As seen in the January issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.
Uncaged: First of all, I want to thank you for your service. You are a veteran, but you also have quite a varied background and you wear many hats. Where did the inspiration for Scattered Lies come from?
SJ: Thank you so much! That is much appreciated. Those who serve in the military make a huge sacrifice that is often overlooked. Military veterans are all around us and I wanted to show that, which is why one of the characters in Shattered Lies is an Army Veteran.
Your question is the most often posed to me. My mind is always at work. It all came from a one line thought of “What if”. What if a young woman from a good family found out everything she knew was a lie. The idea evolved from the “what if” occurred in July 1999. It then went into hibernation. It didn’t come to life until I moved from up North down to Mississippi.
Uncaged: You are donating 10% of the proceeds of sales from this book to the Polycystic Kidney Foundation, is there a specific reason you chose that charity?
SJ: Polycystic Kidney disease is an insidious disease that affects both children and adults yet, very few people have heard about it. It takes too many lives. Babies are born and doomed with it. Others are born with it and don’t find out until mid-life that they have it. I found out that Polycystic Kidney Disease runs in my family, many families, in fact, which makes it a cause close to home.
Uncaged: Can you give readers more information about the book?
SJ: Shattered Lies is about life, a reflection of it and the world around us. The families in it spoke to me. I had no choice but to write it. No more so than when I moved down south to Mississippi. That is when the story really evolved. After considering several states where to set Shattered Lies over the years, Mississippi was the place to set it. There was no other place. Down here, I saw the book come alive. There was no other place. Shattered Lies could happen in any family. The story is purely fictional, but what happens to the family could happen to anyone.
Best part about this story is that it could appeal to anyone. Some have called it a suspense novel while others counter that. I actually had one reader say it could work as a Young Adult novel. Whatever you call it, I just hope the readers enjoy it.
Uncaged: As a reviewer, I’m always curious as to what authors can take away from the reviews, do you read them and what do you take away from the reviews?
SJ: Yes, I do read reviews for Shattered Lies. Some are enlightening while others are flattering; some don’t say anything at all, but everyone is valuable in one way or another. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and fact is, not every book is for everyone. No matter how bad or good a book is, someone is going to hate or love it and I can accept that, as long as someone takes the time to read it. I’m always humbled by those that not only read my book, but take the time out of their lives to actually leave a review says a great deal. Authors are nothing without readers.
Uncaged: Can you tell us what you have coming up next?
SJ: I’m working on a sequel to Shattered Lies. I already have a draft written up waiting to be brought to life. I also am editing a new novel entitled Body and Soul, which examines the dynamic relationships of those behind the scenes in Hollywood.
Uncaged: How long on average does it take you to write a full book? What is your writing process?
SJ: Shattered Lies took me three months to write and edit. My work in progress, Body and Soul is taking considerably longer. My process is to write a draft. Set it aside for a week and work on something else, an article or a short story or a break. I then go back to it as many times as necessary until it feels right to me. If it doesn’t feel right, the book isn’t done yet. That is why Body and Soul is taking so long because it just doesn’t feel right, yet. If a project doesn’t feel right to me, it most likely won’t feel right for readers.
Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?
SJ: My favorite parts are writing, creating a story and bringing it to life. I love hearing from readers who take the time to write me and tell me how much they like my stories. That makes it all worthwhile.
My least favorite part about being an author is promotion and marketing. All I I want to do is write.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
SJ: After finishing a project, I like to take some time to just kick back and relax. I’ll read, watch TV, and listen to music. I love the outdoors and do many related things: Hiking, kayaking, swimming, and spending time with my rescue cats and dogs take up most of my time. I always try to walk my dogs every day. They demand it and its good exercise for all. Aside from that, I’m always advocating for animals. One way is through my blog for animals: http://onefortheanimals.blogspot.com where I share all and any kinds of stories about animals, rescue stories, advice and more.
Uncaged: What is the hardest part of a book to write? What is the easiest?
SJ: For me, it’s the endless editing that is the hardest part.
The easiest part is the book itself. Once I get an idea, I just write it and let it flow to where it ends.
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
SJ: Thank you so much for visiting here today. You’re wonderful. Thanks for your emails about how much you enjoyed Shattered Lies. Thanks for reading and reviewing Shattered Lies. You’re all awesome! If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you take the time to do so, whether you buy a copy on-line, or at a book store near you, (If they don’t have it, ask them to order it for you.) or borrow a copy from someone you know, or from your local library, please, please, good or bad please do take the time to leave a review. Authors are nothing without readers and sometimes the only way we hear from you is through your reviews. Thank you so much!!
For those in Mississippi, you may locate a copy of Shattered Lies at one of the several branches of the Jackson-Hinds library, or the Ricks Memorial library in Yazoo City.
Feel free to visit me at my website where you can contact me or sign up for my short seasonal newsletter: www.sjfranciswriter.com