Monday, October 28, 2013

One of a Kind Interview with Author @FrancisGuenette

Sixteen-year-old Lisa-Marie has been packed off to spend the summer with her aunt on the isolated shores of Crater Lake. She is drawn to Izzy Montgomery, a gifted trauma counsellor who is struggling through personal and professional challenges. Lisa-Marie also befriends Liam Collins, a man who goes quietly about his life trying to deal with his own secrets and guilt. The arrival of a summer renter for Izzy’s guest cabin is the catalyst for change amongst Crater Lake’s tight knit community. People are forced to grapple with the realities of grief and desire to discover that there are no easy choices – only shades of grey.

What was the inspiration for your book DISAPPEARING IN PLAIN SIGHT?

I have two main inspirations for most of my writing and Disappearing in Plain Sight is no exception – the beauty of the area where I live and the past experiences I have had working in a variety of helping and teaching settings. I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years. My writing is a way of making sense of all of that. 

What can readers expect when they open your book?  For example, what would you rate the book if it were a movie?

Tough question right out of the chute! I would say that readers can expect to be slowly but surely drawn into the life of a group of characters that they will find themselves caring passionately for. If my book were a movie, I would put it on my top ten list – then again, I may be bias.

I see that you have one book released so far. When can readers expect more?

The sequel to Disappearing in Plain Sight – The Light Never Lies will be released in February of 2014. Hopefully in time for Valentine’s Day.

Do you have a ritual for when you finish writing a book? I know I love to have a glass of wine and watch Romancing the Stone.

Love your ritual! I usually go on a bit of a housework binge. I know it sounds dreadfully dull but I get a good feeling from clearing a few decks between projects.

You’ve received terrific praise for your book, what compliment--review or otherwise--meant the most to you?

Every speck of feedback has been greatly appreciated. I will admit to feeling a bit teary when people tell me how much they found themselves caring about what was going to happen to the characters.

Tell us more about Lisa-Marie. What is her personality? Any quirks?  If she were to relax, what would she likely do?

Lisa-Marie is a typical sixteen-year-old girl and at the same time she is a girl who is carrying some heavy-duty baggage. One early reader found it hard to believe that these two aspects could fit so easily together, but Lisa-Marie is very true to many of the young people I have worked with. She’s got a great sense of humour – a bit razor sharp. She’d probably relax out on the beach, work on her tan and read a Twilight novel.

Do you find that you are a lot like your main protagonist, supporting character, or none of your characters?

The more I write, the more I realize that I am every one of my characters. They all carry bits and pieces of me – snippets of memory, personal experience, things read or heard of, unexplored parts of myself, roads taken and passed by – all me. Makes sense, right? I created these characters out of something.

A little more personal, besides writing, do you have any hobbies, or what do you like to do for relaxation?

I love to spend time in my garden. You might notice that I said – spend time in – not work in – big difference there. Another thing I really enjoy is a good long road trip holiday. Luckily my husband enjoys the same thing. (And by the way – he likes to work in the garden.) Every couple of years we get the chance to spend several months planning a trip, then at least five weeks out on the open road, and after that – years of enjoying the memories.

What readers would enjoy DISAPPEARING IN PLAIN SIGHT the most? In other words, who is your target audience? Even go ahead and draw a comparison to another author in your genre.

My target audience is women – though several men have read my novel and have given me great feedback. I’m quite comfortable placing my novel in the category of contemporary women’s fiction. I believe the book appeals to women in many different age groups. The young moms remember being Lisa-Marie’s age and feeling what she feels with the added perspective of having weathered those storms. The middle-aged women identify with Izzy’s dilemmas with work and life. Older women enjoy the complicated emotions that arise between the characters when it comes to negotiating the troubled waters of relationship and loss. I’ve recently discovered the work of fellow indie author, Linda Gillard. I often find parallels between my work and hers. I’m not sure she would say the same, but heck – this interview is with me, right? We both explore complicated relationship issues that offer up no easy solutions.

Without giving away the plot, or spoilers, does Lisa-Marie’s character grow as the book goes on, and if so, how?

At the outset of the book, Lisa-Marie is not able to face up to circumstances that have led to her being shipped off to spend the summer with her Aunt. At Crater Lake, she falls in love, finds a friend and gets close to an adult she can trust. One of these relationships morphs into something it should never be. In the face of that, she is brought to a number of important realizations about herself and her life.

What would be one key bit of advice you would give an author starting out?

Never give up. Whether you choose to go the route of traditional publishing or self-publishing, writing is only the first step. The road is a long and not always smooth one. Get a couple of people on board with you for the journey. Strong supporters are a must. Find a good editor you can work with. Prepare yourself to be in for the long haul. And don’t get too buried in the whole social media circus. It is necessary to be out there making a name for yourself but don’t let it stop you from getting on with the next writing project.

Lastly, where can we find you and your books online?

Disappearing in Plain Sight is available as hardcover, paperback or e-book on Amazon 

Also available from the following retailers: 

Chapters/Indigo for the hardcover or paperback

I can be found hanging out on my Facebook page 
Or on my blog – Disappearing in Plain Sight