On this blog, author Leanne (Willetts) Dyck reviews books, shares her short stories, offers online author readings, and comments on her author journey. Leanne writes for adults and children. Her long-term goal (five years) is to be published by a large, established publishing house. Her short goal (one year) is to earn one million page views for this blog. Please help nurture this blog by visiting and sharing.
Guest Post: Authors Mike Force and Chris DiGiuseppi
-How/why did you start to write?
Chris: I’ve been in law
enforcement for over 20 years, through which I’ve seen many tragedies. These traumatic events pushed me to begin
writing a fictional story with a co-author back in 2008. My initial reasons for writing were more
therapeutic than anything else – it was my way of dealing with life. I can still recall many of those people who
lost loved ones asking me “Why” it happened and soon found myself asking the
same question. Although my first
writing endeavour is fictional, it helped me cope with that tormenting question
– “Why do people die?”
Mike: Like Chris, “The
Light Bringer” is my first attempt at serious writing. I have done short stories and poems in the
past but only for family and friends to read.
Having served in law enforcement for over 30 years, I have had ample
opportunity to lend assistance and consolation to those who are victims or
those left behind as a result of violent crime and other tragedies. It may sound odd, but helping others is the
most important thing that we do in law enforcement. Nonetheless, I am always left with a feeling of wanting to do
more for these people. I felt that
capturing some of these events through writing may, in some small way, give
hope to those who are frustrated by not being able to answer the question,
“Why.” Although a work of fiction, it
is our intent to stimulate thought through “The Light Bringer” and through this
book help others to find the answer to that question for themselves.
-How did you become an authors?
Chris and Mike: After
the rough draft of our first book was complete back in 2008 we were introduced
to our literary agent, Linda Langton, through a mutual friend. We worked with Linda for a year and a half
on edits then finally sent out the manuscript to several publishers in May of
2010. We received a publishing offer in
October of 2010 and signed the contract a short time later.
-What was your first published piece?
Chris and Mike: Our
first published book is entitled The
Light Bringer which was released July 1, 2011. It has ranked on the local best sellers’ list in the St. Louis
area several times.
-Where was it published?
Chris and Mike: It was
published by HCI Books which was the original publisher of the Chicken Soup for
the Soul series. Our book was among the
first fictional pieces that HCI published and the people there have been
outstanding to work with.
-How long ago?
Chris and Mike: On July
1, 2012 The Light Bringer will celebrate its one year anniversary from
release. We have recently signed
another contract with HCI Books for the second book in the series currently and
tentatively entitled The Light Bringer – The Fallen.
-What did you do before embarking on your writing career?
Was it an asset to your writing? How?
Chris: I have been in
police work since 1991 and it has been the root of my writing inspiration. Those experiences, both good and bad, have
given me a passion for the literary world.
Mike: It has been said many times that we write about what we know
or can imagine. Chris and I are no
exception. I spent 22 years on active
duty in the United Sates Marine Corps, through the Viet-Nam Conflict, the many
smaller conflicts that followed and retired just after Desert Storm in
1992. I have been in my current
position as Chief of Police in a small mid-western city for the past 20
years. Both have given me a wealth of
experience with the best and the worst that mankind has to offer. The men and women I have served, served with
and known throughout these years have provided the basis for strong characters
in our novels and both professions have proven essential to understanding the
-What inspires you?
Chris: Through my time
as an author I have had opportunities to meet so many people with good
values. They always inspire me when I
hear their stories.
Mike: People; good
people inspire me. There have been
countless advocates who have propelled Chris and I on this journey, encouraging
us, supporting us and taking us beyond where we envisioned our literary
careers. When I see how much so many
are willing to give to others in need, I feel a passion for helping others as
much as I can.
-Please share one of your successful marketing techniques
Chris and Mike: Network,
network, network – we can’t say enough how important it is. It may be through social media or just word
of mouth – get out there and meet everyone you can and learn everything you
can. The old saying, “it’s all who you
know” is exactly correct. We met our
literary agent through a mutual friend which started us on this adventure. Also, there is value in interacting with
other authors and readers through writing groups and book clubs – both of us
started out in a small writing club before we were published.
Chris and Mike:
Write what you are passionate about not what you think is necessarily going to
sell or get published. Your writing is
your story, your world – so have fun with it.
Since Mike and I are faith-based and spiritual people we always like to
leave others with these words – In those moments of great despair, look for
that clarity of purpose. God bless and