Ten years ago I decided to finally begin writing, a project that had been looming in the back of my mind for years. I thus began an essay on the administration and organization of the Montréal region a subject close to my heart. (See my biography.) I quickly became bored with the project and decided to write a novel with Montréal politics in the background. I submitted a first manuscript to my editor and the project became a series of three books all with the same main character Maxime Beaubien who had received an inheritance from his uncle conditional on him working to find solutions to improve the administration of the Montréal region.
Beaubien began by creating a think tank with the objective of influencing the population and politicians to possible changes in the administration. At the end of this first book, Le Testament d’Eusèbe Maxime Beaubien comes to the conclusion that a more direct approach is required: he decides to run for mayor of Montréal. The second book, Le Candidat, describes the ups and down of his political campaign to become mayor. The third book, Illusion de pouvoir, places Maxime Beaubien, the new mayor of Montréal, in the middle of a power struggle between the Montréal region and the Québec government. Illusion de pouvoir will be published in English in the coming months under the title Illusion of Power, a translation by Judith Turcotte.
The writing of these 3 novels took me close to 10 years and, with the publishing of Illusion de pouvoir, I was looking forward to writing a novel away from the political arena but the Parti Québécois made the headlines with the debate over a Québec Charter of values. I travel to Ontario on a regular basis and it became obvious to me that the debate had generated a flow of Québec Bashing rarely experienced in recent years. In line with the new phenomenon of fake news, I was surprised by the number of false assertions and accusations of racism that could be found in the English media and social networks. Once again, just like during the debates that took place during the referendums it became obvious to me that my Fellows Canadians did not understand Quebeckers. I came to the conclusion that a novel that would present the point of view of the individuals that support independence might be a great project.
The novel FFQ for Québec attempts to provide this point of view.