Interview with Raymond Doyen

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I would like to welcome author Raymond Doyen and thank him for giving me the opportunity to interview him and discuss his outstanding novel, A Father’s Anguish and his career as an author.

Raymond’s book is based on a true story and it is heartfelt and told from the point of view of the father in the book. I would like to thank him for sharing his story with us. This is a heartfelt story written by one man whose daughter suffered at the hand of a rapist. Thank you so much for agreeing to share your story and agreeing to do this online interview with me. I encourage everyone to read A Father’s Anguish and to ask questions of the author and to write comments. Fran Lewis

Fran:
What made you want to share this with readers and our listeners?

Raymond:
The emotions that I experienced were so new to me and so unlike anything that I had ever experienced, I had an unexplainable need to record them. My daughter’s abduction and subsequent rape was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Before this, such brutality was only in newspapers or on television, far removed from my life.  My naive world disappeared in a heartbeat. I have always been a veracious reader so it was natural for me to want to write about it, from my point of view as opposed to the victims.

Fran:
How did your daughter feel when you told her she you were writing this book?

Raymond:
It took me five years to complete the manuscript as it is now. I had no experience in writing. I did it quietly and alone. Once completed an   a few friends [who insisted that I publish. my daughter and I ready it to each other. I told her I would only consider its publication if she approved. She not only approached but also did everything she could to help me find a publisher.

Fran:
What message do you hope to bring to the public?

Raymond:
I would like to bring a message of safety to families, daughters and victims to report rape. I also do not want fathers taking the law into their own hands.

Fran:
How did you finally come to deal with her ordeal? Did writing this book ease some of the pain?

Raymond:
Writing the book was how I got through the ordeal. I couldn’t find the rapist in reality, so my alter ego (the one I created in the book) found him and dealt with him for me. The book offered a therapy to express feelings and emotions such a sorrow, hate, rage and my love for my family. It offered my daughter the chance to understand those feelings.

Fran:
How did you come to create the character of Jason Hewitt?

Raymond:
He was created out of my daughter’s memory and my imagination.

Fran:
Why didn’t anyone realize what he was really like?

Raymond: The prisons are full of vicious lethal people who are not recognized until it was too late. A rapist isn’t a rapist until he is one.

Fran:
Did they ever find the person who hurt your daughter? Was this person brought to justice?

Raymond:
Yes he was found bloody and broken on his kitchen floor. Someone who was never identified beat him with a baseball bat. He was never prosecuted for rape.

Fran:
How did she deal with the ordeal
?

Raymond:
She changed her major from nursing too law enforcement; she dealt with many sex crimes after she became a police officer.

Fran:
As a medical person what steps did you take to help your daughter cope and what happened to her?

Raymond:
Such crimes and its emotional sequella were beyond my expertise. She was treated in an emergency room for S.T.D’ s. a possible of the unwanted pregnancy. At our insistence she had great deal of appointments with a psychiatrist and to she could put it into the proper perspective. His parents we supported her emotionally.

Fran:
What help did the police give you or didn’t you report it?

Raymond:
The rape was never reported. Which is something I very strongly discourage. Victims should not bathe (although it is a natural desire) this destroys evidence that can lead to, conviction. Seek medical and emotional support.

Fran:
What else would you like to discuss with our listeners/ readers?

Raymond:
I would like to discuss methods of writing. When do I write best; why do I choose the words I use; how do I view the art of writing?

Fran:
Why did you allow the father in the book to exact his revenge?

Raymond:
There were no forensics; no proof that a rape took place. Rape cases are notoriously difficult to convict.  Prior cases, if they exist, are seldom allowed, accusations are never allowed. If it came down to, he said — she said, who do you think would win? And it makes a great read. It’s what most men would want to do

Fran:
In real life do you think the ending would have been the same?

Raymond:
What makes you think it wasn’t?

Fran:
Why is this a crucial issue? What advice would you give young girls when they go out at night?

Raymond:
It is estimated that one million rapes occur each year, less than 30% are reported. One in five college girls are raped or sexually assaulted before they complete school. Drugs and alcohol are a factor in 50% of rapes. Moderation in all things, keep your wits about you .The rape drug Rohipnol which blanks out a girl whose drink has been spiked is very prevalent, and very dangerous. Please be aware, be careful, and be sure of the situation you’re in.

Fran:
Why did the father in this book want to know where his daughter was and why do you think she handled the situation so well?

