Friday, June 26, 2015

Indie Friday: Chasing Down the Night

Guest post by Francis Guenette

Chasing Down the Night is the third book in the Crater Lake Series. All the novels transport readers to a rural setting on the shores of a lake where they encounter characters who quickly become friends and family. Youth issues, family dynamics and relationships are explored while challenging stereotypes of right and wrong.

The latest book in the series opens with a scene that sets the tone for everything that is to come. A cougar stalks the dreams of a young boy. Trauma counsellor and contender for main character, Izzy Montgomery has taken on the role of director at nearby Micah Camp (a home for young people coming out of the foster care system and trying to make decisions about the next stage of their lives.) Liam Collins, a man who has fought a hard struggle to find peace of mind, is busy caring for chickens and children while preparing for an upcoming wedding. Beulah runs the organic bakery and organizes a memorial ball tournament. Her same-sex partner, Bethany, takes on a research job at the Camp and begins to discover her own strengths. Bethany’s niece, Lisa-Marie (who is, for many, the main character) arrived as a troubled sixteen-year-old on the first pages of the first book and from that time she has been head-over-heels in love with Justin. Now eighteen, with exciting opportunities for her future spread at her feet, the sparks fly between the two of them as they continue to feel the impact of the past and must relearn valuable lessons in order to move on.

All of the novels dig deeply into the emotional landscapes of the various characters. And yet, life is so much more than problems to be faced. The everyday rural realities encountered often leave readers chuckling.
The setting, characters and real-life dilemmas described in my novels come out of a blend of my own work and life experiences. I throw them all into the melting pot of imagination and out pops fiction. What an amazing process!

Reviewers have commented that what is unique about my writing style is the ability to tell stories from multiple points-of-view within the same novel. This style creates intimacy and evokes emotion. I was surprised when reviewers found my writing unique because I couldn’t conceive of any other way to tell these stories. Life is not black and white. The best path to empathy is found when we can envision the situations people end up in from as many viewpoints as possible. 

Writing subsequent books in an ongoing series has unique challenges. For example, how much do I tell of the previous books? I work hard to ensure that each novel is stand-alone and that involves a delicate balance between providing enough information so the story makes sense without bogging it down.

By far, the most satisfying part of my writing process is seeing the characters I have created evolve and grow from what they were in the first book to the people they are now.

What do I hope to accomplish by launching these books into the world? The answer is simple. I want readers to feel as though they have been changed. A new way of looking at some part of life has caused an ah-ha moment and thus, what they know about themselves and the world around them has shifted. That epiphany is what I am chasing down the night to capture.

Chasing Down the Night by Francis Guenette

Available on: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Kobo

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and Twitter: @FrancisGuenette

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