Monique Marie Thébeau
Categories: Female Authors - Anglophone Authors - Francophone Authors - Novelists - Southeast
Source: Author / auteure
I was born and raised in Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick, in the 1950s – the youngest of nine children. After graduating from high school, I earned a two-year "medical stenographer" diploma and worked as a secretary for several years. But, being someone who thrives on challenges with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, I quit my job, enrolled at the Université de Moncton and came out four years later with a Translation degree. Although I have written thousands of pages as a translator over the years, I always craved the imaginative part of writing. I find it both pleasurable and therapeutic.
When I look back at my journals, I find poems, an autobiography and short stories, in either English or French, written longhand and never published. My book, In the Dark of Winter, however, was different. I wanted to get it out to market and check it off my bucket list. As it turns out, this book was the biggest challenge of my life. While taking on a life of its own at 63,000 words, it has had the uncanny power to teach me about character development, settings, criminology, police investigations, the justice system and my understanding of the English language.
How has New Brunswick influenced your work?
Since I grew up in New Brunswick and have lived here all of my life, all of it has influenced me in some way.
I've learned from my Acadian ancestors that this land is still worth fighting for and that its rich soil nourishes our souls.
I've also learned to appreciate every bird that comes to life in the spring and those that stay behind and bless us with their presence in the winter. What better view that to write from the shores of our beaches, from the footpaths in our forests and from the comfort of our houses surrounded by amazing sunrises and sunsets. It is a place where I want to grow old. [I want to] continue writing in the palm of its hand, allowing my pen to listen to nature in this beautiful province.
What is your favourite New Brunswick book, and why?
La Sagouine by Antonine Maillet. This book was part of my high school French class curriculum and I realized, for the first time, the real beauty of writing. The story is about an Acadian cleaning lady and a former prostitute from rural New Brunswick. This collection of monologues, written in Acadian French, has been my favourite after all of these years. After reading this book, I recognized Antonine as a great entertainer. I remember putting pen to paper as I read her books, dreaming one day that I could too fulfill my dream as a writer.
What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?
Publishing my first mystery novel, In the Dark of Winter, has been the highlight of my creative writing career. Now that I am retired, I can devote more time to my favourite pastime.
Souvenances, accoutumances et croyances
Cet ouvrage retrace le parcours de traditions et de croyances populaires entourant le village de Saint-Louis-de-Kent sur une période de temps ; un temps qui a transmis des rites et des coutumes de génération en génération. Saint-Louis-de-Kent ou simplement Saint-Louis, situé au sud-est du N.-B, se révèle sous une toile peinte de traditions quasi oubliées.