Monday, October 21, 2019

The Golden Chair by Joe Fontenot

Today is a little chilly outside, okay, maybe not for all of you that live in the north. I get it. However, here in New Orleans, if the temperature drops to sixty-five, we think its winter. I sit in my office wrapped up in my flannel pajamas, my fuzzy Star Trek robe, Captain Kirk of course, and my fuzzy slippers. I also have a small lap blanket covering my legs. 

Outside the rain is drizzling as I dare not escape to my patio. Wait! I know what to do. Grab a good book that will keep me on the edge of my seat, continue to snuggle in my blanket, grab a hot cup of coffee, and go for it. And, that is what I intend to do. The book of my choice today is called The Golden Chair by Joe Fontenot.


Digging up the past can be dangerous… Especially when others have gone to great lengths to cover it up.

Central Ghana, under the largest manmade lake in the world, there’s a secret.

And rumors of this secret are starting to spread.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Erin Reed has left journalism. Her mother, a journalist, died a quarter of a century before while working on a story about corruption. Then, nearly a decade ago, Erin was nearly killed trying to finish that same story.

But now, when these rumors begin to surface, the details sound an awful lot like the circumstances surrounding her mother’s mysterious death, and Erin is pulled back into the world she left.

As Erin races to find answers, she uncovers a conspiracy that goes deeper than just her mother’s death.


Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I spent a decade working with NGOs in Africa and Latin America.

I earned a bachelor's in marketing from the University of New Orleans and a Master's in Christian Apologetics from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

I'm currently a marketing strategist, helping brands tell their stories. And I live in New Orleans with my wife and our two little ones.

What inspired you to author this book?

I've written a lot of nonfiction; everything from ghostwriting to blog writing to several nonfiction books, but I'd always wanted to write fiction. So I started studying story craft and just generally trying to figure out how to write a novel. And then the more I got into it, the more excited I got about it. Until eventually, I just started writing. Now, I'm just about to the point where I only want to write fiction!

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I worked with a cover artist that came very highly recommended. She's worked on quite a few bestsellers. I pretty much gave her a few examples that I like, plus a few sample chapters. And she's such a professional, the first version I got was pretty close to the final. I joked that one of the reasons I want to write the sequel to this book is so that I could have her design another cover for me.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

Probably a combination of Stephen King, Johnny B Truant, and Sean Platt. The main reason is that they're all method based. None of them believe that waiting for inspiration to strike is the better option. Instead, inspiration comes out of discipline. And because I've usually got quite a few plates spinning at the same time, that's been a critical lesson for me to internalize.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

For me, it wasn't anything existential. It was really just the discipline to keep going. There was one point when I was still in the planning phase, and I was having trouble figuring a certain part of the plot out. And I thought about scrapping it and starting over. But, like most challenges, it was really an issue of just pushing through and not quitting.

Who is your target audience, and why?

Well, according to the Facebook data I've gotten back, it's women between the age of 55-64. I don't know how accurate that is yet because I think men will like it to.

But I'm writing to people who like character-driven suspense stories, which aren't too gruesome. And most of this series is set in exotic locations.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

I've got two little ones at home (four and six). I work with a lot of different companies and brands, but what is most important to me is that I am a good dad to them, first.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

I don't write psychological thrillers (like the 'little girl that kidnapped and killed'). I write more action-adventure. But a lot of those books tend to be plot-heavy and character-light. I'm a big believer in having a consistent/intricate plot. But it's also very important to me have deep characters, with real motivations, and defined backstories. In other words, if you swapped my characters with different ones, the book would probably be very different.