Friday, 30 March 2012

The One-Link Lowdown on...H.M. Prévost

My guest today is YA writer H.M. Prévost. A teacher and photographer as well as writer, Helene worked for many years in the United Arab Emirates, which provided an exotic setting for her debut YA thriller, Desert Fire, published by Muse It Up Publishing. She joins us today all the way from her home in Quebec. Welcome, Helene!

Let's quick off with a question that always gets people talking! What’s the worst job you've ever had?

I worked at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. That’s right. It was the kind of job where you walked in at 8 am, looked at the clock and said to yourself: “Okay, only 8 more hours until I can go home.” I edited brochures about how to get rid of cockroaches, ants, termites, etc.. If a nasty little creature was infesting your home, I could tell you how to get rid of it! I was so glad when I found another job.

I bet you were! *shudder!* Let's get to something far nicer - tell me about the best job you've ever had.

My current job. I teach college level English. After teaching high school, this is unbelievably better. It’s heaven. Students actually listen when you speak. They don’t talk back. You’re not constantly meting out discipline. The hours are great too. And there’s no break duty! So I no longer have to worry about getting hit by a soccer ball when I’m supervising kids out at lunch time!

Tell us three surprising things about yourself, one of which is a fib - and we'll try to guess the fib!

I went swimming in the Dead Sea (but swimming isn’t really a good word, because your legs rise up out of the water and you just float)

I went on my first skydive last year, which wasn’t an easy feat. I have always been leery of heights, but this was to help me get over my fear. It didn’t work. Heights still bother me. But I’m glad I challenged myself and actually went through with it.

I took pole dancing lessons and got all the way to Level 3. I could hang upside down with only my calves gripping the pole. And I could keep up with all the 19-year-olds in class, even though I was twice their age.

Hmm...I'm wondering just what the fib could be! While I ponder, tell me what’s on your bedside table?

I don’t have a bedside table. I finished painting a mural on my ceiling (a sky, clouds, birds) and right now I’m sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Furniture should be coming in a little while.

What your favourite sandwich, and where in the world is the best place to eat it?

I would have a chicken and mushroom quiche (does that count as a sandwich?) at a Starbucks in Abu Dhabi. They play great music and have those huge comfortable chairs to sit in. I bring my laptop with me and get a few hours of writing done.

I'll let you count that, it sounds like heaven. Helene, which household chore would you happily give up for ever?

I would give up ALL household chores. I had a live-in maid for many, many years. I am hopelessly spoiled. My household duties are sorely neglected every single week. (But if I really have to keep a chore or two, it would be laundry. Just toss it in and leave it until it’s done.) Now that’s my kind of household chore.

I have every sympathy - I couldn't choose just one chore to give up either! Okay, chores done, it's on to leisure time. Who would you invite to your ultimate fantasy dinner party?

A vampire, a werewolf, a dominatrix (please don’t ask me for details about that last one, okay?)

Fair enough! What drives you seriously nuts?

Students who ask me: Did we do anything important when I was absent last week? (Answer: No, we NEVER do anything important when you’re not here.)

You're given a time travel machine - where would you go, and why?

Straight to medieval or Victorian England. I want to see castles and queens and those outrageous dresses women wore. I would like to see Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth come to life, in other words.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I were a faster writer, able to produce thousands of words per day, instead of around 1,000 (and that’s on a good day).

Hey, 1,000 words a day is 1,000 more than you had yesterday - you're doing great! Helene, thank you for visiting today. I've really enjoyed meeting you and getting to know you. It's time to reveal your fib, which is that you've never gone skydiving - ah, but maybe one day! Friends, if you'd like to know more about Helene, you can follow her One-Link to her website, which I must tell you is really fantastic.

Wishing you all the best with Desert Fire, and all your future stories!


  1. Great interview, Jane and Helene.

    I'd love to do skydiving, but I doubt I could make myself jump out of the plane. A tandem jump might work, with my partner pushing me out. ;-)


  2. Hi Edith! I'd have to be 'persuaded' too. I can quite see why it's Helene's fib!

    Thanks for coming over, it's good to see you. :)

    Jane x

  3. Skydiving is on my list of never-to-do things. ;-) I wouldn't mind an interesting dip in the Red Sea, though.

    Fun interview!