The tea kettle hisses in the Dragon’s kitchen and a scaly claw reaches for the pot. Dragon sized trays are laden with delicious treasures and cups far too small and delicate for dragon form are set out in preparation. Soon it will be tea time and I am expecting a
With a loud roar I am pleased to announce my
mouth watering guest Francis Guenette, author of The Light Never Lies.
Tea is ready and the Dragon has many questions–
1.Dragon: How did you choose the title for “The Light Never Lies?”
Francis–The title came fairly early in the writing process. I’m not sure how this titling thing works for other authors, but I like to have it squarely in place before too many words are down on paper. The title acts as a compass – keeping me on track. The whole tone of this second book in the Crater Lake Series was meant to be light – not necessarily light subject matter but aspects of light, the play of light, the ability to see light in a certain way. Two new characters particularly embody the light – a man on the outer edge of his time who has devoted his life to the way light plays a vital role in photography and a young boy who has an innate ability to see light in a special way, gaining insights into the people around him.
The dragon pauses a moment to consider light in a world of darkness.
2.Dragon–This is an immediate continuation of the story line from “Disappearing in Plain Sight.” What was the driving force that made you want to continue the story?
Francis–When I started Disappearing in Plain Sight, I had no idea the book would end up being the first in a series. Somewhere between the final draft and the editing for final submission process, I realized I wasn’t done with the characters or their storylines. I’d get to the end of a bout of editing and questions would come to mind – what if this or that happens next? I was sure Lisa-Marie wasn’t finished with her feelings for Justin, that there had to be some aftermath of a near death experience for Bethany, and it didn’t seem enough to say Liam and Izzy were now going to live happily ever after.
3.Dragon–Explain for us what in your opinion makes a single read into a series. I find it difficult to discuss the plot of book 2 without divulging too much of the story line. Let me just ask how you determined where story 1 ended and 2 began? Will there be a book 3?
Francis–Since Disappearing in Plain Sight had come to its natural conclusion before I decided on the sequel, that was an easy choice. I think the story determines the ending – not some sense of being part of a series. One thing I wanted to accomplish in The Light Never Lies was a book that is clearly a continuation but can also stand on its own. One reviewer, who hadn’t read Disappearing in Plain Sight, has said I succeeded. There is definitely a book three in the works. The title will be Chasing Down the Night and will pick up again with the same characters (and of course a few new ones – because what would be the fun of same old, same old?) a year later. Since Liam struggles along in The Light Never Lies the next book will find Izzy getting shook-up a bit. There will also be an expanded role for Robbie and a bit more on the wildlife scene.
For just a moment the Dragon lick his lips and considered tasty wildlife…
4.Dragon–Crater Lake gives us a vivid back drop for all of the interactions. What made you pick this location aside from it being your home? Tell us something about how this connects you personally to the story plots.
Francis–Write what you know – right? It’s enough work dealing with all the characters I’ve made up without having to create their world as well. I have nothing but admiration for you authors who manage to create whole new worlds. I am deeply influenced by living where I live and I suppose it only makes sense that the location will seep into my writing. I also find much fascination in the realities of rural life, the unique personalities and stories that seem to be everywhere when one peers down the rural well.
5.Dragin–By the time I finished the book, I felt like I knew the characters intimately. Do you draw from people you have known in your life?
Francis–Not from particular people, but definitely from types of people. Any one character is a healthy dose of me plus a rounding out of a conglomerate of others. Like a collage, really – bits and pieces of one thing covering another. A little mannerism or scrap of conversation can become a whole personality with a bit of imagination and coaxing on my part. A character’s physical appearance may be about one person I’ve known, while the personality is someone else and the background is someone else again.
6.Dragon–You’ve made a journey to being a self-published author. If you could give us some advice about the trip, what would it be?
Francis–Doing most of the self-publishing work on your own can seem daunting at the outset, but it is far preferable to paying a big chunk of money to an assisted self-publisher who will basically leave all the really hard stuff to you anyway. Keep control of the process – that means owning your own ISBN numbers, creating your own accounts to load books up to Amazon or other sources. Scour your local network of people to see who you can bring on board to help with various parts of the process. My son is a talented graphics guy in his spare time – I got him to design my imprint logo. My husband is a wonderful photographer (http://throughtheluminarylens.wordpress.com) and picky enough over details to be an excellent cover designer. He did my cover for The Light Never Lies and has recently finished up the cover for a novel entitled, The Good Luck Highway by Mark Anderson. (http://cortlandwriter.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/the-good-luck-highway-cover-ready-to-go/ ) I made myself learn how to format for the Createspace softcover edition of my book. The one thing I didn’t tackle (yet – maybe next time) was the e-book formatting. I checked out a few places before I settled on Doug Heatherly over at Lighthouse24. (http://lighthouse24.com/index.shtml ) He did a great job for me and the price was reasonable.
My advice would be to keep production overhead down as much as possible and get prepared to stay in the promotion and marketing game for the long haul. Find a way to make the time this takes manageable because, from what I hear, things don’t really take off until you have four or five books out there. Writing the next book needs to be a top priority. And keep the purse strings tight on your social media promotion budget. There seem to be a million sites that will part you from your money and, at the end of the day, there may not be much to show in the way of sales.
The Dragon gives a plaintiff roar–sadly tea time is over and his guest has escaped!
(I will let her go…this time. I want to read her next book!!!)
Please have a look at the Light Never Lies. The Dragon says: YOU WILL NOT BE DISSAPPOINTED!
Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of their lakeshore cabin and garden. She has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher. The Light Never Lies is her second novel. Francis blogs over at http://disappearinginplainsight.com and maintains a Facebook author page. Please stop by and say hello.