Interview with Lynne Torrente

Published 2014-05-12.
It's great to chat about your new book, Cameras Don't Lie. Let's begin.
Thank you. It's wonderful see the completed work. :-)
What's the story behind your latest book?
Ah a smile comes to my face :-)

My latest book, "Cameras Don't Lie" is about Devlin Cole and the residents of Spring Manor and how they are affected at having Jesus in their town. The book is the result of some questions I asked myself a few years back, "What if Jesus came to earth today, and NOT 2 000 years ago, how would we be affected by Him and His presence and what He stood for? And more importantly, who today would want Him dead? I've called Jesus Adam to keep it fictional although it's based on the Biblical scriptures.

The main character is Devlin Cole who is around 39 years old. She has it all and seems to be happy. She has a thriving photographic studio, wonderful husband, lovely home. But when Adam comes to town, things change. The residents are taken by this kind man who knows everything about everybody, heals all He meets and claims to be from Heaven to reconcile man to God. Devlin spends more and more time with His as she covers stories for the local newspaper. He even heals her of her past hurts and it seems she might even get her heart's deepest desire. And she begins to believe with the residents that He is who He says He is. So she is extremely surprised that Adam's presence is disconcerting to some. When a murder takes place she begins to connect the dots and together with her long-time college friend, uncovers shocking truths that rock her world.

What she captures with her camera - the healings and His love for the people - changes her forever!
There are many books written with the Bible as base, what makes yours stand out from the rest?
Yes, there are quite a number of Biblical works of fiction. But I do believe my book, Cameras Don't Lie, is different in that Jesus is on earth now and the miracles He performs are in today's context. For instance the first miracle is performed at a modern day shopping mall with it's porcelain tiles, bright lights, air conditioning and dazzling displays. A far cry from what Jerusalem looked liked in His day. And the main character is actually the woman with the "issue of blood" in Mathew 9:20. In today's terms, barrenness would bring the same heartache as it would have then. And my main character, Devlin Cole, has all these emotions to deal with, plus the emotions that transpire from the way the story and her life play out in the book.

And just as Jesus was a threat those many years ago, in Cameras Don't Lie, He is a threat to a certain community and He is even threatened to stop His work. But He doesn't. And just as He was put to death in Bible days by way of crucifixion, how would one be put to death today? That too is what sets my book apart. He does come to earth to redeem and only death can bring that. And then... (*smiling* but can't reveal too much - it would spoil it for the reader)
What do you want the reader to get out of the book?
You’re always asked the question, “What do you want your reader to get out of your book?” But I’d like to rephrase this question to this. “What do I as the author, get out of my book?”

I believe this means that when you re-read your book for whatever reason, does the book or the contents of the book – the words – affect you? And I suppose you might say, “Well it can’t really because it was in my head in the first place.” True. I agree. To a certain but not definite extent. But I do believe that if you’ve written from your heart and not your head entirely, that when you do re-read it, it should have the capacity to affect you as you look from the outside in.

I used this to ask myself that question. And this is what I ‘got out of the book’. I wanted to know the Jesus in the book. The relationship He had with Devlin – I wanted it! I wanted to walk beside the river with Him as she did and share with Him my dreams and hopes and hear the plans He had for me and my life. I wanted to have that mischievous nature in my life filling it with lightness and joy. I wanted Him to tease me about my little “mishaps” as He did with Devlin and give her a way out. And then I realize, I can have that relationship. Well I’ve always know it, but reading it in a fictionalized format brings a fresh perspective on it.

And this is exactly the effect I trust that the reader will have during and at the end of the book. It’s one woman’s journey from heart filled with guilt from an incident in her childhood plus the heartache and sadness that her illness is keeping her heart’s desire at arms’ length. But when she meets Jesus (or Adam as He is called in the book) she begins her exciting journey of change amidst the scary backdrop of murder and the strange fear that Adam’s presence brings to a certain section of the community. She has to figure out who commits the murder, deal with a husband who is unhappy with her involvement in the case while uncovering secrets that change her forever.

