Monday, June 1, 2015

Jean Fournier Johnson ~ an interview and her novel ~ A Fearful Lie

Title: A Fearful Lie
Author: Jean Fournier Johnson
Genre: Literary Fiction/Mystery
Length: 346 pages
Release Date: April 25, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1508674542  

Jean Fournier Johnson


Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: I’m a night person, although strangely I don’t really like going out in the evening unless it’s for dinner with my husband and friends. I love to spend a couple of hours by myself when the house is quiet watching television or writing before I go to bed. I find I’m most creative when I know I won’t be interrupted.

Q: Tell me one thing about each of the four seasons you like. It can be anything.
A:        Winter = I love waking up to find the world blanketed in snow. I love the way the snow sticks to the branches of the pine trees outside our windows.
            Spring            = When I see the first robin of the year I always feel as if the world has awakened after a long sleep.
            Summer = I love the way it feels when a hot day cools down as evening falls and I hear children playing outside before their parents call them home to bed.
            Fall = I feel most alive in the fall when the trees turn red and gold and the air is crisp and cool. I love the sound of dry leaves rustling under my feet as I walk along the sidewalk.

Q: Tell me something you would like your readers (fans) to know about you.
A: It may sound strange given the subject matter of my novel but I believe that happiness is a choice we make every day. No matter what happens to us we can choose to be happy or we can choose to be sad. I prefer to be happy.    

Q: When you think of a garden, do you picture vegetables or flowers?
A: Always flowers. When I was growing up my grandmother had a flower garden, bursting with peonies and roses. I can still smell their perfume drifting beside me as I played on the grass.

Q: Snack of choice – chips, pretzels, popcorn, or cookies, cake, candy? Or maybe you’re a healthy snacker - fruit, yogurt, nuts, raisins?
A: Well, I do like fruit and yogurt but…if I’m honest I am crazy about chips and popcorn and candy. I never go to a movie without buying a jumbo box of popcorn to munch and there is always Werther’s candy in a bowl on a table in the living room.

Jean Fournier Johnson was born in Nova Scotia, educated in Quebec and lives with her husband in Ontario, Canada. She has two children and three grandchildren. A FEARFUL LIE is her first novel.


Q: Describe your favorite heroine?
A: I love the unnamed heroine of Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca. She is so young and  tentative and afraid in the beginning, so out of place at the manor, but grows to womanhood over the pages of the novel.

Q: Who's your favorite author?
A: Well, that would be Daphne DuMaurier. I don’t think she has an equal in the literary world at creating a mood. I read her books over and over, especially Rebecca, trying to figure out how she does it. I haven’t succeeded yet.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: I play it by ear. I am sometimes amazed when my protagonist insists on acting in a way I hadn’t thought of. Of course, I do know I  thought of it, but sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. I find too that ideas come to me as I write for future chapters.

Q: When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?
A: I’m fairly straightforward when I write, although I do go back and add dialogue or whole scenes in a chapter after it is completed.

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: Absolutely not. As I was writing A FEARFUL LIE I was certain about the way the story would wind up. In the end my book concludes in a completely different way.

Q: How does the man in your life feel about the genre you write? Has he read any of your work?
A: My husband is a huge support and my biggest fan. He doesn’t read my work as it is ongoing but delights in reading the finished work.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I am writing a literary novel now with a working title THE SUMMERHOUSE. It’s about an elderly woman who returns to the village where she grew up after a fifty year absence. It’s a story of love and abandonment and forgiveness.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: My novel A FEARFUL LIE is complete and due to be released through Black Hawk/Ravenswood publishing on April 25 of this year. It is the story of a tragic mistake, a decision made to keep a secret and the impact of those decisions on the life of a woman and her family.
Currently Available at:

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: I am on Facebook…Jean Bruce Fournier Johnson and on Twitter…Jean Fournier @fournier_jean

Q: Are you currently participating in a blog tour? If you are let’s tell everyone where you’re going to be so they can catch up with you again.
A: I will be a part of a virtual tour under the Black Hawk imprint of Ravenswood Publishing beginning April 25, 2015. The tour schedule and be found at

By the time Gloria sees the little boy step out from between the parked cars it is too late. She hears the sickening thud as her vehicle strikes his body. She remembers that third drink at the bar, her husband’s career as a police officer. Fearful that if she stays she will ruin the lives of those she loves. Gloria drives away. She leaves the child on the sidewalk for his mother to find.

