It’s Author Wednesday time once again. I’m so excited when I can welcome back a favorite author because she’s published a new book. Today I welcome back Francis Guenette who visited for an interview in November, and whose book Disappearing in Plain Sight, I reviewed back then as well. It is with great pleasure to bring Francis back for another interview, this time to discuss her new novel The Light Never Lies, a sequel to her first novel, both of which are contemporary fiction that deal with family issues and romance.
Before we begin the interview, Francis is offering some prizes to celebrate the release of The Light Never Lies. Two softcover copies of The Light Never Lies will be mailed to the lucky winners. One for the blog host who achieves the greatest engagement with the post and one commenter – a name of a commenter drawn from a hat which includes all commenters on the blog tour. So please comment freely to win your copy. And look for my review of The Light Never Lies on Book Review Friday.
Welcome, Francis. It’s so wonderful to have you back for Author Wednesday. Let’s tell readers a bit about your new book. What’s the one sentence pitch for The Light Never Lies?
If Disappearing in Plain Sight, the first book in the Crater Lake Series, was about how a group of people get over a devastating loss and move on with their lives, The Light Never Lies is about the messiness that is the inevitable consequence of moving on.
Yes, we must deal with those messes! How did you choose the title? Was it the title from the very beginning?
There were a few common themes that emerged early in the writing process – a young boy’s special ability, the play of the light on water, and how light relates to photography.
How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published product?
The book took one year. Here’s how that year broke down: two months doing research, notes and outlining; three months on the first draft; a month to let that draft rest; a month to do rewrites; two months working with my editor; two months of proofreading and final changes; and an intense month of formatting and preparing for publication.
You did well to keep to such a tight schedule. What is the message conveyed in this book?
Starting over is always possible, people do change, relationships can be rewritten and redefined and the concept of family is one we create as we go.
Those are some of my favorite messages as well. Explain how this book was conceived in your imagination.
Since The Light Never Lies is a sequel, most of the characters were already there, fully-developed and waiting for me to write the next chapters of their lives. I saw so much more conflict and ultimately growth for them. I started to examine the hard-fought ground they had gained for themselves in the first book so I could rip it out from under them. Being a writer is sometimes a cruel endeavor!
That’s the truth, but what fun it is to allow our characters to grow. What type of research did you do in the writing of this book?
With The Light Never Lies, I wanted to bring the reader right into the sawmill-woodlot operation and the organic bakery. I had to delve deeper, with research into each of those settings. I also did research for a particular character who had been a Native activist throughout most of his life. The places I wanted him to have been and the things I wanted him to have done needed to line up with his age and his appearances in other characters’ lives. This character needed to be able to speak convincingly about those places and situations.
I can tell readers that your research shines through in this book. Who or what is the antagonist in your book? Did you enjoy creating this character?
Both my books are written from the perspective of several characters. Depending on the reader, the protagonist and thus the antagonist shifts. In the interest of brevity, let’s assume Lisa-Marie, the feisty yet troubled and, at times, troublesome teenager, is the main character. She is the character who appears on the first page of both books, so there is a good case for her being the protagonist. In the first book, that meant Izzy, the poised and self-assured trauma counselor was the antagonist as she stood in the way of Lisa-Marie getting the guy of her dreams. In The Light Never Lies, the antagonist role shifts from Izzy to her new partner, Liam. He was once Lisa-Marie’s friend, but now he stands in the way of her primary desire to get back to what she considers normal. He is constantly calling her to a responsibility she doesn’t want to assume. I must admit, I do enjoy creating the drama and heartache that goes on in these characters’ lives. All for a good cause, mind you. It’s so nice to pull the characters back into the light – a bit older and wiser.
Interesting – I’ll have to think about that as I finish the book. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.
My favorite scene is when two of the secondary characters, Maddy and Jesse, say goodbye. They have both been residents of nearby Micah Camp, a facility for troubled foster kids trying to get on with their lives, and they’ve had an intense relationship. A parting of the ways was inevitable. Even the thought of that scene makes me feel weepy.
What else do you want readers to know about your new book?
If you haven’t read Disappearing in Plain Sight – no problems. The Light Never Lies is a stand-alone book, but expect to be hit with a large number of characters at the start. Rest assured though, everyone is necessary and all story lines tie together and find resolution by the end. Both books will make you laugh out-loud and sniffle now and then. You’ll come away from the reading wishing you could know these people and visit the fictional setting of Crater Lake. But since you can’t do that, you might consider a vacation to the northern end of Vancouver Island for a little taste of what you’ve experienced.
I’d love to visit. The setting is beautiful in both of these books, but I really want Izzy’s house. I’m so happy you stopped by again, Francis. It’s always a pleasure.
About Francis: 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.