Today’s author has made several appearances on this blog, and he’s a publisher sibling of mine. He’s featuring a backlist title, but also has a preorder link for an upcoming release. Haunted house or haunted graveyard? He’s visited both. Haunted high school? Uh, yeah – he attended one. Just imagine those class reunions. Welcome Joseph Lewis!
Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?
I’ve done both, but I have to tell you, I attended a haunted high school. It was a co-ed boarding school, and there is a history, well before my time there, of odd and strange occurrences. Stories of screams in the night. The founder back in the 1800s had a history of practicing occult and witchcraft. Seldom did you see students by themselves. Unsettling and creepy!
Which Stephen King novel unsettled you the most?
It was The Stand that did it for me. “The walking dude” was a figure I couldn’t get out of my head for a long time. The image and what he stood for stuck with me. Still does. The book’s concept of good vs evil intrigues me, as it did in Golding’s book, Lord of the Flies. The idea in both books that civilization won’t hold up if there isn’t structure and those willing to fight for the good of the whole is a theme in my writing. Another great spooky book is Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Fenny Bate still gives me chills. I couldn’t read it at night.
Would you buy a doll that you knew was haunted?
Oh, heck no! Any doll, any clown – haunted or not- are just creepy to me. Pennywise is an awesome character, but scary as all get out. My daughters never played with dolls- their choice, not mine. My oldest daughter cannot sleep in a room if it has a doll in it.
Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?
Yes, I do. I believe in the spirit world- both the good (angels, saints) and the bad (Satan, ghosts). I use the supernatural in my own writing. One of my characters, George, is a full-blooded Navajo boy of seventeen. He was raised by his grandfather and practices the traditional Navajo beliefs of the spirit world. I believe there are forces- good and bad- at play in our world and in our minds. Can be both scary and comforting.
How do you use social media as an author?
Mostly for promotion. I will post reviews, snippets, and blurbs to sell books. I have an author website where I introduce authors to the public, talk about writing and give examples, introduce my characters and my books. I find it both fun and overwhelming. I’d rather just write, honestly, and have someone else do the promotion.
What books did you grow up reading?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes; The Seminole (I don’t even know if it is in print any longer; Stephen King and Peter Straub. Now, I read James Patterson, John Sandford, and David Baldacci. I prefer mystery and crime to read, which is what I write. I like the suspense and the “keep them guessing” aspect to mystery and suspense. I try to do that in my own writing, though I blend a fair amount of coming-of-age threads in my books, since my main characters are a patchwork group of adopted boys.
If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?
I would love an after dinner conversation with James Patterson, Stephen King, and John Sandford. Each are unique. I tend to write most like Patterson – short chapters, interesting characters, and a crime to solve. But King, because of his detail in setting and atmosphere, his ability to bring a “place” to life, intrigues me and I would want to understand how he goes about developing it. Lastly, Sandford, because of his journalism background, doesn’t waste words. I struggle with that.
What are you working on now?
My newest book, Fan Mail, is currently available for preorder. It is different from any book I’ve written, though it still is in the thriller-crime genre, and it still uses the same characters as my other books. However, there is a strong coming-of-age theme to it that readers will identify with and love. The brief synopsis for Fan Mail is:
A barrage of threatening letters, a car bomb, and a heart attack rip apart what was once a close-knit family of adopted brothers.
Randy and Bobby, along with fellow band member and best friend, Danny, receive fan mail that turns menacing. They ignore it, but to their detriment. The sender turns up the heat. Violence upends their world. It rocks the relationship between the boys and ripples through their family, nearly killing their dad.
As these boys turn on each other, adopted brother Brian flashes back to that event in Arizona where he nearly lost his life saving his brothers. The scars on his face and arms healed, but not his heart. Would he once again have to put himself in harm’s way to save them? And if faced with that choice, will he?
Fan Mail can be preordered at https://www.blackrosewriting.com/thrillers/fanmail. If readers purchase the book prior to the publication date of March 30, 2023, you may use the promo code: PREORDER2023 to receive a 15% Discount!
Integrity is protecting someone who betrayed you. Courage is keeping a promise even though it might mean death.
A late-night phone call turns what was to be a fun hunting trip into a deadly showdown. Fifteen-year-old brothers George Tokay, Brian Evans and Brett McGovern face death on top of a mesa on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona. They have no idea why men are intent on killing them.
Betrayed is a contemporary psychological thriller and an exploration of the heart and of a blended family of adopted kids, their relationships to each other and their parents woven into a tight mystery-thriller.
Author Bio and Social Media
After having been in education for forty-six years as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator, Joseph Lewis has semi-retired and now works part-time as an online learning facilitator. He uses his psychology and counseling background to craft thriller/crime/detective mysteries, and has taken creative writing and screen writing courses at UCLA and USC.
Lewis has published eight books, all available on Amazon and each to excellent reviews: Taking Lives (May 2021) the prequel to the Lives Trilogy; Stolen Lives (May 2021) Book One of the Lives Trilogy is a BestThrillers 1st Place Award Winner for Crime Fiction, and a Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner; Shattered Lives (May 2021) Book Two of the Trilogy; and Splintered Lives (May 2021) Book Three of the Trilogy (May 2021); Caught in a Web (April 2018), which was a PenCraft Literary Award Winner for Crime Fiction and named “One of the Best Crime Fiction Thrillers of 2018!” by Best Thrillers; Spiral Into Darkness (January 2019), which was named a Recommended Read by Author’s Favorites; Betrayed November 2020 is a Top Shelf Award 1st Place Fiction-Mystery; Top Shelf Award Runner-Up Fiction-Crime; PenCraft Award 1st Place Winner, Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery-Suspense, a Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner, and a Reader’s Favorite 5 Star Rating Winner; Blaze In, Blaze Out January 2022 has already won a Literary Titan Gold Book Award, A Reader’s Favorite Recommended Read, and was an Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers.com . Lewis has another thriller-crime-mystery, Fan Mail hitting the market March 30, 2023.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Lewis has been happily married to his wife, Kim. Together they have three wonderful children: Wil (deceased July 2014), Hannah, and Emily. He and his wife now reside in Virginia.
Social Media Contact:
Author Website at https://www.jrlewisauthor.blog
Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/jrlewisauthor
Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Joseph.Lewis.Author