Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Joseph Lewis. He is the author of thriller fiction.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime
Simple Thoughts From A Complicated Mind, Sort Of . . .
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I've been in education for more than 39 years as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator. I write thriller fiction but use my writing to teach, reach and move people. Oh yes, to entertain also.
SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
What do you have on the drawing board next? Rumor has it that you have started a new series with M.D. Jones entitled Homeworker Helper. Can you tell us the timeline for new releases and give us a little tease? What is your goal in writing this series?
My next work is tentatively titled, Caught In A Web, which is also thriller/mystery fiction. I view it as a "sort of stand-alone" in that it takes several prominent characters from my Lives Trilogy and moves them forward in time and places them in a new adventure. Very different storyline, dealing with youth/teen drugs and overdoses, and who is doing the selling. Several plot twists that will keep the reader on his/her toes.
You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?
I'm pleased with my twitter followers. Not only will they receive book/writing updates, but I also tried to provide inspiration for everyday living. My tweets will coincide with my blog, Simple Thoughts From A Complicated Mind, Sort Of at
I believe social media is extremely important, especially so because I am an Indie writer. I have built a nice loyal fan base, and it is growing mostly by word of mouth.
Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?
I do, though none right now. Being a high school administrator, any speaking engagements and signings would have to be local due to my work and time schedule. The summer is a bit more freed up for me.
You have great covers. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?
I have been very fortunate to have a graphic artist who takes my suggestions and runs with them. Each cover speaks to the story and I felt that was important. Each cover has similarities to the others, and I felt that was important because they are a part of a series. The cover for Stolen Lives was tested out on Facebook. I gave them two choices and ultimately, they broke 50-50, so I went with my gut. I am pleased with the outcome.
What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?
I don't have much experience with this. At signings, I sell books for less than they can obtain them through Amazon. I think the reader enjoys a personal touch and a personal chat about the book and my writing. I enjoy it, too.
How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?
Actually, I don't plot a book. I have a rough idea and I do a tremendous amount of prewriting "in my head" during the day, so that when I sit down to write at night (my usual time to write), it just flows. I do keep notes using a Word doc to keep characters and their characteristics straight.
What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?
I don't belong to any organized groups, but I do bounce questions and ideas off other writers or experts in the field. I want what I write to be accurate. To me, there is nothing worse than a lack of credibility or plausibility in writing. That drives me nuts. Even more so than poor editing.
Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?
I don't. I use Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.
You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and providing useful information to people. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?
Thank you! I try to keep my fiction work separate from my blog, which is nonfiction filled with hope and inspiration. I try to lift up and make a positive difference in the lives around me. I would mention my thriller/fiction work at the end of the blog with links to Amazon so they can check them out and purchase.
What is your method of getting reviews for your novels? Do you seek professional reviews, use social media or do you rely on your reading audience to supply them?
I ask for reviews. I've been interviewed a number of times by newspapers and bloggers, and it's fun. There are times when readers contact me through Facebook. The reviews come naturally. Fortunately, my reviews have been very good, but I still stress when a poor one comes around. Human nature, I guess.
Author's Book List
- The Lives Trilogy Book 3
It began on the Navajo Indian Reservation when a fourteen year old boy, George Tokay, witnessed and reported the murder of a Caucasian boy his own age. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents solved that crime, which led to the freedom of thirty boys who were abducted off safe suburban streets and held in captivity, some for more than two years. The FBI thought the boys were safe and so did their parents. After all, arrest warrants were served and members of the human trafficking ring were arrested. That is, except for three dangerous men with absolutely nothing to lose.
These three men arrange for a handsome reward if fourteen year old Brett, one of the boys who had been held captive, is killed. Brett has no idea that he, his younger brother, and his friend, another former captive, are targets. But more than anyone else, these three men vow revenge on George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and go into hiding. What was to be a fun-filled vacation with his newly adopted family, turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Indian Reservation high up on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather.
Outnumbered and out gunned, George is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, but can he protect his father and his brothers from these dangerous men before that happens? Can he save them without knowing who these men are or where they might be? Or when they might attack? Can George trust his friends whom he reaches out to for help? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and possible death?
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- The Lives Trilogy Book 2
Pete Kelliher and the FBI thought the boys were safe. So did their parents. So did the hospital staff. In fact, everyone thought the boys were safe. That is, until people began dying.
More than a hundred arrest warrants were served and those who took part in the human trafficking ring were arrested. However, six dangerous men escaped and go into hiding. Led by Detective Anthony Dominico, these men vow revenge on those who forced them to run and no one is safe. Not Brett McGovern; not his younger brother Bobby; not George Tokay; not the twins, Randy and Billy. These boys are in danger and live in fear that at any moment, they could be murdered along with their families.
Worse, the FBI has no clues and no leads. Not even a place to begin looking.
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- 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. More recently, two boys from a Milwaukee, Wisconsin suburb, 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 from the Crimes Against Children Unit have been tracking the murders of children for the past two years. He believes that if they can find these two boys, they might find the answers to the questions that have been eluding them. He and his team race to find Stephen and Michael before they disappear forever. There isn’t much to go on, and each time he gets a break, potential witnesses are found dead. As Pete and his team investigate, the stories of these boys are like loose threads on a sweater: pull the wrong one and it unravels completely. Slowly, Pete comes to the realization that one or more members of his own team might be behind it all. There is injury and death, some of which is Pete’s fault and that causes him to question his effectiveness and his future.
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Total strangers, one man and two boys, each hold a piece of a deadly puzzle and they don’t know it.
The bodies of six boys are found in remote areas in different states with startling similar characteristics. FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his team from the Crimes Against Children Unit investigate and discover a curious pattern that his superiors refuse to believe. Unfortunately for Pete, there are no other leads and nothing else to go on, and no proof to verify Pete’s theory.
Brett McGovern is a handsome and athletically talented eleven year old. He and his younger brother, Bobby, discover that someone breaks into their home at night while their family sleeps. One afternoon, an incident occurs, but Brett doesn’t tell his parents or anyone else, choosing instead to keep it a secret. A decision that is very costly.
More than a thousand miles away on the Navajo Indian Reservation, George Tokay, an eleven year old Navajo, and his grandfather have vivid, troubling dreams and visions. Neither understands the meaning or has an explanation. This lack of understanding is deadly.
Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of Pete Kelliher, Brett McGovern, and George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark and dreadful as each search for a way out.
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