Marie-Chantal Perron offers us her first novel. It is illustrated by actress Geneviève Boivin-Roussy. A palpable artistic chemistry was born from this collaboration between the two actresses…
The fruit of their joint work is reaching bookstores. The Signs of Marie-Chantal Perron The twelve months of Mary, containing images of Geneviève Boivin-Roussy. “I had the idea for a graphic novel, which was like a calendar in my head. The idea did not go as expected at first. My story continued to unfold. Finally, I told myself that it would be a novel, explains Marie-Chantal. So the publishers told me that it would be possible to have illustrations. At that time, I was filming in Lifetime and I met Geneviève Boivin-Roussy. I knew her as an actress, but not as a visual artist. We started talking and fell in love with each other. I even thanked the director of Lifetimethat put us in each other’s way.”
Geneviève was won over by her partner’s project. “I found the theme of her touching.” The book’s heroine, Marie, thinks of leaving her husband, but if she does, she will also leave her stepdaughter, Prunelle, whom she has seen grow up and is attached to. “It’s something we don’t talk about, a taboo subject, admits the illustrator. Even before reading the novel, I had images running through my mind.
To tell this story in which we guess the heartbreak of a mother-in-law for her daughter-in-law, Marie-Chantal drew a little on her experience, but it is not autobiographical. “Every creative act starts from an impulse of the heart, admits the author. But later I dedicated myself to fiction, because it allowed me to lose some modesty. I wanted to talk about this particular type of mourning in our time. “We are in a divorced society where families are recomposed, but where recomposed families also break up. There is a gray area. What about in-laws who have been around young children and leave the spouse? They have developed ties that are not recognized by law, but are strong.
The author nicknamed the illustrator “my pirate”. “I gave him that name because he kindly came to loot things from my house to get inspiration and compose his illustrations. She turned my workshop upside down, took things from my house and left with three or four boxes. For Marie-Chantal, the visual side of a literary work is essential. “I don’t know what my life as an author will be like, but I feel that the image will always be there. I like that, because it supports, softens, underlines, supports… I like that there are images in novels.
This book they created together has been beneficial to them. “In the current context, with everything that has happened, it did us good to feel that we were balls of light,” says the designer.
SPEAKING WITH IMAGES
Drawing came very early in Geneviève Boivin-Roussy’s life. “When he was a very young child, he didn’t speak. My mother thought he was mute until I was two years old. But I was constantly drawing. He painted walls in fresco and was unstoppable. The urge to draw was stronger than me, the illustrator confesses. I even ate my playdough; my mother had to hide it. The colors appealed to me in a visceral way. I feel in my mouth what they know. When I look at a work and I like it, it’s like looking at the most beautiful cake in the world. Also, I find that cooking and art complement each other wonderfully.” Drawing, painting and collage have always been a part of Geneviève’s life, and she now has her own art gallery, Galerie G de BR.
The twelve months of Mary is also a podcast on OHdio. “It was done last November. The novel was well advanced, but not in the final stage. The podcast is, therefore, another version”.
In addition, it is not ruled out that the two women, who have developed a bond of friendship, work together on new projects. “We look forward to a long collaboration.”
The novel The twelve months of Mary, signed by Marie-Chantal Perron and illustrated by Geneviève Boivin-Roussy, it hits bookstores and online book-buying sites on April 6.