Frequently Asked Questions about James Lalonde

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Hello, Book Lover!

 

You’re on this page because you’ve read The Candidate, The Lawn, or Missing and you have a few questions about James Lalonde. Or perhaps, you want to know about my publishing schedule and what I’m working on next.

 

Well, you’re in the right place. 

 

Before you dive into the questions, I have a brief disclaimer. The questions marked with a “*” contain spoilers, but they are super vague spoilers for the series. 

 

* This answer contains spoilers that will be revealed in future books.

James Lalonde

A frenchman named James Lalonde I found this hard to believe. Why doesn't he have a french first name? *
Much like English speaking people give their children French first names, the same thing occurs in France. These names are used because they sound sophisticated or unique. But you’re here to understand how James got his names. Emmanuelle Lalonde, James’s mother, is a French model who moved to New York to pursue her dream. James’s father is a man she met while living in New York. They married and soon had a child, James. Together, they chose a name that would work in English and French.

Was James raised by this grandparents? If so, what happened to his parents? *
Yes, James was raised by his grandparents from the age of three.

 

Emmanuelle Lalonde, James’s mother, is a French model who moved to New York to pursue her dream. As a child, she dreamed of walking the runway and seeing her photographs in Vogue. James’s father is a man she met while living in New York. They married and soon had a child, James. Together, they chose a name that would work in English and French.

 

However, three years after his birth, their relationship fell apart. Fearing she would lose custody of her child, Emmanuelle took three-year-old James back to Poitiers to live with her parents, Dr Francois Lalonde and Dr Valerie Lalonde. Upon arrival, she changed his last name on his birth certificate to match hers. Soon after moving to France, Emmanuelle was diagnosed with Acute Monocytic Leukemia. She returned to New York to participate in experimental cancer treatment. A year later, James’s grandparents learned of her death and raised their grandson.

 

Who is James's father? *
Eventually, James makes a few discoveries in relation to his parentage. The arc of the series follows James’s search into his mother’s death and makes discoveries along the way. So, yes, this answer is vague, but I want to avoid spoiling the James Lalonde amateur sleuth mysteries for you.

 

I promise to reveal more information about James and his past in future books. And, I’m not talking hypothetically. His search starts in Duplicity, which is book two.

 

Why doesn't James sound French in the dialogue of the books?

This is a question I don’t like to hear, and when people ask this, I become upset. Why? Because my husband speaks English as a second language, he’s French. Outside of work, people talk to him as if he’s too stupid to live because he speaks with an accent, which I barely notice. Did I mention that he has a PhD, worked as an assistant professor and defended his PhD thesis in English? You get it; he’s a smart guy. I feel like this question comes out of a place of ignorance that someone who speaks English as a second language speaks poorly, makes a lot of mistakes, or speaks with a strong accent. These are myths.

 

Just like my husband, James is French, lives in the United Kingdom and has a job that requires him to speak and write in English all day. In addition, James studied English literature and journalism at two different universities in England. So, his grasp of the English language is fluent. On top of this, he’s also the chief editor of a small newspaper, the Northampton Tribune.

 

He’s had a lot of experience speaking and writing in English; this is why you don’t notice it in the dialogue. And then there’s the apparent reason; it is hard to explain in dialogue that a person pronounces their “h” as aspirated or can sometimes not pronounce the end of words. Imagine if I wrote, “the oney com tasted bitter-sweet.” No one would understand what I meant. It’s just not practical.

 

I’m stepping off my soapbox now.

Locations in Missing

Is the Northampton Tribune a real newspaper?
No, it’s a fictional newspaper.

 

At the time of writing Missing, no such newspaper existed. And, any similarities to current newspapers in Northampton are purely coincidental. However, I took inspiration for the layout of the building of the Northampton Tribune from the newsroom of the New York Times to help me write the newsroom scenes in Missing.

 

Is the Northampton Museum of Anthropology real?
Sort of.

 

In Missing, the Northampton Museum of Anthropology (aka the NMA) is housed in the Northampton Guildhall.

 

But the museum itself was inspired by the museum of archaeology and anthropology, which is in Cambridge, United Kingdom. So it’s a real place that you can visit. Admission is free, and it’s open from Tuesday through to Sunday. Check out the museum’s website for more details.

 

Is Coffee Haven a Real Place?

Sorry, it’s not a real coffee house.

The Books

In what order should I read the books?

It’s perfectly fine to read Missing, then go back and read The Lawn and then The Candidate.

 

But if you’re looking to read the books according to a timeline order, this is for you.

 

  1. The Candidate (the first book in the Rookie Reporter mystery series)
  2. The Lawn
  3. Missing

 

Eleven short stories and novels will eventually be published between The candidate and The Lawn. These books are the Rookie Reporter series and feature the highlight reel from James’s first year as a journalist. But you don’t have to wait for these to be published. The books still make sense if you read them in the order they were published.

 

I've discovered that you're publishing a third edition of Missing? What do I do If I've read the original version?

Yes, I’m writing the third edition of Missing. The book will be given a new title, and I will add to the bottom of the book description that the novella was previously published as Missing. 

 

I’m writing the third edition because many readers were disappointed by the ending, and to be honest, I rushed that novella to publication. Looking back, I wish I had taken the time to do another draft. This is why Duplicity is taking so long to be published. I’ve learned the truth behind the old saying, “fools rush in.” But back to Missing. I will be changing the ending to make it more satisfying for the reader. 

 

If you would like to get your hands on the third edition of Missing for free, sign up to become a James Lalonde Insider by filling out the form below. 

 

When will the third edition of Missing be published?

I aim to publish the third edition of Missing by the end of June 2022.

 

If you would like to get your hands on the third edition of Missing for free, sign up to become a James Lalonde Insider by filling out the form below.

 

When will Duplicity be published?

I’ve reached the end of the third draft of Duplicity. At this time I’ve decided to do another pass on the story to tighten up any problem areas of the manuscript. After this, I pass the story on to a beta reader for feedback. Next, I will send it to my Editor. Hopefully, the novel will be published in July or August.

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