Indieview authorIndieView with J.L. Doucette, author of Unknown Assailant |

IndieView with J.L. Doucette, author of Unknown Assailant |


I write to discerning readers who are more interested in the inner world of the characters and their motives and enjoy literary fiction more than plot stories.

JL Doucette – November 23, 2021

The back flap

Dr. Pepper Hunt and Detective Bo Antelope reunite to investigate a tragic murder / suicide in a prominent farm family in the small town of Parsons, Wyoming.

Regarding the book

What is the book about?

Unknown validity It is a psychological mystery that opens with the violent deaths of a husband and wife, an alleged murder / suicide, on a farm in the village of Wyoming. The novel explores issues of betrayal, trauma and unresolved grief within three generations of a family. Alongside these heavy issues, some unlikely love stories get entangled in a mystery.

When did you start writing the book?

In 2015 I completed a first draft of 50K Nanowrimo and left it to complete another work. The first two books in Dr. Pepper Hunt’s Mystery Series were published by She Writes Press in 2017 and 2019. Only in November, 2019, did I start correcting the previous work and adding to the first draft, and completing the manuscript in March, 2021. I used the same Process also for the first two books in the series.

How long did it take you to write this?

The total time that elapsed from the moment I wrote the first word until I typed the end was 5 years and 4 months. But there was a long period of time, 4 years, where I let the manuscript sit and wrote and published the first two books in the Pepper Hunting Mysteries series –Last seen (2017) f In a quiet street (2019). So the actual writing time was one year and 4 months.

Where did you get the idea from?

As with all my books, the idea for a story begins years before the actual writing and stems from learning about an actual event through the news or other sources. I am intrigued by the circumstances and begin to explore different plot lines that can emerge. I started thinking about the characters in Unknown validity More than 20 years ago when I first moved to Jackson Hall, Wyoming.

Were there parts of the book you struggled with?

For me the beginning and end parts of the book are always the easiest to write because it is clear to me what the purpose and purposes of these sections are. This is the middle where I struggle as the plot starts to look awkward and some of the characters are still not as full as they should be. It’s a challenge to stick with it when the job feels hard or boring and I still do not see the way out. In the end, I manage to get a deeper understanding of the characters and they lead the way.

What comes easily?

Writing the characters is always fun for me in part because they write themselves. I’ve been a psychologist for over 30 years so I spent most of my time listening to people tell their stories. I do not do any research when I create characters. It’s more like they’re showing up and I put them on the page.

Are your characters completely fictitious or have you asked people from the real world that you know?

The characters the reader encounters on the page are fictional, though parts of them are etiquette, speech patterns, how they see the world, some physical characteristics may be influenced by real people I watched, but I think that’s true for most fictional characters. Characters.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any writers who have influenced the way you write, and if so, how have they influenced you?

My first influence was Jonathan Kellerman, a psychologist whose best-selling series introduces Dr. Alex Delaware, a psychologist who works with a homicide detective to solve homicides. I followed his example in creating a main character, Dr. Pepper Hunt, who specializes in forensic psychology Makes her a valuable advisor to the sheriff’s department in a small town.

I’m a big fan of Tana French who writes the Dublin murder series. Her characters are fascinating and sufficiently complex. I also admire the fullness of the language, the exact details in the description.

Do you have a target reader?

This is something I am still in the process of clarifying. In general, from the analysis of social media I have seen and the voting rate at book events, it seems that my readers are more women than men, and move mostly from the mid-1920s to the 1950s. I write to discerning readers who are more interested in the inner world of the characters and their motives and enjoy literary fiction more than plot stories.

Regarding writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I use the Nanowrimo process which involves free writing of the first draft without paying attention to the correctness of the edit, just download the story first and rewrite and change as many times as necessary. I tend to write something first thing in the morning before something else can get in the way.

Do you describe? If so, do you do it extensively or just chapter headings and a few sentences?

Nothing that can be identified as a true outline. I fail to concentrate my thoughts into this kind of organization. I think a lot about the story as I go through the day and it pretty much connects until I sit down to write. Maybe I’ll think about and write down what I want to happen in the episode, but that’s how far it comes.

Are you editing while or waiting for you to finish?

I save the edit when I have a handwriting with a completed story arc. It can be after 2, 3 or 4 work drafts.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what causes the fingers to tap?

I love music and maybe listen before writing, but when I write I need silence.

On publishing

Have you submitted your work to agents?

Over the course of a year I asked 100 agents. Some I never heard, some rejected the idea outright, many asked to see 10, or 25, or 50 pages, a chapter, three chapters, some the whole manuscript.

What made you decide to go indie, whether self-published or indie? Was it a specific event or a gradual process?

I learned about some indie and hybrid publishing that got manuscripts directly. I got secondary offers and decided to go with She Writes Press because I was impressed with Brock Warner’s vision and the quality of her team and especially the support given to the writers and among the writers.

Did you do your book cover professionally or did you do it yourself?

The book covers of She Writes Press are designed by Julie Metz with contributions from the author. I could not have been more pleased with the cover designs.

Do you have a marketing plan for a book or do you just wing it?

I have a marketing plan that evolves as I learn more about the industry and the process. There are so many great resources for authors to learn how to do this. Joanna Penn, Tim Gerhel, Mark Dawson, David Gohan, to name a few I learned. I also work with my publicist BookSparks.

Is there any advice you would like to give to other beginners considering becoming an indie writer?

Use all the support and information available and offered by other indie authors. I continue to be amazed and grateful to the indie writers who offer their tips and success stories freely.

Although it is a very competitive field with 8 million books for sale on Amazon, the world of indie authors is a welcoming world.

End of interview:

Get your copy of Unknown validity M Amazon USA or Amazon UK.



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