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September 24, 2023

The questions never end!

Do you remember, dear readers, a lady named Isabel who has interviewed me a few times already? This time, she wants to know more about the writer I am becoming. I accepted, of course, because I believe this young journalist has great ideas. And just maybe this new book of mine that is about to hit bookstores deserves a few praises. Let me go through her list of questions and answer them one by one with you.

— “As an author, what is your greatest desire?”
— “My greatest desire is to live until I am a hundred. I don’t want to beat any longevity record, but I do want the opportunity to write for as long as I can. The more I write, the more I improve. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I like to embellish everything I do. Words are my favourite battlefield; the clumsy, the lame and the scatterbrain have no place between my lines. Writing and becoming an entrepreneur both came to me later in life. I opened the very first restaurant of an eventual country-wide chain the day I turned 40, and a worldwide pandemic threw open the doors to writing at 72.

— “When and how did writing come to you?”
— “In September 1954, when I started first grade, I was immediately astonished by the power of the letters of the alphabet and I quickly learned how to build words and sentences. My parents’ wretched life rubbed off on us kids. I had made a habit of writing on any piece of paper I could find in the house. The extraordinary strength of words has been with me ever since.”

— “What do you believe in, Madame Cora?”
— “I believe in the creative force of life and in He who first said, “Let there be light.” Even when it’s at rest and covers its eyes with darkness, Light is there. In my opinion, a divine temporal program exists that keeps on going forever.”

— “Name a flaw you have that you can easily forgive yourself for.”
— “Maybe overeating at times since I have to taste everything we serve and think of serving to our valued customers. Thirty-six years later, I am still adamant about sticking with the Cora concept.”

— “What word best describes you?”
— “There’s more than one! I am the guardian of colourful words – a relentless scribe, constant and creative enough to entertain a great number of readers every Sunday.”

— “Is it easy to write?”
— “It’s very easy to write when you believe in the magical powers of words, with their unique way of sowing elaborate sentences between the lines.”

— “Where do you find your inspiration?”
— “Here, there and everywhere! The glorious banality of everyday life is my first source of inspiration. Writing in a coffee shop offers me a window onto the great show of life. From the strange expression on a new customer’s face to the outline of their precious heart. I observe, I search, I scrutinize and I fantasize until I finally discover what this enigmatic smile is made of. After four days, four weeks, a newcomer often becomes a regular in this place.”

— “Do you have a peculiar habit, a certain ritual or perhaps even an obstacle when it comes to your writing?”
— “I have always been more patient than patience itself when it comes to writing. When a good idea comes to mind, I store it on my notepad and wait. When the idea unfolds ever so slightly in my mind, I type a few sentences on my iPad to capture the gist of the story. Then, line by line, I move forward. I plead to Lady Inspiration and the Fairy Godmother to bring me elaborate words, and paragraphs tumble down from the heavens into my mind and build the story. I am obsessed with improving, so I read and re-read my copy until my eyes are sore. I want to constantly progress as a writer. Perhaps I should have more confidence in my talent?”

— “What state of mind are you in when you write?”
— “I’m the happiest of women when I write. Open to inspiration and privileged, I’d say. I’m not a professional writer, so I never expect great reviews. I remain modest and trust in what the future holds.”

— “What can you tell us about your new book that’s coming out on September 27?”
— “I think it’s a solid start for an old woman who’s trying her hand at writing. I have this burning flame of hope within me. My mind remains like fertile soil, where all I have to do is pull the young shoots out of the void and wait for them to bloom when they’re ready. Writing strengthens my patience, endurance and will. ‘Only good things,’ as Sister Marie-Ange, my third-grade teacher in Gaspésie, would say.”