I was one of those kids who loved the library. My mom would drop me off for an hour or so on a Saturday afternoon while she did the grocery shopping and I would pick out the books I wanted to read that week. I remember running my hands along the smoothly covered jackets and reading the book blurbs. I would grab books at random off the shelves or go straight for the ones that were faced out. The covers were usually the deciding factor. Each week, I would troop out of that building with three or four books. I’m sure I didn’t get through all of them. Probably started each one and then decided which one I really wanted to read.
With those childhood library memories firmly in place, it was with the greatest pleasure and awe that I viewed my book sitting on the shelf of the Port Alice Library. All decked out in that wonderful plastic protective wrap with the official barcode along the top. What a feeling of accomplishment.
We are in the middle of a long weekend here in Canada – Thanksgiving. The perfect time for me to shout out my thanks to all the people who requested my book through the library. It is because of you that my book now sits on that shelf.
I recently led a book club discussion for Disappearing in Plain Sight at my local library. Here is a taste of the questions used that night.
1. Disappearing in Plain Sight is a novel that delves into the life experiences of a number of characters, all of whom have issues to deal with. Did one of the characters stand out for you as the main character or protagonist? Defend your choice? In view of whom you have chosen to be the protagonist, who is the antagonist?
2. Caleb is a strong character – even though he has been dead for two years when the novel begins. How would you describe the role Caleb plays in moving the story forward?
3. There is a parallel between the relationship Izzy develops with Justin and the one Liam has with Lisa-Marie. Reflect on the way both Izzy and Liam resolved the conflict of their particular relationship. Do you see one of them rather than the other as holding the higher ground? Or is it more complicated than that?
4. As the back stories of certain characters are revealed, did you find your opinions about those characters changing? If so, how?
5. Secondary characters weave their way through the story and often end up having their own storylines and plot twists. Were there some characters you wanted to hear more about? Some you could have done without?
6. Many would say that the main theme of the book is learning how to move on from difficult life experiences. Discuss this theme as well as other themes that stood out for you.
7. How does the title relate to the experiences of the characters?
8. What role does the setting of the novel play in the overall reader experience?
9. If you had to choose a genre for Disappearing in Plain Sight, what would it be?
If you’ve read Disappearing in Plain Sight and would like to weigh in with your thoughts on any of the above questions, please do. We’ll have a blog book club in the comments section.
Awesome Francis – you’re on your way!
Thanks, Jo. It really does feel like that.
My question about DIPS – ‘If you could take just one of your characters forward into a future, new work, who would it be?’
It’s nice for one’s works to be officially catalogued at the local library – not so good to read their status as ‘available’ rather than ‘reserved for the next few years’ 🙂
I think this is a harder question for the author to answer than for a reader. I have had a hard time letting go of any of the characters. Hopefully, Disappearing in Plain Sight will end up being reserved for a while.
Fantastic! It’s a real thrill, isn’t it?
That has got to be a high point for a writer. I lived at the library growing up – to see a book of my own on the shelf? That’s something to aspire to. Congrats!
I think anyone who has experienced that feeling of excitement walking into the library, will understand how we feel about this. Thanks for the congrats.
I read Disappearing this summer. One of the strengths in the book was the back story for each of the characters. It really helped to explain their actions. The influence of Caleb was the glue in the narrative as well.
And those back stories were so tricky at times! When to tell what – always the dilemma. Someone told me that they thought Caleb was the moral compass for all the characters. I can see that. Someone else asked if I would consider a prequel to tell more of his story. But part of the reason Caleb is so iconic is because he is dead. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Nice! Congratulations, Francis!
You are very welcome, Jill.
I don’t think there’s one main character, since they all have the opportunity to take center stage at some point, but Izzy and Liam were certainly at the forefront in my mind. I agree with the reader above that Caleb was the common link between most of the central characters. Reverend Dan is probably my favorite. So deliciously complicated and conflicted. I’m hoping for more of him in the sequel! As far as genre, definitely women’s fiction.
Congrats on making it into the library circulation, Fran.
Dan started out as quite a bit more of a villain than he ended up by the final draft. He seemed to be a character that resisted being painted into a box. I feel like patting myself on the back for creating a somewhat bad guy who was so carefully shaded that he could be someone’s favorite. Sorry to disappoint – he isn’t back in this next book. He is lurking around in my notes, though and he may yet make another appearance in the Crater Lake series. I’m comfy with women’s fiction.
How awesome! Congratulations Francis.
Thanks, Phillip – for the congrats and for taking the time to comment.