Thursday, September 22, 2011
Interview with Chris DiGuiseppi and Mike Force (Part II)
Donna: In your career as police officers you deal with the darker side of human nature every day, yet you both are positive and grounded. How do you manage to keep your spirits up in the midst of the dark side of life?
Chris and Mike: For me it’s two things that are directly related – God and good people. My faith and spirituality have carried me through many traumatic incidents and those good people around me help ease the burden. They are people I can talk to about those difficult situations. Many times in law enforcement we tend to overlook the fact that police officers are human beings that need some type of coping mechanism to deal with tragedy. Sadly, the ways that some have chosen to cope involve very destructive paths that involve depression, alcoholism, broken marriages and even suicides. Inspired by both our faith and those closest to us, we found that writing the book was our way of cleansing our souls.
Donna: I've known you two for a couple years and it is evident that you both are spiritual and compassionate. What message do you hope readers or anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one will take away after reading THE LIGHT BRINGER?
Chris and Mike: A message of hope and inspiration that leads them to believe there is life after death. Also a message that allows the reader to take a look at the way they’re living their life which will affect those things that happen after we die. We also want the reader to know that they are not alone in their despair and frustration over the mystery of death. Lastly, we believe it important for those who have found it difficult to forgive themselves for things they have done in this life to recognize that there is help there for them to forgive and return to a path that serves God and their fellow man better.
Donna: That is a positive message for sure. Next question - I’ve been told that just about every police officer has that one case that won’t let go. Without giving specifics or names, can you share anything about which case that is for you? Without going into too many details it’s those cases that never really leave your mind.
Chris: With me it’s the ones that involve children. I can still vividly remember the time when I held an infant that died. I still remember the image and his face – it never really goes away. It’s those things that haunt us but yet it’s that baby’s face that gives me inspiration to write and try to help others in grief and pain. Death has been a great and horrible teacher which has taught me an incredible amount about life.
Mike: There are so many tragic events that have become part of what drives me to try to help others that I hesitate to single one out. However, a particularly tormenting case involved a teenage girl who had run away from her home in Georgia to stay with an aunt in Missouri. Stricken with depression and not being able to find the help she needed she took her own life by way of a shotgun blast to her face. I cannot help but be reminded of her and the importance of helping others through their toughest times as I deal with troubled youth and their parents.
Donna: What has been the reaction from readers to your book?
Chris and Mike: We’ve had great feedback and comments. It’s extremely rewarding to hear people who say to us that our book really helped them. We’ve had people approach us at book signings who were crying because they could relate to the story and how it touched their hearts losing a loved one. Helping those people and seeing the book make a difference has been beyond rewarding. Knowing that The Light Bringer serves to provoke thought that results in someone bettering their lives is a wonderful reward for the work we've don on the book.
Donna: I have to admit that I got chills while reading parts of your book, and at other times I was uplifted, so I can imagine that others have felt the same way. What’s next for Chris and Mike?
Chris and Mike: Other than continuing our law enforcement careers we’re working on the other two books in The Light Bringer trilogy. The second book is complete and in draft form awaiting initial edits.
Donna: Do you have any book signings or speaking events scheduled for the near future?
Chris and Mike: We are talking to Saturday Writers on Saturday, September 24, at the Cultural Arts Center in St. Peters City Hall. The meeting begins at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. We have books available for sale at the meeting. We also have a book signing at Rose’s Bookhouse on October 29th at 12pm in O’Fallon MO (8935 Veterans Memorial Parkway O'Fallon, MO 63366-3093)
Donna: If someone is unable to make it to one of your live events, what’s the best way for readers to contact you to order copies of your book?
Chris and Mike: You can order the book through our website, www.thelightbringerbook.com at Barnes and Nobel or Amazon or through many local bookstores such as Main Street Books, Roses Book House, Paperbacks, Etc., Barnes and Nobel or request it at your favorite book store. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we love to hear from readers!
Donna: Anything else you’d like to add?
Chris and Mike: Yes, we want everyone to know that when we started seriously pursuing this endeavor we did so through your Coffee and Critique group where we found invaluable advice and information about writing. We want other writers to know that the creative thought and constructive criticism that we received from that group gave us a great foundation that pushed us into the literary world. Anyone serious about writing should consider such a group as a necessary resource.
And in parting we would like to say – In those dark times of despair may you find great clarity in what to do – God bless and stay safe, Chris and Mike.
Donna: Thanks for your time and wisdom--and for mentioning our critique group. I'm so happy for your success and wish you much more, not only publishing books, but also for touching the lives of people in need.
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