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Friday 15 February 2019

ℚ Into The Light: Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI [1] - Darcia Helle

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Into The Light (, Darcia Helle, 252 pages), a Paranormal Suspense, book one in the Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI series.

"Thinking I'd be reading Ghost with a twist I was delightfully disabused of that notion. A spiritually uplifting tale of spectral redemption with healthy dashes of humanity. The really fun part of this read was blinking away the tears and chuckling at the same time. A great story. You will not be disappointed..." ~ Amazon Review from P. D. Durie

"What made this book stand out for me was that it made me ask questions about my own life, where it is going, what I am doing.

[...] This book is different from anything I have read before. It can be read on so many levels: for entertainment, as a ghost story, a mystery, a humorous story, a story which we can read objectively and get much meaning from it, or one that calls us to dig deeper and explore our own philosophy" ~ Amazon Review from Karen B

|| Synopsis || Trailer & Audiobook Sample || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Darcia Helle; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Into The Light ?

"The first spark of inspiration for Into the Light began with my father telling me about a dream he’d had in which a homicide detective had a ghost partner who helped the detective solve murders. My father thought it was a great idea for a series. I agreed, but I don’t write police procedurals and so his dream got tucked away in a quiet corner of my mind.

Several months later, out of the blue, Max and Joe popped into my head. Typical of my writing life, their characters arrived fully developed with a story to tell. I’m convinced there is a place in my mind that I’m not able to access. Characters come to life there and, when ready, they pop into my awareness and introduce themselves.

As I considered the characters, I thought I had an idea how the story would unfold. I was wrong. Max was nothing if not persistent. And stubborn. Pretty much all I did was take dictation. "
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Each book I write has something of myself scattered throughout. With Into the Light, I realized only afterwards that I was working out life and loss and what it all means.

I lost both of my grandparents a few years before writing the book. They were like second parents to me. I’d been reflecting on the impact they’d had on my life, and how they, and I, never knew how much some of the little things mattered.

None of that was on the forefront of my mind when I wrote Into the Light, and yet, when I finished the first draft, I saw it all there in the journey."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Into The Light - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Sometimes I have a firm idea of what I want for a cover, and it’s just a matter of conveying that to the graphic designer. Other times, as with Into the Light, I have no clue at all.

In this case, I spent time scrolling through images on photo sharing websites, searching for something that fit my needs. When I came across the image now on the cover, I knew it was exactly right. Throughout the story, Max fights against the pull of the light. He’s not going anywhere until Joe solves his murder. The photo of a man bathed in white light worked perfectly for the title and the story.

I bought the rights to use the photo, and then sent it to Jason McIntyre to work his magic. Jason, who is a talented author as well as a graphic designer, has created the covers for most of my books."

Why should we read Into The Light and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The reality of books (and movies) is that a plot is rarely unique. Most stories have been told already, in one way or another. What makes a story unique is the people involved and the emotional place from which it’s told.

The Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Series, I hope, offers unexpected layers. On the surface we have the victim’s ghost and the PI trying to solve the case. Beneath that, the ghosts explore their lives in retrospect, while also experiencing a realm of new possibilities.

Emotional depth is always what I aim for, and so the books run the gamut from love and joy to anger and fear. But, always, there is hope. And sometimes pure silliness, because we all need a good giggle now and then"
Can you tell us something quirky about Into The Light, its story and characters?
"Max went through his life feeling like he never quite measured up to his image of what a man should be. As a ghost, his existence takes on that same kind of inept trajectory. He can’t navigate the spirit world the way he thinks he should. He’s clumsy, clueless, and frustrated, and not at all the kind of ghost he imagines others to be."
Who would you recommend Into The Light to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This book can be read by anyone from mid-teens on up. The language is mild and minimal, as is the violence. And there are no sex scenes.

Also, I should probably make it clear that there is no religious intent to the content. While the story is, in some respects, an exploration of the afterlife, it’s not about God or heaven, and there is no religious theme. Whatever you believe, or don’t believe, regarding religion shouldn’t be an issue in the reading experience."
If you could / wished to turn Into The Light and the Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I would love to see the series turned into a movie, but I’m at a loss to name a dream team.

As for directors, I might recognize a name if you gave me a list, but that’s as far as my knowledge goes. With actors, none of my favorites fit the characters, though admittedly I’m not familiar with many actors.

I can give you a location, because the story takes place in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, right near where I live. In fact, Max is murdered about 5 minutes from my house. So success on picking a location!

