Murielle Cyr lives in Quebec, Canada, with her family, which includes a frisky yellow Labrador and a Tortoiseshell cat with an attitude. Teaching grade school for many years inspired her to write for children, although she also wrote adult fiction at the same time. She writes in different genres including short stories and poetry for adult readers, as well as stories for middle-grade and young adults. Her recent publications include Culloo, a middle grade novella published in 2012; Turtle Wish, a picture book for young readers which came out in 2013; and Catori’s Worlds, a science fiction novel for young adults released in 2014. She is presently working on the second novel in the Catori’s Worlds series, as well as a historical novel about life in pre-WW2 Quebec. For more info, visit her website, blog, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
If you could have a remote control for anything, what would you choose?
A remote that takes care of all the house cleaning.
What one thing annoys you most at a restaurant?
Tables placed so close to each other that you get elbowed by the other customers at the next table.
What food do you not eat enough of?
Raw meat or fish.
If you were any animal, what would you be?
A crow—they are so majestic and intelligent.
If you could change one thing about airlines to make your flight more enjoyable, what would it be?
More legroom and wider seats.
How would a dictionary define your writing process?
Slow and unsure of herself.
What irritates you the most in a social situation?
Artificial small talk.
What word describes the outfit you’re wearing right now?
Ready for bed.
If you opened the freezer right now, what would you love to find?
A carton of caramel ice cream.
What is a lie your mom told you when you were little?
That newborns were found under cabbage leaves.
How do you know when a book is finished?
It feels like the main character doesn’t want to go any further. An emotional or psychological level has been reached where the character needs to rest before continuing any further.
When did you know for certain that you wanted to pursue a career in writing? Have you ever questioned that decision?
I’ve known since grade school that I was going to write. Writing though isn’t always about sitting down to put words on paper—there’s the thinking, wondering, imagining, and dodging life’s obstacles that goes on before you actually put on your writer’s cap. I’ve never regretted it because it’s an integral part of me—almost like having an extra room attached to your heart.
Do you ever feel that you have to censor your creativity because you don’t want to offend anyone?
No, I don’t think creativity can be censored. If you channel it towards living up to other people’s expectations, then creativity ceases to exist.
What are your words of wisdom for someone starting out in the field of writing?
I think you have to be a good listener and observer before starting to write. You also have to live the pain and fear before trying to find the words to describe it. Don’t invent a vision—have one. Don’t be in a hurry to publish your work—let it stew for a while before going back to it.
Why were you drawn to a career in writing instead of to a job that might offer more stability and security?
I taught grade school for many years but I still found time to write. I never considered writing to be a career, but rather a way to express myself.
What obstacles have you had to deal with in your career?
I think my biggest obstacle is finding the right balance between writing and carrying on with the daily activities. There’s so many things you have to do, see and feel before you have enough material to write about?
How did you pick your writing genre?
I write in different genres. My short stories and poems are more or less adult fiction, but I’ve also written picture books for toddlers and stories for middle school children. My latest novel is a science fiction story for young adults. I try to choose the most appropriate genre for my target readers.