Friday, April 26, 2013

Talk to the Hat: Claude Bouchard

JD   Today’s guest visiting me in Dubai is Claude Bouchard, author of the best-selling ‘Vigilante’ series. Welcome, Claude, or should I say, “Bienvenue”?

CB   Why am I suspended over a shark tank? 

JD   We are at the famous Dubai Mall, the biggest shopping centre on the planet. While we were here I figured you’d like to see the amazing aquarium. Huge, isn’t it?

CB   It is. But that doesn’t explain why I’m suspended over it.

JD   It’s insurance. If you get boring or cheeky I press the button and you’re shark meat.

CB   And where’s that creature of yours? What’s his name? Digby?

JD   Digby’s on vacation in New York with his Auntie Kerriann, so it’s just you and me.

CB  Yeah, and about a thousand onlookers.

JD   Oh, stop moaning. Now, according to my notes, you’re Canadian. Why on earth were you born in Canada? Do you have no imagination?

CB   Things were a little iffy in the U.S.S.R., Vietnam, Cuba, Angola and Portugal, to name a few, when I was born so I tended to stay away from such places. The fact that my parents, particularly my mother, were in Canada also played a role in determining my place of birth. Anyhow, from what I’ve learned, you’re a fine one to talk. A man your age who can’t decide where the hell he wants to live and traipsing from one continent to the next like a damned gypsy. Are you on the run or what? Last thing, about that imagination question you had. Bite me.

JD   I have no intention of biting you, but there are one or two fishy friends below who probably wouldn’t mind having a go. Hmmn. Canadian … That’s practically French, right? Do you eat garlic?

CB   I am NOT practically French. I’m Canadian and proud of it.

JD   Proud? Are you serious? Go on then: tell me five good things about Canada. OK, look, maybe that's a bit difficult. Just tell me three.

CB   Ha! I’ll tell you ten though I’ll bill you for the extras.

1 – Canada invented basketball, giving tall people a purpose in life.
2 – Canada has loonies, toonies but no damned pesky pennies.
3 – Nobody can say “eh” like Canadians can.
4 – Canadian winters give everyone ample opportunity to wear their coats and boots.
5 – Maple syrup.
6 – Igloos.
7 – Dogsleds.
8 – Beavers.
9 – Caribou.
10 – Poutine.

JD   Pathetic. I think I almost wish you were French. OK, let’s talk about your scribblings before you start singing the Canadian National Anthem or something. What made you want to write the ‘Vigilante’ series instead of, say, erotica? There's probably more money in erotica, right?

CB   My initial intention was in fact to write erotica but every time I’d sit down to get some writing done, I’d start to giggle and blush. I eventually got over that but then ran into a wall when I realized the complexity involved in developing stories in this literary genre. I mean, the list of plot possibilities is endless and only gets more difficult to manage once you throw in potential settings. For example, should the story unfold in a bedroom, bathroom, garage, supermarket, beach, tree-house, boat, hammock, trampoline or while free-fall skydiving? Already mind-boggling, add available character choices (policeman, hairdresser, pool-boy, schoolteacher, ranch-hand, housewife, etc.) and it’s enough to make you dizzy.

However, I must confess I took the effortless route and went with the much simpler crime/mystery genre; some good guys, some bad guys, a couple of smoke and mirror tricks and the common but handy red herring and voilà, an easy thriller!

JD   Has the success of the series surprised you?

CB   Yes and no. No because when I set out to make my books available to the world, I was confident that they were good enough to entertain the majority of those who would read them and determined enough to get them out to those readers. Yes because it’s happening and that leaves me with a surreal feeling when I consider there are literally hundreds of thousands of copies of my works out there. It’s a fickle world and business so one never knows when all can abruptly end.

JD   Tell me about your latest book 'Femme Fatale'. And be quick about it. I want a beer.

CB   ‘Femme Fatale’ is my eighth novel and the seventh installment of the ‘Vigilante’ series. Two novels earlier in ‘6 Hours 42 Minutes’, Leslie Robb made her first appearance. At the time, my impression was that hers was a minor role, limited to that particular story. Hell, I didn’t even know if she’d make it out of that bank heist/hostage-taking fiasco alive. As it turned out, there was a lot more to this feisty, redheaded lesbian accountant than just good looks and she ended up guaranteeing herself a main spot in the following book as a new member of the government’s clandestine Discreet Activities team. As if that wasn’t enough, she then snagged the central role in ‘Femme Fatale’ where she flies to Paris to vacation with her new girlfriend, Dominique. The problem is, within twenty-four hours of Leslie’s arrival, Dominique and her younger sister disappear, turning Leslie’s vacation into a business trip of justice and revenge.

JD   You do internet marketing of your books, yeah?

CB   Yeah.

JD    How much time do you spend per week on Twitter and other social networks? Perhaps I should say anti-social networks.

