The Heroine’s Journey of Bénédicte Flye Sainte Marie

What is the best thing about my job? The fact that it feeds my curiosity. It leads me to constantly discover new things and expand my horizons. My work allows me to go to bed less stupid than I woke up!

What is my idea of happiness? Precisely, this diversity of interests, of interlocutors, of themes on which I write, added to a personal stability, to the certainty that those I love more than anything else love me in return. It is not an excessive ambition but it is what it takes to be happy and what I have today.

What is my biggest fear? It is not very original but it is obviously that my children might suffer. Besides that, I am terrified of boredom, inertia, which explains my hyperactivity. I am fearing having to conform to a model, in the professional field or otherwise, which would not correspond to me. But I am lucky that this is not the case.

What is the trait that I deplore most in myself? A certain kind of fragility, a constant doubt and a sensitivity to criticism that prevents me from being able to fully savor the moment or to be fully proud of what I do. Even in the happiest times, I always dread the grain of sand that will come and disrupt the machine. And I always find it!

Which living people in my profession do I admire the most? I admire the work of the French journalist and author Laure Adler. Indeed, she cultivates an appetite for reading, meeting people, and reflection that I mentioned earlier. And she is not locked into certainties nor is egocentric, unlike some of our colleagues. Outside on my job, another woman that I admire for her advocacy, dynamism and simplicity is Ghada Hatem-Gantzer, a gynecologist and founder of the Houses for Women, centers for victims of sexual violence and mutilation.

What is my greatest extravagance? I am going to disappoint you but I think I am a pretty reasonable person! Perhaps my unreasonable taste for a famous Swiss brand of chocolate and my propensity to wear colors that impress the retina.

When would I lie? Mainly, to avoid hurting people. And sometimes, I confess, to preserve myself. But according to my loved ones, I am not very good at it…

When and where have I been happiest in my work? The workplace where I am most fulfilled is at my home. I am allergic to traditional corporate life and even more to open spaces !

If I could, what would I change about myself? Nothing, because I think it is braver to deal with what you have than to try becoming someone different. Maybe I would ask to be less emotional because I know that I am sometimes tiring for those around me !

What is my greatest professional success? I do not like the notion of success. Due to my experience in working for the TV news press, I witness a certain number of personalities, supposedly “at the top”, who do not seem fulfilled at all. Also, it is a rather pretentious term : I prefer to talk about fulfillment or evolution.

Where would I most like to live? I love where I am currently living. What is the most important for me is having a maximum of calm : I have the sleep of the princess on the pea ! But maybe with the climate change, given that I do not appreciate high temperatures, I will be obligated to move to Iceland or the North Pole.

What is my most precious possession? I do not have a particular attachment to material possessions. Except perhaps to my computer where the embryos of my future books lie dormant. Apart from that, the affection and support of my closest friends.

What is my most distinctive feature? My red hair? And my stubbornness : I do not like not to finish a project I’ve started. Je suis née au son du violon, the biography of the violinist Camille Urso, that I am releasing today, took two and a half years to see the light of day. I am particularly thrilled and relieved that it is finally here.

What is my most inspiring place in my city? My cocoon. And also near my home, in Paris, I am a big fan of the theaters in the Montparnasse district. More precisely, I love the Lucernaire theater, where I got to see excellent plays, such as a very moving adaptation of L’écume des jours.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink in my city? La Girafe, run in Vanves by the talented actor François Feroleto. He organizes storytelling sessions for children, cafés for caregivers and solidarity dinners, where everyone pays according to their means.

Which books have influenced my life and how? It is rather reading itself that has given a different color to my life than any particular book. Reading has been for me the remedy to everything. If I had to name one title, I would say the When Nietzsche wept, by Irvin Yalom : it left me with many questions I would never have imagined beforehand. Novecento, the Pianist by Alessandro Baricco and recently Des Diables et des Saints by Jean-Baptiste André have also moved me.

What music would I listen to on my last day? Bohemian Rhapsody, so that my farewell would not be too grim, and Albinoni’s Adagio to add a little solemnity to the moment.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? It is hard to choose just one ! In fact, I think that I am more attached to following writers in their work than characters in their sagas! One who touched me deeply was Momo from La Vie devant soi by Romain Gary. And I recently, Champion, by Maria Pourchet, whose main character seems to me to be the worthy heir of Momo. In the movies, I would lean towards the fabulous Thelma and Louise.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My friends, who are my bulletproof vest against all the dirt of life and all the members of my little family, especially my son and daughter, who are both intelligent and generous. My profession also allows me to interact with artists like Isabelle Nanty and Nicolas Marié, who are as delightful in conversation as they are on screen.

Which film would I recommend seeing once in a lifetime?

Xavier Giannoli’s beautiful and heartbreaking Lost Illusions and Albert Dupontel’s virtuoso Au revoir- haut.

What role do stories play in my life and my work? They are my fuel. It is often when hearing, reading or seeing something that my book projects and articles begin. I discovered Camille Urso, the heroine of Je suis née au son violon, my fourth book in a biography, Gabriële, written by Anne and Claire Berest. They mentioned her in a few lines; that was enough to make me want to find out more about her.

What do the words “You are the storyteller of your own life” tell me? Not much! I do think that by cultivating desire, energy, perseverance, we can make our existences richer, more beautiful, and more exciting.

Who is my biggest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My best friend, Hélène, who embraces all my ideas, even when they seem crazy. As she finds them all good, I consider them valid and I allow myself to move forward. And one of my others friends, Amandine, whose invariably positive outlook carries me along.

What people or companies would I like to work with? In the literary or bookish press, so that my passion can join my job, and in the feminist press, to enrich my reflection and knowledge on the subjects it encompasses.

Where can you see me or my work? My book, Je suis née au son du violon, is published this month by Editions Infimes. It is the biography of Camille Urso, an artist born in 1840, who struggled to play the violin at a time when it was supposed to be a man’s instrument. She was also one of the first women violinists to enter the Paris Conservatory. She had an extraordinary career in the United States and in other countries of the world such as Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada and France.

Moreover, she had feminist commitments : Camille Urso notably protested against the 19th century orchestra’s hiring system, excluding women from being part of the industry. And besides that, I write for many magazines.

What do the words “Passion never goes away” mean to me? That the flame must remain. Through love, affection or work, we can all have that little something, that is allowing us be happy to get up in the morning.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story? The extraordinary writer and poet Olivier Liron, the polyvalent Amandine Gombault, the authors and chroniclers of l’air de temps Camille Anseaume and Caroline Michel. Also, the actress Alexandrine Serre, whom I recently saw in Les couleurs de l’air.

How can you contact me?

On Facebook, Instagram et LinkedIN

Amazon link of Je suis née au son du violon

Amazon links of my other books

Le pouvoir de l’apparence

PMA, le grand débat

Les 7 péchés capitaux des réseaux sociaux

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s