The Perils of Pauline
As a wife and mother with a military upbringing, debut author Collette Yvonne gracefully weaves in her own experiences and observations on the page, and be prepared to laugh yourself silly.
Pauline Parril is a survival expert.
For ex-army veteran Pauline Parril, life marches along in orderly formation now that she is happily married, raising three children, and ascending a promising career ladder. But the handles of her safe and comfortable world soon turn upside down when a termination letter lands on her lap and her once-loving husband Donald grows suspiciously distant. Complications further arise when Pauline returns to school and meets Michael Fortune—the handsome and exciting poetry professor who threatens to get out of hand.
Pauline once endured a long deployment to a war-torn country halfway around the world, but can she survive the front lines of her fraying household? Find out how she does it in The Perils of Pauline, an uproarious tale à la Bridget Jones of an intrepid every-woman stepping through the challenges of rebuilding her life while learning that there’s actually more to discover about herself than she ever dreamed possible.
Interview with Collette Yvonne
Author Bio: Collette Yvonne is a writer, community volunteer, yoga teacher, and freelance journalist. Since graduating with honors from York University’s Creative Writing program, her short stories, reviews, articles, and interviews have appeared in numerous publications ranging from fictional anthologies to national newspapers. Collette lives in Ontario where she is working on perfecting her downward dog and corpse pose, and writing her next book.
1. Would you like to start by introducing yourself?
Hi and thanks for having me. My name is Collette Yvonne and I like to write cheeky women’s fiction. I live near Toronto with my husband. We have a daughter and two sons and a fabulous Golden Beagle named Marley (Mom is a Border Collie and Dad is a Beagle, Marley looks like a small Golden Retriever. I think Mom had an extra date night.) I teach yoga part time and I like to volunteer whenever I can. Most recently, I was involved with the Ontario Writer’s Conference.
2. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
The Perils of Pauline is about an everyday woman juggling a chaotic household, demanding career and fraying marriage. When she suddenly loses her job, Pauline decides to return to school where she is sorely tempted to leap into the arms of her handsome poetry professor. Her story, full of misadventures, is told with plenty of wit and humor.
I have always loved the old film serials that featured the strong heroine who has to figure out what to do next while facing villains or dangling off a tree branch over a cliff. The Perils of Pauline is inspired by the adventures and misadventures of those smart, strong and resourceful women of the bygone silver screens.
3. What other novels have you published and what are you working on at the moment?
The Perils of Pauline is my second novel. Previously I wrote a novel called The Queen of Cups. I am currently working on More Perils of Pauline.
4. What’s your favorite quality about your heroine Pauline?
Pauline is courageous and resourceful. She is an army veteran who has faced down her fears. She is a risk-taker who will fight to the finish for her friends and family. She also has a quirky fun-loving attitude.
5. Did you always want to be a writer and what would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
I’m attracted to the creative arts. I weren’t an author I would probably be a photographer or visual artist.
6. Do you have any tips for emerging authors?
Use a computer and keyboard rather than paper and pen. You can’t stab yourself with your keyboard.
7. Being a writer is a great job but what’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked in a factory for a week sewing zippers in men’s bathing suits. I decided to stay in school after that.
8. What inspired you to start writing and what continues to inspire you?
I’ve always loved to read and always admired authors who could spin a great tale. A good story well told is magic. I believe everyone has a good story to tell. The trick is to tell it well enough to create a shared understanding and making a bond with the reader. This is the main goal of the writer. There is joy in forging a connection with someone else; seeing their eyes light up, eliciting their laughter and tears, hearing them say, “I know, I’ve felt that way too.”
9. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
When I was little I had an autograph book. I went around my family asking for their autographs. My grandfather wrote, “Never Explain, Never Complain.” Not to be outdone, my grandmother jotted down a Shakespeare quote: “To Thine own self be true; Thou canst not then be false to any man.” My other grandmother followed up with: “Rosewood coffin/Vain regrets/Happens often/Cigarettes!”
10. Is there one book that stands out in your mind that you wish you’d written?
The hilarious and witty Bad Housekeeping by Sue Limb.
11. What are the things you can’t live without in your kitchen?
I love gadgets and wouldn’t part with any of them. You name it, I either have it or want it!
12. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
If you can find anything in my handbag, please let me know. I’ve been looking for my pillarbox red lipstick since 2012.
13. Do you have any pet peeves?
Nope. At least, not since I gained full and exclusive control of the ensuite bathroom.
14. A few of your favorites…
Favorite scent? Lavender
Favorite color? Morning Glory Blue
Favorite food? The Chocolate Fountain
Favorite book? Impossible to name just one. J.R.R. Tolkien, Alice Munro, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Douglas Adams are all-time favourite authors of mine. I have read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss to my kids many times and never grew tired of it.
Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere that’s a new destination to me.
Favorite article of clothing? I can never resist a cute jacket.
Favorite drink of choice? Lately, the Caipirinha.
15. Either or…
Dogs or cats? My dog Marley is the most adorable dog on the planet.
Red wine or white? Sure. Just not mixed together in the same glass please.
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.
Summer or Winter? That’s like asking if I would I rather be hogtied under a heat lamp or locked in a deep freeze. I can just never decide.
Sleep in or get up early? The snooze button was invented for me and my kind.
Apple or PC? I broke up with my PC in 2009.