Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Author DiGiuseppi: THE LIGHT BRINGER offers readers inspiration, comfort & hope

I met Chris DiGiuseppi and Mike Force, authors of THE LIGHT BRINGER, at a book-signing held recently at 6 North Cafe in Chesterfield, Mo. In today's interview, Chris addresses issues that interested me both as a reader and writer.

16 PEOPLE WILL DIE on Police Officer Alan Crane's watch. But while tragic and untimely death is no stranger to the jaded ex-Marine, his newfound supernatural ability to lead these people to their spiritual fates sends him on a sensational and frightening saga that will ultimately answer: Why these sixteen? What do they have in common? And why has Alan been chosen to bring them to the light?

Chris DiGiuseppi has more than 20 years in law enforcement at various levels, up to and including assistant chief of police. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Northwestern University School of Police Staff Command. He is trained in various aspects of law enforcement and holds degrees in human resources and business administration. Chris lives with his wife and children in Missouri.

Mike Force has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement, the last 19 as a police chief. He has numerous certifications in various areas of law, forensics, investigations and criminology. Mike is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and served  22 years in the U.S. Marines, where he retired as a captain.  He oversaw operations for 27 military installations worldwide. He holds degrees in political science and human resources. Mike lives with his wife in Missouri and has three grown children and a granddaughter.

The Writers’ Lens is about Bringing fiction into focus. What brings your writing into focusthe characters, the stories, the love of words? In my opinion, our story is brought into focus by the mixture of fiction and real emotion, which is derived through our experiences of true events we’ve experienced.  These aspects allow our readers to relate to their experiences with death and how they felt when enduring those instances.    
What inspired your book? THE LIGHT BRINGER was inspired by many of the tragic incidents that Mike and I encountered over our 50 combined years in law enforcement.  Those instances typically revolved around death and those family members who were left behind in tremendous grief and pain. As a police officer, I yearned to try to do more for those people who were caught in such despair. The initial motivation for the book was something that helped me in dealing with those difficult circumstances but as the journey continues, I’ve found that the book has offered inspiration, comfort and hope to others as well.

What do you think readers will like about your book? I think THE LIGHT BRINGER attempts to solicit thought from the reader about how they live their life while offering them an opportunity to think beyond their own mortality. We’ve found that many readers who enjoy the good vs. evil premise that the story is based around and additionally like the message that revolves around seeking clarity of purpose in dark times.
How much fact is in your fiction? A good deal of fact is in our fiction. The first half of THE LIGHT BRINGER is based around true incidents that Mike and I encountered throughout our lives. I find that factual incidents added to a fictional story enhances the writing as it allows the author to focus on real emotion from actually experiencing the events.
What makes your book/characters unique? Our characters are a compilation of other people that Mike and I have met in our personal lives. We composed our main character in THE LIGHT BRINGER around our values and the way we visualize a real police officer – empathetic, compassionate,with a willingness to help and the desire to do what’s right.

How do you find time to write and do a demanding job? It’s not easy.  I have a full time job and a family with five children. I mostly write late at night or when I get time on the weekends. I try to pace myself as I only write when I’m motivated and passionate about the story. I’ve often began projects then stopped for several months until that craving to create the story rises to the surface once again. 

Would you share a bit about your next project? We are currently working on the next book in the series (it’s a trilogy). The second book goes into more depth regarding the characters’ backgrounds and the organization of good and evil in the world. It brings us closer to sparking thought about the haunting question of “Why do people die?” We hope to have that manuscript to our publisher and released within 2012. I’ve additionally finished a manuscript on a murder-mystery/thriller that I’ve recently sent to my agent and hope to begin searching for a publisher on that endeavor as well.
What's your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? I love a format which is interactive so I can learn from my audience. We’ve been invited to numerous speaking engagements and my favorite times are when we’re in a group where communication flows both ways. I’ve met so many interesting and inspirational people through these events as the experiences have been invaluable.

Since this is a collaborative work, how did you work together? I came up with the basic outline of the story, then Mike and I collaborated on putting it together. We would brainstorm about the various chapters, then one of us would write it up and send it to the other, who would add or delete ideas. This went on until we had a solid draft prior to professional edits. Our success stemmed from our core values and thought processes being very similar. Additionally, those real incidents we used throughout the story were our own experiences, which also made the writing between the two of us easier. Attempting to write with a co-author who you don’t share the same thought process or values would be extremely difficult.
How did you find your agent? We found our agent through networking.  A friend of Mike and I, who is a life coach and motivational speaker, introduced us to our agent. Her name is Linda Langton and she owns Langton’s International Agency at She can be contacted through her website at this page for those interested -

In January, THE LIGHT BRINGER was the number 3 bestseller at independent book-sellers in the St. Louis area. What type of marketing has been most successful for you so far? From my experience, two avenues have played well in marketing. Television and radio interviews seem to attract publicity but the “word of mouth” approach by doing speaking engagements and other types of face to face interactions have played out great. Networking is the key to success in getting published and in marketing – meet everyone you can and try not to pass up any opportunity to network!  

MIKE COMMENTED: Just wanted you to know that I looked over Chris’ answers and concur completely. We’ve actually discussed many of the questions many times and I’m always amazed at how much we think alike. I can’t overemphasize the importance of an absolute sharing of core values to the success of collaborative efforts like THE LIGHT BRINGER. Although we have separate life experiences, Chris and I have shared so much over the past twenty years that we are just a couple of half-wits who, together, make a pretty complete package. Seriously, though, Chris and I have both learned so much from each other and I couldn’t imagine having come this far with THE LIGHT BRINGER alone or with another partner."
THE LIGHT BRINGER is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, Barnes& Noble and Books-A-Million, as well as at St. Louis-area independent book-sellers such as Main Street Books, Roses Bookhouse, Left Bank Books, Pudd'nhead Books, Subterranean Books, and Sue's News (

Visit the authors and view their book trailer at


  1. Great inteview, Teresa!

    I had the honor of reading The Light Bringer manuscript before it went to final edits and couldn't put it down. Of course, I had to buy the finished product and read again. I'm usually not much for re-reading books, but I'm glad I bought The Light Bringer because I suspect it is one I'll read multiple times. I think it's a story that reveals new aspects each time I read. (I do that when I read Neil Gaiman titles, too, so Mike & Chris are in good company.)

    I've read the manuscripts of the second installment and the murder mystery/thriller, too. My opinion is it just keeps getting better and better! I'm eager for these new works to be published so I can dig into them.

  2. Chris and Mike -- Thanks so much for sharing your story with The Writers' Lens. I'll be looking for that next book!