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Wednesday 22 June 2016

ℚ Hidden Truths & Lies: Faces Behind the Stones [4] - Fran Lewis

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Hidden Truths & Lies (, Fideli Publishing Inc., 98 pages), a Horror / Paranormal Suspense collection, book four of the Faces Behind the Stones series.

“Multi-dimensional collection of seven stories that offers a creepy perspective from the viewpoint of the dead and buried.  Almost a slice of life, Fran Lewis has a wonderful flair for capturing the essence of her characters and tells the story leading up to their untimely demise.

Macabre and deliberately vague, her descriptive narrative captures the paranoia, angst, anger, and indignation of each victim with in-depth characterizations wonderfully plotted leaving the reader eager to turn the page.  There is more to this book that meet the eye, and it makes for excellent discussions of people and their choices.

Complex, suitably scary with a pinch of cozy realism, this book will leave you making sure you locked the door at night.”
— Carole Roman, Amazon reviewer

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Fran Lewis; welcome to BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Hidden Truths & Lies and the FAces Behind the Stones series?

"The primary inspiration for the Faces Series including this one came from a walk in the cemetery where my family is buried.

During the memorial service to honor my sister’s memory before unveiling her headstone, I began wondering what would happen is she could speak to me and tell me what really happened to her that caused her to be behind that stone.  I imagined the others whose faces were no longer above ground and whose stones were covered with mold, dust, fingerprints, and dirt and just worn down.  I wondered what their stories were and if they could speak to everyone what would they want to share.

The Faces series is told from the viewpoint and voice of the person who is behind the stone and who has been wronged by someone or is the one that caused someone else to be behind the stone and justice was served in a unique way.

Each story has its own message, and each character whose voice you hear will tell the story, share the events and explain in detail what lessons were learned, so that before you do something wrong you will think about whether you can handle the consequences.  Bullies, drunk drivers, mean girls, professionals we should trust are just some of those who are taught lessons they wish they never had to learn."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I am a reading and writing staff developer and dean.  I have a strong personality and never hold back when I want to express my thoughts.  Within these stories some of the events might sound familiar to people I know while others are purely imagination."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Hidden Truths & Lies - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"After walking through several cemeteries and completing the manuscript I created this cover that would encompass not only the sadness and darkness of this old and forgotten place but, as each figure walks through, allow readers to wonder if they are there to collect stories of their own, pay their respects or if they are headed for their own stone.

Each figure is walking down the dark and secluded path, never letting you see his or her face and it makes you wonder why they are there and if they are somehow guilty of some misdeed."
Why should we read Hidden Truths & Lies and what sets it apart from the rest? 
"The series is unique because the stories are original and are told from the point of view of the person whose name is on the headstone telling you his or her story and why they are there."
Can you tell us something quirky about Hidden Truths & Lies, its story and characters?
"There is really nothing quirky about the characters or the story.  The names are made up and the situations in some cases based on real life events but the names of the characters changed and the places too."
Who would you recommend Hidden Truths & Lies to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would say young children should not read this book.  The series is geared to young adults, older teens and adults hoping to teach teens and young adults the pitfalls of doing something that might cost others their lives and them serious consequences."
If you could / wished to turn Hidden Truths & Lies and the Faces Behind the Stones series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"If I could turn the entire series into a movie or several shows on HBO or Showtime, I would have loved it if Alfred Hitchcock could have directed it.  He was the all time great master of suspense and one of the greatest screenwriters, directors and producers.  He was nicknamed the Master of Suspense because each episode of every show or movie he created had a kind of psychological suspense and thereby giving viewers an experience they would never expect, taking them deep inside the characters and fear just looking at his countenance.

As far as actors I think that the character who played Lurch on The Addams Family [Ted Cassidy]  would be perfect for the limo driver as he takes the victims to their final resting place or takes mourners through the cemeteries which would be the setting for all of the pre-story events and then the actual places where the events take place each one unique to the character telling the story."

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?

"I was always told to write about what I know.

