Damien was a teenager when he and his mother left the fishing village where he was born and raised. He returns there to bury his father, a father he believes is guilty of murder. The opportunity to go back in time, in search of their history and truth. The long-lost father may not be what you think. The author of song of silenceJérôme Loubry, passes Draguignan at the bookstore Lo Pais for a meeting with its readers.
The opportunity to talk to the writer with him “childhood dream, stayed in the back of (his) head for a long time”and that he has been satisfied since 2017 and the publication of his first book: The Detroit Dogs. “I was 9 years old when I first wanted to write, and I knew that I would do it, later, without thinking about being published. I just wanted to dedicate myself to writing”.
The author, who lives in Manosque, immerses us in a thrilling story between the paths we took and those we took to find the truth.
Why set the action of your noir novel in a fishing village?
I wanted to set the story in an environment where people don’t talk much, in a profession where it’s hard to express yourself. I immediately thought of fishermen and, very quickly, I drew this port village in my head. A village that lives from fishing and suffers from the economic and natural hardships of this environment, such as oil spills or fish declines. I wanted to place the characters where there was little hope, where the horizon existed only through the line in the distance. They all kind of disappeared in advance, these characters, in this story.
Damien, your character, returns for the funeral of his father whom he believes is guilty of murder. Easy to embody a character built on lies?
Basically, this noir novel comes from a father’s questioning. I have a teenager at home. Adolescence is that moment when the father or mother, who is everything for the child, can become an enemy or, in any case, a person with whom the teenager can confront himself. I want to talk about this: the gaze of the adolescent in relation to the parents but also of the parent who accepts to be the enemy, saying to himself: “He’ll understand later”. As a parent, we embrace the duality between being a father and being a monster, whereas we were all for the child back then.
You explore different temporalities, how do you develop them?
It will be difficult for me to answer you because I work without a plan. In fact, I described the story as a movie. I have the first chapters in pictures, like we see in a TV series, I have the end… After that, things flow by themselves. When I start writing, I always know the end. I often say that one-third of the book is written by me and the other two-thirds is written by the staff. They are beside me and they guide me.
As in The Twelfth Chapter, here you attach yourself to three teenagers. Why?
We always say that three is one too many. A trio is instability. It’s interesting to exploit because then we try to understand what can push friends apart… It allows us to go inside the characters and understand what makes the most intimate that friend moved away.
Writing is not your first life. How do you write dark novels and thrillers?
Paradoxically, I who read some thrillers, I like in series, movies or books, to question myself and doubt, to tell myself that I understand and to realize that I had. In the thriller or noir novel, we can play with the reader in this sense, impose certainties on him and then show him that they are not true. And then we can talk about anything. In the noir novel, moreover, what is interesting is not the who but the why and how. Why this port is abandoned, why this father and son do not talk to each other anymore… For me, in this book, there are only victims. Sentimental, economic, family. Telling their story is, for me, the most important.
You write at the rate of one book per year. Have the next one in mind?
Yes. It should be released in January 2024. After Normandy, Brittany, Detroit, the next one will take place on the island of Porquerolles. In general, all the places that serve as the framework for my books, I know them. Just for now…