Let’s get to know more about you …
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I listed my book as contemporary, literary fiction with a good dose of romance thrown in. I didn’t choose this genre prior to writing. I wrote a book, and then I had to decide where it might fit. I actually hate these designations because they seem to pigeon-hole a book before a reader even gets to take a look.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
Not in the creative stage. But when Disappearing in Plain Sight was in the final editing process, I was able to spend time writing the sequel.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
No, I’ve never had the opportunity and I’m not sure I would join such a group even if I did. At the end of the day, writing and reading are subjective experiences. We all know what we like or don’t like but aside from being able to say you need a decent content or copy editor for this book – what else am I qualified to comment on? I wonder if a writer is better served by choosing a couple of trusted beta readers and paying attention to feedback received from them.
Can you remember your first reading book?
The first real book I remember was a Trixie Beldon hardcover I got for Christmas one year. I also received, that year, an abbreviated hardcover copy of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I was clearly too young to appreciate his writing, but the poem the Raven has stayed with me my whole life. Suddenly there came a tapping, tapping, tapping, tapping at my chamber door. Heady stuff.
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
I’m often guilty of eating while I work. When it comes to snacks, I’m partial to dill pickle potato chips.
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
The only place I can work is the kitchen table. As you can imagine this makes life difficult for the other member of this house, especially when he would like to sit down and eat. There are some extremely nice desks around our home, but the kitchen table remains prime real estate for me. I limit myself to messing up only about one-third of the entire table, but that third is a bombsite.
I went the way of self-assisted publishing for my first novel. It was an eye-opening experience. At the end of the day, I have a properly formatted e-book up on various platforms, a beautifully done softcover and hardcover edition of my book, and a superb cover design. But in order to obtain such a hassle free production phase, I lost control of a number of things that I would have liked more input on. I am rethinking my publishing options for my next novel, The Light Never Lies.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your
In my reading life – so many authors, I wouldn’t want to select only three. For my writing life, I have been influenced by reading countless award winning novels. These taught me just how high the writing bar could be raised. Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” continues to influence me. I was also influenced in a positive way by Norah Roberts. Her books are not in a genre I would normally have read, but circumstances found me in a situation where many of her books were readily available, and I needed a good distraction. Reading her novels gave me the confidence to think that I could also write stories that people would like to read. We aren’t all going to be Michael Ondaatje or Margaret Atwood. But there is room for all sorts of stories written by all types of authors for all kinds of readers.
Love Norah Roberts.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
No matter how confident you are that your work is as perfect as it can get – it isn’t. Have someone you trust, who knows a thing or two about grammar and sentence structure go through your manuscript with a fine-tooth comb. I would also advise any writer to take the time to sit and read their complete manuscript out loud to another person. You will be amazed the number of things you’ll discover when you read aloud.
Reading aloud is a good tip.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
I always avoid this question. I don’t want people to be subjected to my images of the characters, though I did hint in the book that Caleb looked like Brad Pitt in the movie, Legends of the Fall, and I recently saw of photo of Ryan Gosling with a scraggly beard that made me think of my character, Justin. But you’ll get nothing else out of me on this subject.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to
an everyday, boring event?
I was in the van with my daughter and my two highly entertaining granddaughters when I overheard the following conversation going on in the back seat. Brit – who will soon be two – is learning to talk. Her newest word is marmo – translation – marshmallow. Like most children who are acquiring language, Brit makes generalizations. For her all rectangular objects are now referred to as marmo. Brit pointed out into a field where there were several horses and a number of bales of hay and said, “Marmo, marmo,” with great excitement. Her soon to be five-year-old sister. Emma, told her, “Brit, those aren’t marshmallows. Those are bales of hay. Food for horses.” Brit became quite upset and screamed all the louder, “Marmo, marmo.” This went back and forth for a bit, until Brit started to really scream. Emma gave in and said, “OK, OK, have it your way, they’re marshmallows . . . marshmallows for horses.” Always likes to have the last word, our little Emma.
Ah, what a lovely story! I like marshmallows, so approve of her choice of word.
About the author:
Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and dog 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. This is her first novel.
Blurb for Disappearing in Plain Sight
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.
Word Press blog
Amazon page for Disappearing in Plain Sight
Francis Guenette author Facebook page link