If anyone has read the book and can help with suggestions for actors, I’d love to know what you think!"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Writing is my way of exploring the complexities of being human. The many facets of psychology fascinate me, and I’m drawn to the darker side of human nature. While I don’t start with a specific genre in mind, my writing naturally falls into the mystery/suspense/thriller genres.

I do explore a range of subgenres within my writing. For instance, my Michael Sykora Series is dark suspense/thriller, The Cutting Edge blends humor and suspense, Enemies and Playmates is romantic suspense, Eli’s Coming is supernatural suspense, and, of course, the Joe Cavelli, Paranormal PI Series is suspense with ghost co-stars.

As for the genres I like to read, suspense draws me as a reader for the same reasons it draws me as a writer. It’s been my favorite fiction genre since I was young. But I also enjoy historical fiction, literary fiction, some contemporary, and some fantasy. And I read a lot of nonfiction."
What is your writing process?
"The best way I can sum up my writing process is that it’s a free flow, stream of consciousness. I write from an emotional place, and I’m a total pantser. I don’t outline the plot at all. In fact, most of the time I have only the vaguest sense of what the plot is or will be.

I spend a lot of time sitting silently with the characters in my mind. This might sound a little crazy, but I get inside them emotionally, let myself feel what they would feel in a given situation, and react accordingly as I write. I’m often surprised at where the story takes me, which, for me, is one of the best parts of the writing process."
What is in store next?
"I’m not sure what comes next. I’ve been focused on the prep work for Out of the Darkness, the second Joe Cavelli novel releasing on February 11. Consequently, I’ve been tuning out the voices. The early stage of writing a book is my favorite part. I love those first few chapters, when I’m totally immersed in the characters and following where they lead. I know once I start, that will be my focus and I won’t get anything else done.

But of course I’ve been thinking about the next one. I’m torn between writing the third Joe Cavelli novel, which is already swishing around in my head, or the next Michael Sykora novel, of which I’d written the first few pages before Gus popped into my head and demanded I instead write Out of the Darkness.

I also have the start of the second Chasing the Night novel, the follow-up to Eli’s Coming. And I have several stand-alone novels wanting attention. My problem is always too many ideas and not enough time to write them all. Ultimately, I’ll write whichever speaks the loudest in the moment."
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 have 3 dogs and one cat, and all of them are rescues. The photo says more than words can about how spoiled and how loved they are.

My husband took the photo on a chilly December evening, as I was trying to catch up on answering email. Right beside me, there is an empty recliner exactly like the one I’m sitting on. On the floor in this sun room there are 3 dog beds, also empty. My furkids love to cuddle! "
"The black and white dog on the far right is Oliver. He’s 9-1/2. He came from a shipment of 250 dogs sent to the US from Puerto Rico. They had to be quarantined upon arrival because of severe, contagious illness, and more than half were immediately euthanized. Our vet’s office took on about a dozen of the sick dogs, providing free care. Oliver survived treatment for canine distemper, and we adopted him once he was cleared.

The middle dog is Sammy. We adopted him from a kill shelter in Tampa six years ago. He was found abandoned in a neighborhood at only about 6 weeks old, not quite old enough to even be weaned.

The dog on my lap is Isabel, and she’s about 5 years old. She’d been purchased by people who later turned her in to a shelter, then adopted by a family who soon decided they didn’t want her either, and then given to another home where the older dog constantly attacked her. We rescued her from that situation about 3 years ago, and she now has her forever home.

Abbie, our lone cat, is almost 17. We adopted her and her brother, Sunny, from the SPCA when they were about 6 months old. We lost Sunny in 2012."
They are a gorgeous bunch :-) Thank you for sharing their stories with us; it is great to see fellow animal lovers with so many rescue fur-babies. We are ourselves in the process of bringing over eight cats from Italy, so far it has taken just over four months to get them all healthy and vaccinated! (they will live with us, with our other fur-babies 😊 )

Will Max find his answers and go...

Into The Light
Available NOW!

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Darcía Helle said...

Thank you so much for the fun interview!

Darcía Helle said...

Oh, I love that you're rescuing furbabies, as well! They have such a gift of forgiveness. Their ability to love and trust again, despite the situations they come from, is something all us humans can learn from.

CMash said...

What a great interview. I always enjoy getting to know the author behind the book.

susanhunter said...

I'm reading Into the Light right now, and loving it!

Darcía Helle said...

Thanks so much, Susan!

Patrick H. Moore said...

Wonderful interview, Darcia.
Thoroughly enjoyable
I will check out Into the Light!