David Cloutier publishes (finally) his first novel

David Cloutier publishes (finally) his first novel

After years of reading his funny and spicy columns in Urbania, countless people hoped to find the pen of David Cloutier in a longer version. Their wish was fulfilled with the publication of the novel The fabulous life of fabulous people, in which we enter the head of Léa, a young escort who is all fired up, Mylène, a tired forty-year-old, as well as Jessica, a make-up artist who struggles to find a way to fulfillment.

What place does writing occupy in your life?
David Cloutier: Ten years ago I became a roommate of actress Catherine Brunet and started writing ideas for web series, sketches and short films. One of my TV series projects attracted interest from Productions J, but it wasn’t clear how interested the team was. Over time, I realized that the TV industry is super complicated and boring. Then one day I accidentally sent a message to Urbanija. They liked it. They announced it. I continued. But I never really wanted to be a writer. I now work as a civil servant for the federal government.

Why are you publishing your first novel at this time of your life?
David Cloutier: Ten years ago I had nothing to say. Three years ago, I would have had something to say, but less nuance. I would just empty my heart crying about everything and be hated. This year I wanted to express things and tell stories without going through Urbania. I didn’t like that people automatically reacted when I published a column. Too often on the internet, people feel pressured to have their own opinion. What’s more, I realized what people expect from me: a witty, crunchy column that makes you think a little, a little bit bitchy, but without making anyone angry. I had no more pleasure. In the novel, I imagined saying whatever I wanted in 300 pages.

By immersing yourself in the minds of Léa, Mylène and Jessica, you accept the challenge of having three personalities and three different voices in your writing. What colors are they?

David Cloutier: First of all, I have to say that it is 100% fictional. Considering that Leo is a prostitute and that I was already an escort for a short period of my life and that I worked in the art world, some people ask me if it is me. But no. However, I used these signs to express the emotions I was feeling.

Lea, I saw him as a small hurricane, always on the move, as if running away from everything. He says things in a very assertive way, but often questions himself. He surrendered at the age of 25, not really knowing how he did it. Mylène is a 40-year-old actress who remembers with nostalgia the time when she felt free and independent. Today she is tired of extraordinary. Jessica doesn’t know what she wants or who she is.

On social media, I see that everyone is very campy: either you are very extroverted with 14 groups of friends and always at rumba, or even very presumptuous in your domestic, introverted side. , claiming that you don’t go out to bars on Fridays, because you’d rather watch TV alone with your cat. However, there are many people who are in between. Me, I feel guilty when I don’t go out. And when I go out, I wonder what I’m doing there. I always feel like I’m in the wrong place.

I have a feeling your book might be called The Unfortunate Lives of Unfortunate People. I don’t think my characters are unhappy. They are trying to flourish without really knowing what that means for them. They ask themselves, a bit tired without being unhappy. However, the truth is that none of them are ultra fulfilled.

Would you say your pen is comical-sad?
David Cloutier: Absolutely. When I encounter superficial humor, without the drama that comes with it, I find it empty and boring. I never go to stand-up comedy, because that’s almost always it. If someone is just trying to make people laugh to make me laugh, I don’t care.

To be honest, at first I wanted to write a humorous novel à la Urbania, but I couldn’t. It’s not true that I’m going to write 300 pages of funny anecdotes from three characters. They are whole people. So yeah, it’s a comedy-drama. Don’t be afraid to get into sadness and drama. At the same time, I think it’s okay to laugh about it.

INFO | THE STILL LIFE OF BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, David Cloutier, Editions de la maison en feu, 2022.

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