a bin behind the building, and, a week later, it’s an old teacher who is discovered, a few months shy of his retirement, dead and rigid, in the photocopy room. He has been bitten by a rare spider as he was grabbing copies. There will be a young temp teacher who is obsessed with writing. There will be a detective. There will be a star professor (a teacheure) in gender studies. There will be wokism. There will be blood. There will be laughs, too (I hope).

Vos livres sont disponibles seulement au Québec?

For the moment, they are. But my publishers, Mains Libres, plan to distribute them in the rest of Canada and in France as well.