Please join me in welcoming award-winning author Joseph Lewis to Conversations today! Joseph is here to talk about Stolen Lives, Book One of his Lives Trilogy! So be sure and check out the cover and blurb! And don't forget to check out his interview and bio too and get to know Joseph Lewis.
The Lives Trilogy Book 1
Three fourteen year old boys, Brett McGovern, Stephen Bailey and Michael Erickson are inextricably linked by abduction and murder. Brett, who was abducted from Indianapolis, fears that his captors will decide to kill him. Stephen and Michael have been abducted, and the detectives on the case know that if they are not found within 24 hours, any chance of finding them is remote and they will be gone forever. A fourth boy, George Tokay, a Navajo, holds a key piece to this puzzle and doesn’t realize it. Pete Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have been tracking the murders of kids for the past 2 years. If they can find these two boys, they might find the answers to the questions that have been eluding them.
Interview with Joseph Lewis
1. How would I describe your books?
I write thrillers with a lot of mystery and suspense. My main characters are teenagers, and I would like to think that though I write thriller-fiction, my stories contain a message of hope, courage, and survival. All four books are currently found on Amazon. They are works of fiction. It story centers on human trafficking, specifically children, and based upon my experience as a counselor and as an adjunct educator who had volunteered with an organization dedicated to children who are missing and sexually exploited.
2. What type of research did you do for the book and what was most personally interesting?
I think the facts from the Center for Missing Children, along with facts from the FBI site were interesting, but what was most interesting was listening to stories from kids and parents of those kids who had been abused and in at least one or two cases, still missing. It is that agony, that pain, and the “unknowing” that I brought out in my book.
3. How do you relate to the characters? How does that help make them feel more like real people?
My characters are very real to me. I see them. I hear them speak. I watch as they react. I tend to write visually and vividly, and from what I’ve read from the reviews, the readers seem to “picture” them and “see” them, too. I will say that I have a couple of favorites and I think any reader will quickly tell who they are as they turn the pages.
4. How important was it to make the book realistic?
Without realism, any book becomes boring and a “cardboard cutout” and that doesn’t interest me in the least. Readers are so very smart, intelligent, and they can readily and intuitively feel when an author is lazy. I’ve been told that my books are too gritty and disturbing. Well, so is human trafficking and if I can disturb others, all the better because bottom-line, we need to protect our kids and educate the public. I take pride in making my stories real. If not, I’m wasting my time and the reader’s time.
5. What inspired you to write Stolen Lives and the Lives Trilogy and Prequel?
Jacob Wetterling’s story. If you aren’t familiar with him, Jacob was taken at gunpoint in front of friends in October of 1989. He was eleven years old at the time. There have been many leads and a tremendous amount of investigation, but Jake is still missing. The Prequel to the Lives Trilogy, Taking Lives is actually dedicated to all missing children, but specifically dedicated to Jacob Wetterling.
6. Is there a message in your novel that I want readers to grasp?
I believe all and any writing, good writing, should teach a truth or make a truth apparent, so yes, in my writing, I want the reader to understand that the world can be both-sometimes at the same time- an ugly and beautiful place to live, and that there is always hope and the human spirit is courageous and inspiring.
7. Do you have a detailed master plan or general idea when you write?
I have an idea and go with it. I don’t outline. I do a lot of pre-writing in my head way before I sit at a computer to write. There have been times when I sit down thinking that the story will go in one direction, only to be happily surprised when it shifts in a different direction based upon dialogue, action, and setting. I know it sounds crazy, but I mean it when I say that sometimes, my characters take over and I become just the facilitator.
Joseph Lewis has published four books so far: Taking Lives, (August 2014) a prequel to the Lives Trilogy; Stolen Lives, (November 2015) Book One of the Lives Trilogy; Shattered Lives, (March 2015); and Splintered Lives, Book Three of the Lives Trilogy (November 2015), all in the thriller/mystery genre, and each has garnered outstanding reviews. Previously, Lewis published a short story, Dusty And Me (1989). He writes a weekly inspirational blog, Simple Thoughts From A Complicated Mind, Sort Of located at jrlewis.blogspot.com.
Lewis has been in education for 40 years as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator. He is currently a high school principal and resides in Virginia with his wife, Kim, of 24 years, along with his daughters, Hannah and Emily. His son, Wil, is deceased.
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