September 24, 2017

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but our authors’ group is far from small, so says Author Julien Ayotte

In 2012, I released my debut novel, Flower of Heaven, and shortly thereafter  decided to attend a meeting of a newly formed group of Rhode Island authors-The
Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA).  Back then, we were about twenty-five authors strong.  Today, ARIA’s membership is closer to three hundred authors and still growing.  What works for you may not work for others.  The opportunity to share information among authors almost always leads to better writing, better marketing, and lifetime camaraderie with other authors.

While I live in the Ocean State, my home in Cumberland is actually fifty miles north of Narragansett and Newport, our premier ocean attractions.  The northern part of Rhode Island has a very colonial history with names like Roger Williams, Samuel Slater, and everything associated with the textile industry until the late 1960s.  Now, the old mills, what few that remain, have become condominium complexes, the last visible trace of a once thriving industry.

A Life Before

My wife and I moved into a new home in Cumberland in 2011, a one-story residence which needed a radon gas mitigation system because the level of radon gas emanating from the ground into our basement level was too high.  Then a thought came to me.  What if a devious contractor hid the threat of radon levels from prospective buyers and exposed them to the danger of lung cancer as a result of overexposure to this odorless gas.  At about the same time, I had been reading about factual accounts of reincarnation in India, and decided to see if I could combine the two events into one mystery thriller.  The result was quite satisfying and the ending quite startling.

The research required for the book involved extensive reading on radon gas and its effect on individuals who are overexposed to this gas emanating from basements left unsealed.  When I heard that over 20,000 people a year die of lung cancer from exposure to this gas, I was shocked.  The research on reincarnation was fascinating, especially the true accounts of Shanti Devi whose claims at being reincarnated could never be refuted, no matter how many attempts were made to do so.  Much of my research is included in some form in the novel to allow the reader to do his/her own follow-up if they choose to do so.  Most of the locations in my books are places my wife and I have been to over the years.  It allows me to take readers to places they wish they had been.  According to many readers, “You have taken me to places I wish I had been to, but now I feel like I’ve been there.”

I have always loved a good mystery, and have had the good foresight to solve ones I’ve read or seen before they are revealed to the readers or viewers.  This often upsets my wife who wonders how I do this.

What I enjoy most is when readers tell me how much they enjoyed my stories and that I deserve more recognition than I am getting.  That is quite flattering.  A Life Before has been cited by Jon Land, a USA Today bestselling author, as a work worthy of reading, remembering, and recommending.  US Review of Books and Apex Reviews called the novel a must read and a brilliant novel.  As an author, what more can I ask for?...other than a literary agent and a movie producer’s blessing.

Flower Of Heaven
My debut novel in late 2012 was Flower of Heaven, a thriller about an affair between a young French woman from Paris who has an innocent affair with a young American on holiday.  Once she finds that her young lover is a newly ordained priest, the affair ends as abruptly as it began, but not without its consequences.  Francoise Dupont is pregnant and has twin sons which she gives up for adoption because she is penniless and cannot raise the sons.  Fr. Richard Merrill is unaware for thirty-five years that he is the father of the boys until Francoise informs him.  She is now part of a royal family in a Mid-Eastern oil-rich country and seeks Fr. Merrill’s help in finding the sons who are in danger from enemies of the royal family.  In both Flower of Heaven and its sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, the reader experiences searches in Paris, Stockholm, Orvieto, Italy, and into war-torn Ethiopia to find the sons.  These two books have each won four national book awards, hold a prestigious Kirkus Review, and carry excellent rating reviews on Amazon.

Dangerous Bloodlines
I am a sucker for a good heroine, and all three of my novels have one.  Clearly in Flower of Heaven and the sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, the main character is Francoise Dupont, the young French woman who rises from depression after giving birth to twin sons out of wedlock to become a princess in another kingdom.  Her dedication to the betterment of women in her newly adopted country is only overshadowed by her unfailing quest to find the two sons she foolishly gave up for adoption years earlier.  In A Life Before, the heroine is Samantha Collins, the headstrong college student possessed with the mind of a murdered young housewife from twenty one years earlier.  She is determined to rid the demons in her dreams, even if it means she must accept that she is the reincarnation of the slain woman of the past.

I love to read David Baldacci, James Patterson, John Grisham, and Dan Brown, all excellent and accomplished mystery thriller authors.  For me to be mentioned as writing like they do is quite humbling.

My wife and I have traveled the world during our fifty four years of marriage and, at age 75, we don’t have much of a bucket list.  At this stage of my life, I plan to write at least one thriller a year for the next ten years, god-willing. It would be rewarding to land a literary agent and a good publishing house that could get one or more of my books into a screenplay or major film series on television.  Perhaps one day that will happen.  Until then, I keep writing.  By the time this appears in Annette’s blog, I will have released my fourth thriller, Disappearance, about the troubles within the witness protection program.

To learn more about me, visit my website,, where you can connect to all the links for my books, including my email address.

The person with the best comments to this post here will receive a signed copy of my new release, Disappearance, and a surprise gift unique to Rhode Island. Please leave some way for me to contact you, preferably an email address.
(all information provided by author)


  1. *best comment*

    Sorry; couldn't resist teasing you! Really enjoyed this post, Julian, and enjoyed reading about your books. Definitely going to put these three on my Wish List:)

  2. The author of these books (Julian Ayotte) has a very imaginative mind and he writes these novels with wording that quickly captures your interest with a desire to know where the story is going. Usually, I would only read a chapter or two in other books, but these novels, I can't put it down until I read it all the way through to the end!! Mr Ayotte, please keep writing these novels, you deserve to be recognized for these captivating stories, that should ultimately become great movie material!

  3. Your fascinating and comprehensive post about the history of Rhode Island caught my interest, I was wondering if you knew about the oldest synagogue located in R.I. Your background and writing interested me greatly. To have the talent to create fiction is admirable and gives me great enjoyment since reading is my sole form of entertainment. Your life sounds wonderful and it is special to learn about your travels which no doubt have provided you with much inspiration for your captivating and intriguing novels. Wishing you great health and happiness as well as successful writing ventures.

  4. Your writing deserves to be recognized and your promise to continue writing more novels gives me hope. I appreciate the written word which is vital. Rhode Island sounds so historic and fascinating The history of places interests me very much since it is meaningful. Since your have travelled to so many destinations it would be interesting to learn which was your favorite. I look forward to your books which are treasures.

  5. Hi Annette, your blog is great.

    Thank you for featuring Julien Ayotte! He is a fantastic author with an incredible imagination, matched only by his congenial personality.

    Glad that more readers will get to know him after seeing your blog.

    Julien, your books are terrific! This was a very interesting and informative post. I wish you much success and happiness in your writing endeavors.

  6. Just realized I forgot to leave my contact info....*ducks head*


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