Today I have a very interesting guest post from the author of Dark Paradise, Gene Desrochers and there are a few giveaways that you can enter as well.
Boise Montague’s life in Los Angeles has fallen apart. After his wife dies, he returns to the tiny island where he grew up. Unfortunately, coming home doesn’t bring him the peace he’s looking for.
Things have changed drastically since his last visit. The island has moved on and so have the people he once knew. When Boise tries to find the one friend he thinks he can count on to be there for him, he’s confronted with another death. A murder. A murder that the police did not think important enough to investigate thoroughly.
Boise wants answers. He enlists a local reporter named Dana, who has theories of her own, to help him dig deeper.
With not much left to lose, a bone to pick with the justice system, and a relentless partner, Boise sets out to do what the police would not: solve the murder of Jeffrey Black.
The island of St. Thomas is a gleaming tropical paradise. Welcome to the Caribbean, where murder is as common as sunshine.
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Tied Up Neatly: Are Bows Overrated?
My novel has some unanswered questions and some things that crop up that never resolve into a satisfying, or should I say, meaningful, resolve. Chekhov famously said that if a gun appears in a story, it had better be fired or it should not be there at all. Who am I to disagree with Chekhov, but I do. Sometimes creating the atmosphere of danger or simply adding to the depth of the character is enough. The element mentioned does not have to fire to have significance. The gun signifies that the owner of the gun is a dangerous person, or a person who has reason to carry a gun. It deepens our understanding of the character and adds to the feeling and setting in the description of the story. It unsettles the reader. The gun can simply sit on stage and create tension. This tension is a profound purpose in itself.
Most good stories include descriptions of time and place and serve no more purpose than to create a sense for the reader of where and when the action takes place. Should those things be left out? At some point stripping out everything we are left with a skeleton, which can stand, but is not nearly as interesting as a person with skin, hair, muscle, and cartilage.
Dark Paradise gives the reader a glimpse into the main character, Boise Montague’s past through snippets that do not figure intricately into the present story’s plot, but to shed light on who he is and what makes him tick. You find out that his wife is dead and he thinks about her often. In fact, it’s hinted that she was murdered or at least killed under questionable circumstances, however, no complete answers are given. He also speaks to his mother at one point, but she is not a primary character. His interaction with her gives us context for evaluating who he is, as parents are generally foundational to a person’s psyche. One either embraces or rejects parental patterns, but either way, they impact one’s decision-making.
I recently read an article on style versus substance, and then read the comments that followed the post. The article said that our modern writing is so enamored with “furthering the story” that we’ve lost the magic of style and the joy of language within a story. I happen to like stories that push characters and plot forward, however, I also enjoy language. Magic really happens when the two are married in a single story. You relish the words and are pulled along by the characters as they struggle with worldly conflicts as well as their inner demons. Two books that do this exceptionally well are The Goldfinch and Shantaram. Both stories have powerful and morally questionable main characters. Both plots are intricate and character driven. Both authors write prose that reads like poetry. Much of what they write is descriptive and serves no other purpose than to pull the reader into Bombay (Shantaram) or a museum (The Goldfinch).
My point is that meaningless things to the plot often have meaning for characters and to the reader (at least to this reader) and everything that affects the characters, even in a distant way, ultimately affects the plot as well because the characters create plot through their actions.
I have two giveaways to tell you about, you lucky things, so the first one is as follows…
Win a $25 Amazon e-gift Card
Post your photo with your e-book or hard copy of Dark Paradise on social media and share on Gene’s Facebook Instagram or Twitter page and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card to be awarded on Monday, September 24th
For the second one you can click below to win…
There are still a few days left on the tour so check out the other stops
Gene Desrochers hails from a dot in the Caribbean Sea called St. Thomas. He grew up with minimal supervision and free-roaming animals in a guesthouse that also served as a hospital during wartime. He has spent his life steadily migrating west, and now finds himself in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife, cats, and kids. After a lifetime of writing and telling short stories, he ventured into the deep end, publishing his first novel, Dark Paradise in 2018. If you ask, he will regale you with his Caribbean accent and tennis prowess.