Raymond:
She didn’t. Time heals all wounds.

Fran:
What websites or resources are there for girls/ parents to refer to in order to understand this issue and to get help?

Raymond:
Most communities have a rape crisis center.

Fran:
What are five things you would suggest that everyone learn from this book?

Raymond:
The messages taken from the book are different for each reader. For some it will be the horror of rape, for others the justice or injustice of vigilantism, and for others the excitement of reading a good thriller.

Fran:
Finally, what are some means of protection that women/girls in general can carry or use to protect them?

Raymond:
Carry Mace, Pepper Spray, Carry a whistle, Take karate. And most importantly be aware of your surroundings.

Fran:
What is your next project? Are you going to address another issue as important as rape or are you going to explore other avenues in your writing? If so what avenues will you explore and why?

Raymond:
I’m just completing a book about a woman who stalks. While II was happening.

Fran:
Thank you so much for agreeing to share your story and agreeing to do this online interview with me. I encourage everyone to read A Father’s Anguish and to ask questions of the author and to write comments. Fran Lewis

Part Two

Fran:
Do you have a mentor or mentoring group or community of writers or authors to support you and your writing?

Raymond:
No, I never really explored that avenue.

Fran:
Has your upbringing or environment influenced your writing?

Raymond:
My upbringing gave me a set of values that I strive to give to my “good guy characters “. My father, whom I admired greatly, is the prototype around which they are constructed. Their faults on the other in often come from me.

Fran:
Does dialogue add something to your writing what?

Raymond:
Dialogue, not just the words, but how it is constructed ultimately reflects the qualities of the character. Unlike script, dialogue quickly exposes the way the character thinks and his level of education. As a reader you will empathize with a character, or not, by the way he or she expresses themselves. It dictates their  personality. Well-constructed dialogue is essential

Fran:
Do you feel that writers in any genre owe something to their readers? Why or why not

Raymond:
I write for myself, but I owe my readers a well thought out well-constructed story; one that stimulates conflict in morals or ethics; one that entertains.

Fran:
When is there too much in a story?

Raymond:
Every sentence should contribute to the development of the story. Anything beyond that is too much. It is a concept that I have to constantly remind myself of.

Fran:
Do you hear from your readers and what do they say?

Raymond:
In the one book I have published all of the comments have been positive. You can see what people think of the book by going to my website at www. fathersanguish.com or Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com

Fran:
How does the Internet boost your career and writing?

Raymond: So far the Internet has no effect on sales of the book. Perhaps it’s because I do not know how to use the Internet effectively. The book was self published and is available on my web page at www.fathersanguish.com or as an

E- book@www.smashwords.com.

Fran:
Who are your publishers and what do they offer?

Raymond:
I self-published with a company called I Universe.I paid for editing, and printing.  For anything else, I’m on my own.  The book is not on any shelves but can be ordered online at most bookstores and on my webpage. It can also be ordered at I Universe but the shipping and handling is exorbitant.

Fran:
Why are reviews important? Where do you post them?

Raymond:
Reviews are the lifeblood of any book; otherwise the reader is buying a pig in a poke.
It is very difficult to get a reputable reviewer to read and review the first book from an unknown author. If my name were Sarah Palin it would be easier.

Fran:
Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?

Raymond:
I read very little fiction. My favorite authors are Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, Walter Isaacson, Jeff Shaara, from time to time I read Carl Sandberg, Jack London John Steinbeck Thomas capital of Wolfe. So many of today’s kitchen (his create great leaps of faith. Impossible situations with impossible escapes. The fiction I enjoy stays within the bounds of reality. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy, romance or Sci-Fi. I enjoyed history and real life fiction.

Fran:
What are your publishing experiences?

Raymond:
I have none

Fran:
Who influenced your writing the most?

Raymond:
Theodore Dreiser, Dostoyevsky, Victor Hugo, Thomas Wolfe.

Fran:
How is the way they handle emotional situations?

Raymond:
How emotions drive actions, and the way certain words are woven together to elicit the impact that I hope to achieve.

Fran:
Do you work with an outline or a plan? Do you just write?

Raymond:
I work from a broad outline. I know the point I want to start from, and I know how I want it to end. I think about the story months before I put pen to paper, but once I begin, the story rights it. The characters come in where they are needed. The moral or ethical dilemma is what the story most evolves around. As in real life, there is often more than one controversy at a time.

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