Having convinced herself she can live with this decision, Gloria is surprised to find her guilt taking a toll on her family. Turning away from her marriage as it falls apart, she decides to atone for her crime by devoting her life to helping others.

What better place to start than with Marisa, the mother of the boy she killed?

About writing A FEARFUL LIE   

My first hope when I began writing A FEARFUL LIE was, of course, to create a book that people would enjoy reading. I especially had women’s book clubs in mind. Having been a member of several such clubs over the years I learned that the works that engendered the most discussion and debate were those that had a moral dilemma at their heart. So I decided to create a story about a tragic mistake, a silence kept and a life lived trying to atone.

I imagined that those who read A FEARFUL LIE would be inspired to think about their own ideas of what is right and what is wrong and to ask what they might have done in the Gloria’s place. Most people have strong convictions about morality. Some believe that there is an ultimate morality; others argue that what is moral can depend on the circumstances. But I think that many of us want to believe that we would always do the “right” thing, no matter how hard. I wonder about that. I wonder if given the right circumstances any one of us might not do the “wrong” thing in a moment of panic.  

I also wanted to explore the idea of atonement. Western culture teaches that when we do something wrong we must find a way to put it right. But again I wonder if that’s ever possible. Can anything Gloria does for others make up for the fact that she killed Joshua and drove away? Certainly she spends fifteen years of her life trying. I will leave it for the reader to decide if she is successful or not.

Here is something to entice you to see more.
Reporter: (Holding a microphone and speaking to a cameraman) I’m waiting outside the door of the art room in the recreation centre where people will be coming to take a painting course. Of course, art classes are given all the time but at Channel 7 we are interested in why people want to be here. Has becoming an artist been a life long dream? Is this an opportunity to learn a new skill or refresh an old one? Is it to meet new people? I see someone approaching now. Let’s find out what brought her here.

Reporter: Hello! I see you have enrolled in the art course. Would you be willing to answer a few questions?

Gloria: (Glances at the cameraman and hesitates) I guess so. What do you want to know?

Reporter: Well, what brings you here? Do you have a background in art? Or are you trying out something new?

Gloria: No, I don’t know much about painting at all. My eldest daughter has moved out and her sister will be off to university shortly. With them away from home I will have more time for myself. (Laughing nervously) Coming here is an empty nest thing likely.

Reporter:  So you’re hoping that art will fill the void that will come with your daughters gone?

Gloria: Oh, I don’t think so. I wouldn’t suppose that’s possible. I always loved art in school, (laughing) a million years ago.  I saw the poster about it in the library and decided to give it a try. You never know, right? Maybe I’m the next Picasso!

Reporter: (smiling patiently) Well, let’s hope so! Good luck and have fun.

(Gloria moves away and the reporter notices someone whose face she has seen before. She recognizes Marisa Malcolm from the time when pictures of her were on the news and in the papers after a hit-and-run driver killed her child.)

Reporter: Excuse me. Would you mind speaking with me for a few minutes? I’m from Channel 7. We’re doing a human interest piece on the art course being offered here at the rec centre.

Marisa: (Glances around nervously) I suppose so. I have only a few seconds though. I don’t want to be late on the first night.

Reporter: Oh, don’t worry. I won’t  keep you long. I think I recognize you. Aren’t you Marisa Malcolm?

Marisa: (Sighs deeply) Yes, I am. Is that why you want to talk to me? Because of what happened to Joshua? Because I really don’t want to discuss him with you.

Reporter: (Reassuringly) No, no, not at all. (Pauses) But I do hope you know that you are still in the hearts and prayers of everyone in the city. We were all so sorry for your loss.

Marisa: Well, thank you for that.  John and I deeply appreciate everyone’s concern for us. But we are trying to move on and away from that day. That’s why I’m here I suppose. I’m trying to do things that will add joy to my life.

Reporter: Of course you are.  But it must be so hard given that the killer was never caught. You must wish you could have closure.

Marisa: Closure? Why does everyone think that will make any difference? Nothing will bring Joshua back. I’m just here to have a bit of fun if I can.

(Marisa moves away quickly and walks through the open door of the art room.)

Reporter: (Turning to face the camera) Well, it’s obvious that Marisa Malcolm has not recovered from the loss of her child. I suppose she never will. But perhaps this art course will bring her the joy she’s seeking. Who knows? Maybe she will find what she’s looking for here.

I’m happy you could join me on Books and Banter.  I hope you had fun with the Q & A’s

Just a reminder to the reader ~ before you leave please take a look at the  
Funny/Stupid and Interesting Tabs.

Come back and visit again.

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