But Adam’s presence gives her a reason to fight and carry on with inner change while dealing with the external challenges. He believes in her and trusts her with that mission. He wants her to use her talent as photographer and journalist to share the truth that will set the people free even when she feels threatened by the sector that seems out to stop this kind man and his work.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design has to sum up the book in a few seconds. Or at least, sum up the emotions you as author want the reader to experience when they look at the cover. You need the cover to have the reader ask questions in those few seconds. In "Cameras Don't Lie" I just loved the black and white elements of the image. And it ties nicely in with the decor in the main character's studio where she has lined the walls with black and white prints. The one word in red I believe conjures up the questions; "Why use red? It looks like blood. Did someone die? How? Was the person murdered?" etc. Cover design is extremely difficult but when you arrive at the one that resonates with you, it's bliss. And with "Cameras Don't Lie" I really did do the 'dance of joy' in my sitting room.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, the one where I cried in class during reading lesson, but luckily I wasn't the only one. We had "White Fang" as one of our books in the syllabus. I couldn't understand why one would write such a sad book. I still own a hardcover edition on that.
What do you read for pleasure?
I try to read for pleasure, but it is so difficult because when I pick up my Kindle to read, I find myself analyzing the way sentences are constructed. I analyze the use of words. I then have re-read sections so that I can actually follow the story and not try to learn out of someone else's book. I sometimes get it right, reading for pleasure that is, and when I do, I enjoy it.
Describe your desk
Right now? Okay. Well, actually I write at the diningroom table which at the moment has a empty coffee cup, my file with book notes, my doggie's jersey (winter is around the corner), my daughter's top and her half finished art project, her hairbrush and oh, the doggie is at my feet. LOL.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle. I thought it would take a while to get used to, but I love the flexibility of it in that I can read four books at once depending on my mood, and I don't physically have to cart four books with me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I grew up in with wonderful parents and with a Mommy who always bought me books. When reader's digest knocked on the door, she always ticked off books on the list for me. I still have my first Animal book, and a Charlie Chapman book from that visit. They were always so proud of me and my reading prowess at junior school.
When did you first start writing?
I can't recall my age, but I do remember it was in junior school. The first story was about a little girl who couldn't speak, or more correctly, didn't want to speak, until she met the sweet granny down the road and through their visits, she became the 'granny's ugly duckling become swan and began speaking much to her Mommy's delight.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Things have changed so much in the publishing industry and it is liberating that the indie way has lost most if not all of its stigma. I decided on the indie way because I enjoy having full artist control over my art - my book, from the way the sentences are constructed, to the cover design. I am able to put my work out there in exactly the form that I want it. And that is truly liberating for an artist.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is the first time that I'm publishing via Smashwords so I'm hoping that it will be the way forward with all my books in the future. I love the concept and Mark Coker's vision inspires one to write more. He gives an opportunity to those who never would have been signed up with traditional publishers for whatever reason.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me the greatest joy is watching the characters in the book grow and develop. You write them into being and then you watch as they write the story for you as their lives become intermingled with the story line. You laugh with them and cry with them. They become real to you. And the imaginary world almost becomes real.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Ooh when its' so cold, a shove and a push. No seriously, getting my daughter to school is first on the list. Daily chores next and then my characters call to me for me to hurry on over to the laptop to get writing.
How will "Cameras Don't Lie' appeal to the reader?
It is labeled Christian Fiction, but it's written with great fictional elements; conspiracy, betrayal, murder, romance and a whole lot more. Although it is christian fiction, any open minded reader will, I believe, see the Biblical writings in a whole new light. Jesus (Adam in the book) was/is a real person and Devlin grows to love Him. She grows as a person, has to leave a lot of baggage behind (don't we all? LOL), while still trying to do her job as freelance journalist and photographer.
How did you come on the title "Camera's Don't Lie"?
Devlin thinks that she is happy, but in essence, she's actually been lying to herself all the years. When Adam (Jesus) comes to town she realizes He brings with Him real truth. As she photographs Him and the healings and interactions with and love for the residents of Spring Manor, she concludes that her camera has never lied to her. People have, those whom she's loved for so many years. She realizes that what she sees through her lens, is the real truth and He says He's come to set the captives free.
How do you describe your writing style?
I think the most difficult thing for an author to do is to develop his or her own voice. Very often I've read, that you must write that it feels light, easy, and I've read that one must write quickly. Not to edit as you write, because you destroy your creativity as you second-guess your writing. So I've tried to be true to myself. I've narrated where I've needed to. I've "shown and not told" where I've needed to. I filled in the blanks where I've needed to, but most of all, I've tried to be real and keep true to my writing style, which I would say is easy to read. When I read a book, I want just enough description so that I can see the scenes in my head and I try and write that way. When I've read a book, I've often skipped pages of description to move to the story. So I've written a book that I would like to read. With enough description and I leave the reader to paint their own spaces as they want to.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Taking care of my family, husband, my daughter of nine, the bunny Daisy-belle, the guineapig Buttons, and the new addition Bella, the Jack Russell puppy who is actually my daughter's birthday present. Working through homework with my daughter, taking care of the household, and meeting good girlfriends for coffee and a chat. I enjoy music and composing songs and recording at home. Youtube has one of my songs - Chasing Shadows. I should write more songs, but my book has devoured most of my time. LOL
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Books by This Author

Cameras Don't Lie
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 94,390. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Mystery & detective
What would happen if Jesus came to earth today? Who would want Him dead? Devlin Cole covers a healing in Spring Manor and nothing is the same. The stranger claims to be from heaven to redeem mankind. But when murder takes place, Devlin realizes that not everyone is as taken with Him. She connects the dots and uncovers shocking truths that rock her world. Fast paced.Biblical fiction with a twist.