Into the Light
by Darcia Helle
on Tour February 1-28, 2019
Max Paddington refuses to go into the light until he finds his killer. This presents a dilemma, since Max is even less competent as a spirit than he was as a live person. No one sees or hears him and he can’t manage to get anywhere or do anything on his own.
Joe Cavelli is a private investigator, living an ordinary life. Then one day he walks across a parking lot, gets yelled at by a ghost, and his life only gets stranger from there.
Max and Joe team up to find Max’s killer. In the process, they form an unlikely friendship and change each other’s lives in ways they never expected.
Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: July 14th 2011
Number of Pages: 250
ISBN: 146364020X (ISBN13: 9781463640200)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Audible
Darcia Helle is a Massachusetts native, who escaped the New England winters to write in the Florida sunshine. She lives with her husband in a home full of spoiled rescue animals and an occasional stray lizard. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative.
Q&A with Darcia Helle
I’m honored to be here!
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events
Our personal experiences shape our thought process, so I don’t think it’s possible to write without drawing from them to some extent. For me, I usually don’t realize I’ve done it until the book is finished. When I do my first read-through, I find threads of those experiences sprinkled around.
Incorporating current events takes that same inadvertent path. I don’t set out to plot a story around a specific thing in the news. It happens because whatever is going on kind of festers in my mind until a story accidentally takes shape. For instance, aspects of my novel Killing Instinct are the result of me having read an in-depth article about Silk Road, the Darknet black market where you could purchase pretty much anything from drugs to contract killings. The concept sat in my subconscious until it found a place in a story.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I don’t plot at all. I’m a total pantser, meaning I fly by the seat of my pants. I typically start with nothing more than a random sentence and a character’s voice that pops into my head. My writing is character-driven, with a strong emphasis on emotion. I need to feel it in order to write it. The plot unfolds as I get to know the characters involved.
Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
No, they all pop into my head complete with their own identity. I should probably be concerned that all these people live in my head, but at least I’m never lonely.
The one exception to this is my novel The Cutting Edge. Aspects of that story are ripped straight out of my personal life. The fictional hair salon is a replica of my mother’s salon, which I worked in for about 15 years. And all the fictional clients and incidents are based on real clients and incidents that occurred in that salon. While we didn’t have a killer running loose in the town, the fictional killer is modeled after a real-life client. Writing that novel was my catharsis; my own personal cleansing ritual!
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
My favorite room in the house is my sunroom, and that’s almost always where I write. I’m usually trying to balance my laptop around my three dogs and cat, with a giant mug of tea sitting precariously on the edge of the side table. My brain and I aren’t on speaking terms in the morning, so most of my writing happens in the afternoon. Late at night, when the world around me is silent, I stare into the darkness and figure out where the story will take me next.
I have all kinds of idiosyncrasies, but only one pertains to my writing routine. I must brush my teeth before I start writing. It’s weird, I know, but any sort of aftertaste from something I’ve eaten becomes horribly distracting. Seriously, I become a little obsessed if I don’t do it. I think it’s a sensory thing. I need to lose sense of myself and sort of disappear without reminders of the chocolate or crackers I’d eaten. But that’s just a guess. It could also be that I’m a total nutjob.
Tell us why we should read this book.
This question reminds me of the “elevator pitch” expected from publishers and marketing agencies. I’ll let you in on a secret: I suck at this. I can tell you all sorts of reasons why you should read someone else’s book but telling you why you should read one of mine makes me squirm.
The best, most honest answer I can give is that you should read this book because you want to. Maybe the premise intrigues you, or you like PI novels, or you want to spend time with a ghost, or you need a laugh or a little bit of a cry. Maybe you like men with dark, curly hair who are named Joe. Or you don’t like the name Max and you’re glad he’s dead. Whatever the reason, something about this story speaks to you, and you want to know more.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I have many favorites for my many moods. Karin Slaughter, Tami Hoag, and John Sandford are three of my favorite mystery/suspense authors. I love Tony Schumacher’s John Rossett historical thriller series. Maria Haskins, Maria Savva, Jason McIntyre, and Lisette Brodey are just a few of my favorite independent authors.
I could fill an entire page with names. Ultimately, my favorite authors are those who make me feel the emotions, who make me think, and who move me with their words.
What are you reading now?
I just finished The Boy by Tami Hoag. And, wow! Held me captivated the entire time.
I have that book on my TBR list. However, I need at least 3 more lifetimes to read all that are on my list. I’ll let you in on one of my fantasies…that I could just read all day, every day without RL interuppting.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
I’ve had to actively force myself to shut out thoughts of the next one. I needed to stay focused on all the prep work for the launch of Out of the Darkness, the next Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI novel. But the voices in my head are never silent, and all the cacophony can be terribly distracting!
My intent is to write the third Joe Cavelli novel next, though I know better than to make any sort of plan or assumption. The characters are always in charge and, ultimately, I follow the voice that speaks the loudest in the moment.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Oh, my. Here’s another question I’m not good at. I don’t watch a lot of movies, and I’m especially bad with the celebrity thing. Beyond those shortcomings, I struggle with this question because my characters feel like real people to me, and so assigning another person to play them is a major hurdle my psyche can’t get past.
So, I asked Google for help with lists of actors, and that got me nowhere. Maybe a reader out there can help me out with suggestions!
Don’t feel bad….I have no clue who the popular actors are these days. I can’t even remember the last movie I watched. I would much rather read and use my imagination to create the movie in my head.
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Does cheesecake count as a meal?
Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.
Thank you for having me!
Catch Up With Darcia Helle On:
darciahelle.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!
Read an excerpt:
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ENTER TO WIN!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Darcia Helle. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on February 1, 2019 and runs through March 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.