poetry and prose about place

The Light Never Lies – A Guest Post from Francis Guenette

with 13 comments

I am so pleased to welcome a guest in this post.  Francis Guenette is a Canadian writer, the author of two books, ‘Disappearing in Plain Sight’ ( FriesenPress, 2013) and ‘The Light Never Lies’ (Huckleberry Haven Publishing, 2014).  When I read ‘Disappearing in Plain Sight’, I was drawn to the setting – Crater Lake, the cabins and the garden.  In this post, Frances writes about the setting, its origins and how the setting influences the story.  Welcome Frances! And thank you so much for your Crater Lake Series of books!


The Light Never Lies - 3-D bookcoverTo begin – a synopsis of The Light Never Lies:

As circumstances spiral out of control, Lisa-Marie is desperate to return to Crater Lake. The young girl’s resolve is strengthened when she learns that Justin Roberts is headed there for a summer job at the local sawmill. Her sudden appearance causes turmoil. The mere sight of Lisa-Marie upsets the relationship Liam Collins has with trauma counsellor, Izzy Montgomery. All he wants to do is love Izzy, putter in the garden and mind the chickens. Bethany struggles with her own issues as Beulah hits a brick wall in her efforts to keep the organic bakery and her own life running smoothly. A native elder and a young boy who possesses a rare gift show up seeking family. A mystery writer arrives to rent the guest cabin and a former client returns looking for Izzy’s help. Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.


My first order of business is to extend many thanks to Jane for inviting me over to her blog. Jane thought it would be interesting to hear how architectural and garden elements of the setting for Disappearing in Plain Sight and The Light Never Lies contributed to the story.


Write what you know. It’s a common sense piece of advice. After all, fiction writers have enough work in the making-things-up department. When I first envisioned writing a novel, it was because a group of characters had made a sudden appearance in my imagination. I always knew they would live in a rural setting, on the shores of a lake, some in elaborate cabins with expansive gardens and some in more rustic dwellings. Fiction mirroring reality – where I live is somewhere in the grandiose middle.

Guenette - Cabin from the Lake

I thought about my own home and a few cabins in the vicinity and from there I embellished, stretched and massaged the reality of these settings into a small community on the shores of a fictional place called Crater Lake.

I have lived on the shores of a lake, in a cabin, with a garden in the wilderness for over twenty years. I’ve walked the trails around this place so many times my feet have worn smooth my route. In many ways, it’s hard for me to separate my own environment from that of the books – except to stress that Crater Lake is fictional, Micah Camp is a product of my imagination, the characters likewise. The cabins and gardens described are all altered, sometimes to a grander scale, sometimes to include elements not present anywhere but in my imagination. I suspect many writers have gone through a similar process.

Guenette - Cabin

Living in a particular place shapes people. A rural, semi-isolated setting, homes that reflect local materials open to multiple views of lake, mountains and trees, gardens and small businesses carved out of wild landscapes – all of these factors make the characters in my books the people they are and dictate (to a degree) the situations they find themselves in.

Guenette - Garden in the Wilderness

I have a couple of anecdotes that illustrate well a juxtaposition of fiction and reality. A close friend who has never visited our lakeside home, read Disappearing in Plain Sight and she loved it. When her husband managed a quick visit last summer, he told me he would tell his wife that our cabin and the view were just like walking into the book. The view perhaps – the cabin not so close, but close enough to resonate.

I recently ran into a woman who borrowed one of my books from her daughter. She and her husband had bought some land out in the wild and were getting ready to build. She asked me it the architect Caleb used to design his cabin in Disappearing in Plain Sight was based on a real person. She shrugged and said, “Oh, I suppose that would be too much to ask, but I want a place like the one you described in that book.”

Guenette - Kitchen Deck

Here is a dichotomy, for sure. If you come and visit me, at first glance you will recognize, in broad brush strokes, the setting of Disappearing in Plain Sight and The Light Never Lies. But don’t go looking for more. You’ll only end up disappointed. It is in the fine details that fiction has taken off to soar away from the landing strip of reality.


Guenette - Begonia and Hostas


Francis Guenette - author photo

Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of their lakeshore cabin and garden. She has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher. The Light Never Lies is her second novel. Francis blogs over at  and maintains a Facebook author page. Please stop by and say hello.

The Light Never Lies - ebook cover - Francis L. Guenette


Written by jane tims

April 29, 2014 at 7:00 am

13 Responses

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  1. beautiful home and gardens! Picturesque. Would love to visit. gets cold in winter and I am spoiled.



    May 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    • Hi. Welcome to my Blog. I envy both Fran and her characters … it must be great to sit on the deck and enjoy the sunset over ‘Crater Lake’ …. Jane


      jane tims

      May 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  2. Thanks, Jane. Now I’m even more impressed with Fran’s writing. This is exactly how I pictured Crater Lake as I was reading…incredible!
    If you’re reading Fran, did your husband take those photos? Beautiful!


    Jill Weatherholt

    May 1, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    • Hi Jill. Welcome to my Blog. As I read Fran’s books, I now have the benefit of the real and lovely garden space. Jane


      jane tims

      May 2, 2014 at 6:17 pm

  3. Reblogged this on disappearinginplainsight and commented:
    Yet another stop on the blog tour. This guest post focuses on how architecture, gardens and local setting played an integral role in the writing of Disappearing in Plain Sight and the Light Never Lies.



    May 1, 2014 at 1:13 pm

  4. Stunning scenery and an incredible setting for a book. I think we all loved losing ourselves in Fran’s book, imagining ourselves on that beautiful lake. Great post Jane and Francis!


    Top Of The Slush Pile

    April 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    • Hi Gemma. Thanks. Setting is so basic to story. Once setting is established, the characters seem to ‘know’ what to do! Jane


      jane tims

      May 1, 2014 at 7:16 am

      • You captured that exactly, Jane. For me, once everything is set up, the characters take off and get up to all kinds of things that I never imagined at the outset of the story.



        May 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      • Hi Fran. I am reading ‘The Light Never Lies’ this week … I love how you gradually bring your characters together. Jane


        jane tims

        May 2, 2014 at 6:19 pm

  5. Thanks so much, Jane for allowing me to go on a bit about setting and share some pics from our Vancouver Island home.



    April 29, 2014 at 8:44 am

    • Hi Fran. You are so welcome. I think you have a lovely spot to live. It must be a great inspiration. Jane


      jane tims

      May 1, 2014 at 7:14 am

  6. I enjoyed reading Francis Guenette’s guest post. The setting is absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed learning about how she took a setting that she was very familiar with, and refined it to create the setting for the books.



    April 29, 2014 at 7:44 am

    • It is beautiful there and she brings it alive in the book. What a great place to live! Jane


      jane tims

      May 1, 2014 at 7:12 am

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