Entrepreneurs - Portrait of a Kedge alumnus turned...
Hello Charles! To start off, tell us about your educational background. What did you do at KEDGE and before going to KEDGE?
I’m originally from Picardy. I took a prep class in Reims before going to KEDGE (at the time Euromed Marseille) in 2003. It was there that my first short story was published through the Black Marisho project, a collection of crime stories written by students at the school.
Tell us what you did after you finished your studies. What jobs have you had? How have you managed your time to write?
I was a full-time consultant in management from 2007 to 2017, working from Paris to Lyon. It was a time-consuming job, so it was necessary that I keep to a strict schedule to write and publish my first crime novel, "Ceux Qui Sont Restés", which came out in 2016. Borrowing from the style of crime novels, "Ceux Qui Sont Restés" denounces the economic and social abandonment of the small provinces. How many times have we seen our childhood towns become ghost ghettos over the years?
You’ve just published your second novel, "La Censure aux Trousses".
I’m currently a substitute teacher at Emlyon Business School, but I essentially have kept my writing habits, which is someone difficult because it’s a matter of time-management. I am particularly proud of publishing "La Censure aux Trousses", a humorous crime novel based on a real debate about society at the beginning of the 70s, when porn films arrived in France. It would seem crazy today, but at the time, porn films were shown in “normal” movie theatres, and journalists published their critiques in the newspapers! Because the phenomenon had become too widespread, a law classifying the films as X rated was implemented at the end of 1975, not without upsetting the ardent defenders of freedom of expression! I found it fun to write about this time when people were unsure of the correct direction to take.
Set in 1976, “La Censure aux Trousses” is the delightful tale about two women - one a member of the commission of censorship and the other a director of erotic films - forced to work together with the goal of unmasking a cultural terrorist who forces pornography in all the public cinemas. It’s purely a diversion for the summer. There’s no vulgarity, and it has lots of plot twists and humour - clearly what I adore writing. Outside of its entertainment value, the novel leads us, through an echo of the past, to reflect on the current state of freedom of expression, for example, on social networking websites.
I often quote Jean- François Théry, former President of the Commission of Film Classification: “Aren’t those who strongly demand censorship for others really just asking for the power to impose their own values on others, to be sure that they are on the right path? In short, aren't they just asking the State to protect them from the pain of living shifting the form of a model the idea he has of himself?" Drawing the line between imposing a ban in order protect collective values and imposing a ban to satisfy the discomfort of individuals, is not an easy task.
Do you have any upcoming projects, whether as a writer or a teacher?
I currently plan to professionalise in higher education, including writing a thesis on management. I have also been working for several years on a novel about the working world. My main thing I’m finding difficult is finding the balance between criticism and entertainment. How to create suspense with an Excel spreadsheet, that's my challenge!
How did your education at KEDGE Business School help you as an author?
The education I received at KEDGE was definitely beneficial in terms of method and rigueur. I think I now know how to write text that is more effective, while keeping my militant prose of an adolescent.
Anything to add? A message to pass along?
I invite aspiring authors, as well as established ones, to contact me to discuss good practices, and because writers should not remain isolated!
I hope my co-graduates from Kedge will enjoy "La Censure aux Trousses", If you liked the book, please don't hesitate to talk about it and leave a comment on the site where you bought it. It's the best form of advertisement! Additionally, "Ceux Qui Sont Restés" is still on sale. You can order either through Amazon or your local bookseller!
Where can you buy Charles's novel?
The novel is available in digital format from Amazon, Kobo, FNAC, iBooks store, and all major merchant sites. Search for "La Censure aux Trousses" and you'll find it right away. But if you want to support the small publishing platform that markets it to the base, please download it from Librinova, which also sells a very nice paper version.
The book will be available in bookstores early July.
“June 1976.Who is Xylos, this strange criminal who terrorises the population by inserting pornographic scenes in movies being shown in public theatres? Two women, exact opposites – one a member of the censorship commission and the other a director of pornographic files - are forced to combine their forces to unmask him. For them, the most difficult part is neither the handling of the case, nor is it the chase itself, but is finding a common ground. Meanwhile, the traps that Xylos has laid in their path brings them ever closer together…
By borrowing the style of the crime novels “La Censure aux Trousses” offers a light and sunny cocktail of the soft perfume of the 70s, full of plot twists and humour, and embellished with hint of sensuality. A delightful read!”