A fellow Rhode Islander, Dr. Ayotte will be here from June 19-26 to discuss his wonderful writings, in particular his latest mystery "A Life Before".
Dr Ayotte will be awarding a copy of his book "A Life Before" to a lucky commenter!
Welcome to my blog, Julien. Tell us about your newest book.
JA: My latest mystery thriller is A Life Before, a satisfying combination of courtroom drama and highly promising supernatural occurrences. The novel offers a fresh new approach to the theme of reincarnation and the effects of past-life memories.
My wife and I moved into a new home in Cumberland, RI, in 2011, a one-story residence which needed a radon gas mitigation system because the level of radon gas emanating from the ground into our basement level was too high. Then a thought came to me. What if a devious contractor hid the threat of radon levels from prospective buyers and exposed them to the danger of lung cancer as a result of overexposure to this odorless gas. At about the same time, I had been reading about factual accounts of reincarnation in India, and decided to see if I could combine the two events into one mystery thriller. The result was quite satisfying and the ending quite startling.
The research required for the book involved extensive reading on radon gas and its effect on individuals who are overexposed to this gas emanating from basements left unsealed. When I heard that over 20,000 people a year die of lung cancer from exposure to this gas, I was shocked. The research on reincarnation was fascinating, especially the true accounts of Shanti Devi whose claims at being reincarnated could never be refuted, no matter how many attempts were made to do so. Much of my research is included in some form in the novel to allow the reader to do his/her own follow-up if they choose to do so. Most of the locations in my books are places my wife and I have been to over the years. It allows me to take readers to places they wish they had been. According to many readers, “You have taken to places I wish I had been to, but now I feel like I’ve been there.”
I have always loved a good mystery, and have had the good foresight to solve the ones I’ve read or seen before they are revealed to the readers or viewers. This often upsets my wife who wonders how I do this.
What I enjoy most is when readers tell me how much they enjoyed my stories and that I deserve more recognition than I am getting. That is quite flattering. A Life Before has been cited by Jon Land, a USA Today bestselling author, as a work worthy of reading, remembering, and recommending. US Review of Books and Apex Reviews called the novel a must read and a brilliant novel. As an author, what more can I ask for?...other than a literary agent and a movie producer’s blessing.
My debut novel in late 2012 was Flower of Heaven, a thriller about an affair between a young French woman from Paris who has an innocent affair with a young American on holiday. Once she finds that her young lover is a newly ordained priest, the affair ends as abruptly as it began, but not without its consequences. Francoise Dupont is pregnant and has twin sons which she gives up for adoption because she is penniless and cannot raise the sons. Fr. Richard Merrill is unaware for thirty-five years that he is the father of the boys until Francoise informs him. She is now part of a royal family in a Mid-Eastern oil-rich country and seeks Fr. Merrill’s help in finding the sons who are in danger from enemies of the royal family. In both Flower of Heaven and its sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, the reader experiences searches in Paris, Stockholm, Orvieto, Italy, and into war-torn Ethiopia to find the two sons. These two books have each won four national book awards, hold a prestigious Kirkus Review, and carry excellent rating reviews on Amazon.
I am a sucker for a good heroine, and all three of my novels have one. Clearly in Flower of Heaven and the sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, the main character if Francoise Dupont, the young French woman who rises from desperation after giving birth to twin sons out of wedlock to become a princess in another kingdom. Her dedication to the betterment of women in her newly adopted country is only overshadowed by her unfailing quest to find the two sons she foolishly gave up for adoption years earlier. In A Life Before, the heroine is Samantha Collins, the headstrong college student possessed with the mind of a murdered young housewife from twenty one years earlier. She is determined to rid the demons in her dreams, even if it means she must accept that she is the reincarnation of the slain woman from the past.
And what do you enjoy reading?
JA: I love to read David Baldacci, James Patterson, John Grisham, and Dan Brown, all excellent and accomplished mystery thriller authors. For me to mentioned as writing like they do is quite humbling.
What's the most daring thing you have ever done, Julien?
JA: The most daring thing I have ever done was to complete writing my first book in 2001 with a dentist from South Dakota, a book about financial planning. I believe this accomplishment inspire me to complete an old manuscript from 1987 which eventually resulted in my debut novel, Flower of Heaven.
Fascinating! Favorite meal?
JA: My wife of 54 years and I only eat chicken/turkey in the meat category. Otherwise, we are avid seafood lovers. A good Frutti di Mare is a dish I seldom pass up when dining out.
We have travelled the world during our fifty four years of marriage and, at age 75, we don’t have much of a bucket list left. The only area we have not been to is Asia, and at this point in our lives don’t really care to. I would much prefer to land a literary agent and a good publishing house that could get one or more of my books into a screenplay or major film series on television. Perhaps one day that will happen. Until then, I keep writing. Later this summer, I expect to release my fourth thriller, Disappearance, about the troubles within the witness protection program.
Thank you for a great interview, Julien!
To learn more about this author, visit his website, www.julienayotte.com, where you can connect to all the links for his books, including his email address.