Interview with François Houle, Author of The Little Lies We Hide
10 Dec 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, The Little Lies We Hide?
It was a lot of fun to write. My previous books have been emotionally heavy (especially the endings), and this time I wanted it to be a bit lighter. Not to say that readers won’t go through a gamut of different emotions as they make their way through the tale, because they will, but overall, it’s a little less emotionally draining. One of my early readers sums it up nicely: “I felt hate, pity, love, betrayal and anger while turning each page.”
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always been a reader. I remember in grade 3, my friends and I used to trade comic books. In high school, I started to read novels, and when I was twenty-two, I challenged myself to write a novel. It took me 2 years and wasn’t very good, but I had learned that I had the patience to see it through.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
It’s hard to remember books that I read when I was younger and my taste has changed so much. I also didn’t start to read English books until my late teens, once I was done high school (I was educated in French so I missed on reading the English classics). These are my most recent favourite books:
o The Lightkeeper’s Daughters – Jean E. Pendziwol
o The Alice Network – Kate Quinn
o Pennie from Burger Heaven – Marcy Mckay
o Julia’s Daughters – Colleen Faulkner
o The Foundation Series – Isaac Asimov (I read those in the 1980s when I went through my sci-fi phase and they are the only sci-fi books from those days that I’ve kept).
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Marcy Mckay. Her character Copper Daniels is so refreshingly unique and I would love to know how she came up with such a sassy and strong 11-year-old protagonist.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The actual writing process, seeing the words appear on paper (or MS Word) where nothing was until I thought of them. Sometimes, those words surprise me and they just come out fast and furious, and other times it’s a struggle just to get a page done. It’s painful and aggravating, and I’m often full of doubts and wonder why, oh why I spend so many hours of my life sitting alone in my office to write, but then when I get wonderful emails from readers who simply want to tell me how much they enjoyed my book, then I know that’s why I do this. My stories connect me with other people.
What is a typical day like for you?
I get up at 5:15am and get ready for my day job. I’m usually home by 4:30pm and might be able to write for an hour. If my wife is working late, I’ll get dinner ready. We’ll reconnect and talk about our day during dinner, and then I might be back in my den by 7:30pm and write until I’m tired.
What scene in The Little Lies We Hide was your favorite to write?
That’s a hard question as there are a lot. I really like the opening scene as it sets the story quite well (I think), but there’s a scene near the end with David (and I can’t say more) that surprised me because it wasn’t what I had planned but the story did.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
• I just try to be a decent person, a loving husband, and a supporting father.
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