Passion Never Retires for Sylvie de Mathuisieulx

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I have always loved books, and especially the stories you can find in them. So, when I discovered as a very young girl, that they were invented by real people, I thought: “This is exactly what I’m here to do.” Many years later, I’m still glad to create stories to try to please my readers… and open their minds.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

When a publisher I (would) love to work with calls me and says “yes” after having read a manuscript of mine.

What is my greatest fear?

Losing the pleasure of writing. It sure isn’t always easy, but I like to take up a challenge.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I would like to be more self-assured.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

I just adore the writings of Barbara Constantine: she is ferociously funny.

What is my greatest extravagance?

Definitely not being extravagant.

On what occasion would I lie?

I always say that I never tell lies. It can’t be one… or is it?

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I hate when I have planned to work on a story and that nothing good comes out. I write pages and pages for hours and hours, and finely delete everything. It reassures me to think that the process was useful, and even necessary to go on. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen too much.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

The very first time I was invited to sign my books in a literature festival. It was absolutely magic. I arrived very early in the city where it took place. It hadn’t started yet. So I sat in a café near the entrance, and gazed at it for two hours. I repeated to myself: “Enjoy this moment, buddy, for it won’t happen again.”

If I could, what would I change about myself? 

A few years ago, I wanted to measure 1.75 meters. But now I begin to like being quite short.

What is my greatest achievement in work? 

The fact that I published about 80 children books, some of which were translated in a dozen of languages. It is one of my series that inspired the cartoons “Angelo Rules” !

When I’ve got the blues, I take a look at my special shelf, where all my books are gathered with gifts of young readers.

Where would I most like to live?

Close to the ones I love the most. I could work absolutely anywhere, as long as I have a connected computer.

What is my most treasured possession?

My husband.

What is my most marked characteristic?

According to my most treasured possession: intellectual rigour.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

I sometimes like to write in cafés downtown, or in the big city park l’Orangerie.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

What I do prefer is to share dinners with friends at home, although I’m a terrible cook.

What books influenced my life and how?

Ainsi soit-elle” (“Let her be”) by Benoîte Groult. I found it in a second hand bookshop when I was in high school. I bought it guessing what it was: a feminist essay. Yet I did not imagine how much it would turn me upside down, making me realise things I did not know… I also adore “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo which inspired the uplifting musical.

Who are my favourite writers?

They are more or less well-known, but two of them stand out as particularly inspiring. The American science fiction writer Fredric Brown, whose short stories are pure jewellery, and French children’s author Henriette Bichonnier, whose books never fail to make me cry with laughter.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Er… “I will survive”?

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Daenerys Targaryan from “Game of Thrones”. She is both clever and beautiful. And after having crossed dreadful moments, she struggles to live the life she wants / deserves.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Teachers who really love their job, who increase students’ neural connections, and lead people on the path of intelligence and culture.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Big Fish” by Tim Burton, because the character of the father absolutely « invented his life » through stories.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Being a children’s author, my stories are almost always illustrated. Some pictures are so breathtaking that I wish I could get and frame the originals…

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My daughter, for sure.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019?

I have just started working for the radio, and I would be delighted to continue the adventure.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2019?

Too bad it’s too late to have a chat with Roald Dahl… His characters, who are both strong and endearing, teach young readers to take control of their lives.

What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on?

I started working on a musical a few years ago, and I wish I could find time to finish it.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019?

You can meet me in several literature festivals, mostly in France, and you can find my books in bookshops!

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I would like to add: “… as long as you feed it!”

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Anne-Sophie Dreyfus (publisher)

Thérèse Bonté (drawer)

Mary of Lovers (artist)

You can contact me here:

Where to find my books:

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