CB   That’s a difficult question to answer as I’ve never actually monitored the time. My computer is on with open tabs on Twitter and Facebook ten to twelve hours per day but I’m not locked onto those pages. I’m also writing, editing, researching, blogging, corresponding, responding to interviews, maintaining my website, etc. Twitter remains my main channel to connect with readers, other writers and people in general where I have a following of over 363K as I write these lines so I do spend a fair amount of time there. It is, after all, part of my business activities. Best guesstimate? Twenty hours per week. As for your anti-social reference, that’s not an issue with me. Perhaps a reflection of your personality, John?

JD   That’s it. I’ve heard enough.

(JD hits the button and CB is dropped into the shark tank)

LITTLE BOY, POINTING   Mummy, there’s a man swimming with the sharks.

JD   Nope, doesn’t look like they’re going to eat him. Must be all that damn garlic.

‘Femme Fatale’ – along with all of Claude’s ‘Vigilante’ books – is available on Amazon.

You can learn more about Claude by connecting with him on Twitter @ceebee308 or by dropping by his website or by visiting his Amazon Author Page.

Go on, check him out. He’s Canadian. We should all support the less fortunate.


  1. Thanks, John. You're a *cough* great host. By the way, I now understand your aversion to Canadians. It's because we don't allow you into our country. :)

  2. Actually, Claude you might not believe this but some of my best friends are Canadian.
    You're right. That's a complete lie. Obviously :-)
    But I WILL say Canada rates in my Top 200 Countries of the World!

  3. Wow, where to begin?

    As a born and bred garlic-eating French Canadian writer of erotica with a beaver, I feel appropriately insulted.

    Claude, you forgot to say Canadians also make the best comedians. Damn good thing we have a sense of humor.

    Mr. Dolan, you kill me.


    1. Now then, Ms Baylee, you of all people should know how much I love Canadians. Heck, I've even got two Alanis Morissette albums: now isn't that ironic? Don't you think?
      By the way, I didn't know you had a pet beaver. What do you feed it?

    2. Yes, Mr Dolan, I have a beaver. She's soft and sweet, but can be quite temperamental at times.

      As for what I feed her, she's vegetarian, but she doesn't mind chewing on wood every now and then. ;)


    3. Ah, this is what I love about interacting with writers - the highbrow conversations. ;)

  4. What a fun interview - and I want a beer, too!

    1. Fiona, you are most welcome any time you are passing. Can't say fairer than that, "eh"? :-)

    2. John should be good to buy you a beer, Fiona. He stole my wallet. :)

    3. Let's be clear. I liberated your wallet, Claude. And I don't think I've ever seen so many moths in one place before.

  5. No fair.. Claude didn't have to meet Digby.. (if you call having your brain implanted into a mongoose, a meeting) The biggest insult of all is that neither of you mentioned the great interview JD did with me.. shame on you two.. I'm horribly insulted.. (okay.. maybe just mildly perturbed (Did I write that exactly as you wanted me to John?)

    oh yea. I LIKE APPLES

    (Great interview Guys.. enjoyed it)

    Chas Wells

    1. Thanks, Chas. Nice to see they've let you out again. And in answer to your question ... yes you did :)

    2. Chas, I'm pleased to see you're consistent and whine just as well here as on Twitter. Have an apple. :)

  6. Still chuckling, and reeling. Is there a Pulitzer for most entertaining interview? Thanks guys!


    PS You made me want to buy the books—well done!

  7. Nice to see two of my buddies chatting nonchalantly. Good interview :-)

    1. Thanks, Shane. We're about as nonchalant as it gets. :-)

    2. Thank you, Shane. Indeed, only a fool would even think we're chalant. :)

  8. Must have been some site to see at the Dubai mall John or should I say my "Brother from another mother." Mr. Bouchard just to let you know I am aware of your concern for Digby and I assure you he won't be going back to John anytime soon. He is doing very well after several visits to the doctor for his chronic halitosis of the blow hole. My neighbors started to complain to the board about the amount of delivery trucks of air freshener that keep arriving for parking is always an issue here. We have narrowed down his diet extensively & have been able to remove the gas masks at bed time now. He is pretty efficient with the computer and a little obsessive compulsive even. I gave him my email to keep up to date & he is quite convinced that we are going to win the publishers clearing house Million 4 Life sweepstake. I have won already, he's too cute for words thanks for the little stinker.

  9. Kerriann, (or maybe I should say, "Sis") I think you're going to have to start your own blog soon :-)
    As for Digby, let me know if you need any spare parts. You probably noticed I removed the genitals before shipment because I wasn't sure what the US Customs Authorities would make of them. But if you think he needs them, let me know. Do NOT on any account feed him any meat. The last time I did there was a very unsavoury incident which I won't go into here.

    1. So now you tell me! You do know this pertinent bit of information would of been useful upon his resurrection and recovery period? The feeding tube was full of protein, God awful mess I had that week. Well better late than never I suppose.As far as the genitals go it seems to be having a calming effect he isn't as rambunctious as you portrayed him to be. Now who would ever thought that Lorena Bobbit & yourself would have something in common.?