My first five books are part of my Bertha and Tillie series which I had redone into two books: Bertha and Tillie Forever and Bertha and Tillie - Sisters Forever telling stories about my real life experience growing up in the South Bronx with my sister Marcia.

Before she passed away she asked if I was going to become a huge couch potato since I retired to care for my mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or if I would use my skill as a reading and writing staff developer to create original stories and do book reviews.  I miss her.  She edited my first book and did a great job critiquing it.  She dared me to review a book and I did a cookbook and I cannot cook.  Needless to say it took some creativity and ingenuity to create a review that would spotlight one of the best cookbooks I have ever read and reviewed and no less come up with something that anyone would want to read.  Stir Laugh and Repeat: Martha Cheves.  She still is laughing at what I wrote but in a positive way.  Thanks Martha for encouraging me and thanks to my sister Marcia for the dare.  Wait until you read our stories.

I love writing Horror.  After teaching for so many years and working with students that were difficult at times I decided to write stories that just might teach difficult teens and young adults lessons hoping they learn them before enduring the consequences as the characters in my stories did."
What is your writing process?
"Every book is different.  For the Bertha Series my sister and I sat down and decided which stories everyone would love to read about.  We decided on my horrific dancing lessons, attempting to ice skate, dealing with bullies and being overweight to name a few.  I even talked about the pressures of having to be perfect and what social and family pressures we both faced.  Some of the stories will make you cry but most will make you smile and laugh.

I love writing the Faces stories and plan to write another one.

I also wrote several on Alzheimer’s including: Because We Care, and my latest one: The Vanishing Mind of Ruth Swerdloff: An Alzheimer’s Sufferers Journey."
What is in store next?
"Faces Five is in the works and it will take on a different light.  Told from the point of view of the person behind the stones some of the stories will be told by the people it really happened to making them true to life.  The other, six, wait and see.  I might even write another Bertha story."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I love decaf Cappuccinos with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

I love to laugh with my nieces and shop with my older nieces when they visit.

I love classical music and I enjoy walking on a cool day just to breath in the fresh air.  Shopping is fun and, since I am tiny, the junior department of any store works for me.

I do not have a pet but I did have a special Canary named Happy as a child but unfortunately no pictures.  He was light green and yellow and would sing and make noises while I entertained him practicing the piano and violin.  He thought I was great.

I have a great sense of humor and what I loved the most was the early morning phone calls that my sister would make before 7 everyday to just be funny and wake me up before she went off to run a huge medical practice but first reminding me to give my mom her meds.  She loved waking me up early and I loved telling her it was her turn to come in at 5 and then drive back over the bridge when she gave mom her meds.  We laughed a lot and we loved writing poems for her staff parties that they never knew, until recently, that I wrote with her.

Writing is a way to release tension and remind yourself how powerful words are and how reviewing books, spotlighting the work of others in my magazine, MJ Magazine, interviewing authors, publishers, entertainers and many others in different fields on my radio show, keeps me smiling.  I love saying great things about a person’s work.  I never pan books and won’t review a book unless it should receive at least 3 and a half stars.

Thank you for the interview.  I hope that everyone will read all of my books and to let you know that I hope to be able to donate some of the royalties to Alzheimer’s in memory of my mom to help find its cause."
Thank you for sharing so much with us, Fran!  We loved having you here :-)
"Thank you for doing this interview it means a lot. Fran."

Hidden Truths & Lies
Available NOW!

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Just reviewed said...

This is fantastic. Thank you so much. The canary looks just like happy. The addition of photos is priceless. Fran

Unknown said...

I always love the interviews you post. You always put so much into them!

Fran - Great interview! I thoroughly enjoyed it! I love that is was so personal.
My daughter used to be the Asst. Activities Dir. in a home for people with Alzheimer’s. It was very sad at times for her, but she loved it! She got very close to some of the residents.

I am looking forward to reading Hidden Truths and Lies and sharing my thoughts!

Just reviewed said...

Thank you Wendy. I hope you enjoy reading it too. You guys are great

FraniFashionista said...

Join the giveaway. Grab a copy of my book and take a trip to Golden Gate Cemetery and find out the story behind each person behind the stone. fran