Friday, December 18, 2015

Interview with Author Joseph Lewis

Hello everyone, it’s time to take an author interview and today Author Joseph Lewis is with us. We are interviewing him for his book "Splintered Lives", which launched on November 8, 2015 by True Visions Publications.

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Ans. => In the sixth grade. I’ve always like reading, but my teacher would give us story starters when we were done with an assignment or a test. The story starter was a paragraph or two on a note card and the idea was for us to continue the story. I couldn’t get enough of them. Then writing took over. For me, it is a necessary feeling, an urge that has to be satisfied.
  1. How long does it take you to write this book?
Ans. => Splintered Lives, which is the last book of the Lives Trilogy, took a little longer than I had wanted or expected. I think that happened because it was the last book of the series and I had to tie up loose ends- not everything, but enough for it to satisfy the reader. I’m really proud of it, especially both the ending and the epilogue. It took seven months approximately. Stolen Lives, Book One of the Lives Trilogy and Shattered Lives, Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, took longer.
  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Ans. => I write at night. I’m a high school principal by day and there isn’t much down time or an opportunity for me to write. After dinner, I pull out my laptop and write while my daughter does her homework and my wife reads. The three of us sit in the family room with the TV going. I don’t like to write in seclusion and I don’t like to be separated from my family. I try to write for two hours a night. I begin by reading the previous night’s work, editing it some, and that puts me in the right frame of mind for what I need to write next. Sometimes I have an idea of where I want to go, but then other times, the characters and the action take over. I know that sounds strange, but that happens to me more times than not.

  1. What brought you to write this book?
Ans. => I was a counselor for 11 years, and during that time, I became the go-to guy for abuse. I’m not sure how that happened, but I listened as best I could. In 1989, I came across a story about an 11 year old boy from St. Joseph, Minnesota who was abducted by a stranger wearing a mask, with a gun, and in front of his best friend and his younger brother. Jacob Wetterling has never been seen since and it is only recently that there seems to be a person of interest in the case. I became an adjunct educator with the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, speaking to kids, to parents, and to teachers about keeping kids safe, what to look for, etc. I promised myself, as a way of giving back and as a way of speaking on behalf of abused kids, to write this series. It is fiction. It is thriller/mystery. But I did use many stories told to me by kids over the years. Tragic stuff. Life changing stuff. And that was how I came up with the series titles: Taking Lives, the prequel; Stolen Lives, Book One; Shattered Lives, Book Two; and Splintered Lives, Book Three.  
  1. How you became a published author? Any inspiration?
Ans. => The books I enjoy reading are in the thriller/mystery/suspense genre. My favorite authors: James Patterson, David Baldacci, and John Sanford all write in that genre. Because I worked with kids for over 39 years, it was only natural to use kids as my main characters, placing them in scenes of jeopardy and trial. I think that’s what sets me apart from them.
  1. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Ans. => One of my former students is a forensic scientist; one of my sources is a nurse; I speak to many law enforcement personnel including guys on SWAT. Those are my regular sources, but I do a fair amount of research because I want to be as technically accurate as possible.
  1. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Ans. => I has a short story, Dusty And Me, published in 1987. Taking Lives and Stolen Lives were published a year or so ago. I wasn’t published until I surpassed my 60th birthday, rather later than most writers. But I was persistent. I think I got better as a writer from the prequel, Taking Lives, through Splintered Lives, and I want to continue to improve and grow as a writer.
  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Ans. => As a high school principal, I’m busy. My joy and my love is my family, so I spend a great deal of time doing typically family things. I read, I watch movies, I listen to music.
  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
Ans. => One short story, Dusty And Me; and four books: Taking Lives, Stolen Lives, Shattered Lives, and Splintered Lives. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite. Each one was important to me. Each tells a hell of a story. Those who have read my work love the characters. Readers laugh, cry, worry- all because, as they explain it to me, the characters are real for them. Those are some of my favorite comments. Readers have trouble putting the books down. Three readers told me they didn’t want the series to end. That makes me very proud. One reviewer compared me to James Patterson, which is very humbling.
  1. What's next for you? What are you working on now?
Ans. => I think my fan base will be happy to hear that I’m working on a thriller/mystery in a completely different story line, but using some of the same characters from the series. The book is tentatively titled, Caught In A Web, and I project it to be finished this summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment