Diane Fachon, the author who met “Crocodiles on bitumen” to laugh and overcome her fears
Holly Goli, blogger, bookstagramer and contributor to the reading group 20 Minutes Books recommends you Crocodiles on asphalt, published on October 20, 2022 by Éditions Hugo Roman and signed Diane Frachon, whom he met. Interview.
“Crocodiles on the asphalt” evokes the audacity to step out of one’s comfort zone against a backdrop of themes such as photography or urban exploration. What inspired you to explore these themes? What message do you want to send?
Urban exploration, abbreviated as urbex (from English city inspector, Ed) consists of visiting abandoned buildings. In discovering these buildings, one experiences the same mixture of fear and excitement that characterizes life transitions. They are also places where one is often isolated (even in the novel, Adèle, the heroine, has incredible encounters there), disconnected from reality and where one is feeling both very free and very vulnerable. It reflects the emotional journey of the character who must show a lot of willpower to overcome his fears in his urbex adventures but also in his life. As for photography, it is an art in which everyone can project themselves. For the heroine, this is a new profession that conflicts with her auditing work. This makes his professional retraining more difficult. If there is a message, it is to encourage those who want change to find comfort in discomfort. We often have this rather cliché image of the person who quits a boring job and suddenly becomes fulfilled in every moment. I believe that changes are rarely clear, and should rather be approached as a path to believe. When my character embarks on an icy journey in a rotten motorhome, he is anything but calm but he remains daring, often…
You are one of the winners of the Grand Prix du roman AuFéminin 2021, but also an author of children’s books. What made you want to try another genre, like the feel-good contemporary novel?
In fact, being a winner is a huge springboard. I was personally inspired by famous former winners, and that allowed me to believe it until it was published. Draw comes a second time, during imprisonment, according to the novel. Regardless of the genre, my goal is the same: to tell a story. Also, my Instagram account is called @diane_raconte. In a novel, a children’s album, or a daily anecdote, I try to make the reader smile, get away from it all and forget the news and his worries while reading. The idea for the novel however came to me at a time in my professional life when I hesitated to staple my hand every Monday morning so as not to return to the office. I longed for big changes, for something lighter, but taking the step towards a new beginning also scared me a lot.
Do the unusual places that serve as the setting for surprising encounters in the novel exist in reality?
Yes, most of these are real places I’ve been. Detroit sites are a must see for local urban tourism, the abandoned psychiatric hospital also exists, I just added the swamp around it… The school itself was inspired by an abandoned school I visited in Bosnia in a a place deserted because of the war, it was one of my first experiences of urbex and the intensity of what happened there a few years ago is still palpable. It is in memory of the visit that the novel begins in an abandoned school, in a lighter register. The idea of the abandoned swimming pool came from closer: a public swimming pool at the end of my street in Arcachon was closed by the city, I had a lot of time to observe it before its destruction. Unused places fascinate me, the feelings you get there are quite unique and I find it original to mix my plot there. They move places where time is frozen and where you can imagine many things based on what has remained in place.
Three words to describe “Crocodiles on Asphalt”?
Humor, Poetry, Road-trip.
His favorite quote:
He began by adding, as a further instruction, that the wishes should be of concern only to himself: it avoided running afoul of the obligation to demand an end to suffering, global warming and Pokémon.
Why this book?
- Because it’s one of the winners of the Grand Prize of the AuFéminin 2021 competition led by Raphaëlle Giordano. It is an original and funny novel that captivated the jury.
- Because this novel feels good yes, but it’s also a road trip across the United States. Adèle, the heroine, drops everything to go to Detroit in a motorhome and photograph everything that passes her lens.
- Because the themes are chosen by Diane Frachon is very interesting. First, the comfort zone. Everyone has one, but sometimes it’s good to get out of it to see the world in a different way. That’s what Adele does. He leaves for the unknown, leaving his comfort zone to find himself at the end of the road. Other times, there’s Urbex. Adèle explores abandoned places that are often difficult to access and takes pictures. I found it very interesting to the point of asking for more.
- Because the pen of Diane Frachon is sweet and poetic. Full of humor, he puts the heroine in sometimes unusual and crazy situations but really makes you feel good. All characters are treated on an equal footing, no one replaces the other. We let ourselves be carried away by their different characters, their stories and above all, we don’t see the scrolling of the pages.
The essentials in 2 minutes
The plot. On a whim, Adèle drops everything and goes to Detroit, photographing atypical places along the way. He lets himself be carried away and meets a whole group of characters, each one more unique than the next. What if she let him find himself?
Staff. Of course Adèle but also Josel and the group of survivalists or even Maël.
Places. The story takes place on the road, between New York and Detroit, in abandoned places or not.
The time. The story takes place in our time.
Author. Marketing freelancer and passionate creative, Diane Fachon is Laureate in 2021 of the Prix AuFéminin for her first novel. His humor and originality convinced the jury headed by Raphaëlle Giordano.
Read this book with. fun and laughter. I loved this funny story with crazy scenes. I let myself be carried away by the pen of Diane Frachon to follow Adèle and her search for herself. The humor and the characters take us on a journey we will never forget. A nice nugget!
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