Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Back in the Game

Back in the Game
Have I got a book for you! It’s called Back in the Game and is written by a good friend of mine, Detective James E. Lewis. Lewis’ book is fiction, based on his career as a detective. I read the book and found I couldn’t put it down. Talk about a page turner! The action moves fast, the dialogue is superb, and humor is ever present.

I’m proud to have Jim Lewis sitting with me today. Tell us a little about yourself, Jim.

JIM: I was born in Louisville, Kentucky and joined the Marines Corps right out of high school in 1965. I served until 1971 after two tours in Vietnam. I continued my military career in the reserves, entered college, and in 1975 married my wife, Marilyn. In 1977 I was hired on at the Louisville Police Department and then became a dad that fall. It was a big year! I retired from the military in 1991 and law enforcement in 2011.  My son, Dr. Robert Lewis is married and moved to North Carolina in 2012. When my first granddaughter was born, we moved to Cary, NC.

How long have you been writing?

JIM: Well that depends on who you talk to, but I started telling police and military stories years ago. Friends and family kept encouraging me to write down my stories, but I just started thinking about actually putting the stories into book form when I signed up for a writing class at the Cary Senior Center. It’s been about six years now and I’m still learning what I don’t know.
What type of writing do you do?

JIM: I enjoy telling stories about characters I’ve met on the street, both good guys and bad guys. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. I’ve included everyone from a US attorney, local police, FBI, DEA and a homeless wino with PTSD. Throw in a hooker or two and you can find a book.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book?

JIM: Conway, still packing away things from his police career, is attempting to fill his retirement day. Walking to get coffee in the middle of the city, only a few blocks from his home, he makes a new friend in the form of a wino, begging money at a bus stop. Learning he had been in the military, Conway nicknames him the Colonel. Together they stop a robbery while trying to have lunch, steal a breakfast from the Holiday Inn just to see if they can, deal with the secret service, help the police clear a killing, do what they can to make the DEA and FBI look foolish, help the marshals catch a drug dealer and put a lawyer in jail. All they wanted was coffee; they weren’t looking for trouble, trouble just seemed to come looking for them.

How long did it take to write it?

Det. James E. Lewis
JIM: That’s a good question. If you count the 36 years in law enforcement, including time undercover as a street person as research, the last five years of learning how to write a book, and the months of thinking that no one will want to read my book, a long time.   

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

JIM: It’s when the Colonel says, “Well, let me tell you something smart ass. Drinking is a very demanding profession and at my age I can’t hold down two jobs.”

Is it published and if so, when and by whom? 

JIM: It was published by CreateSpace, on May 14, 2018

How can my readers get a copy?

JIM: It’s available on Amazon. Search “Back in the Game” and Lewis.

What do you do besides write?

JIM: I enjoy playing golf and visiting with my granddaughters as much as I can. Nothing comes ahead of time with my girls.

What is your advice to would-be writers?

JIM: First get yourself a glass of wine, maybe two. Then sit down and tell your computer a story like you’re talking to an old friend. Don’t worry about grammar, just tell your story and enjoy a glass of wine with a friend.

What do you wish you knew when you started writing?

JIM: I wish someone had advised me to start with a glass of wine and think of my computer as a friend. All joking aside, I wish I had known that everyone you meet has the potential to be a character in your book.

What’s next for you?

JIM: I’m currently working on a sequel to Back in the Game as well as a book on a cold case that continues to challenge me to this day. I also occasionally write children’s stories for my two special little girls to enjoy.

If you want a peek into what really goes on behind the scene, buy this book. It will give you a look at the day-to-day workings and musings of the people who keep us safe on the streets. Be aware that you may find a change in tense or other grammatical mishap, but if you pay no attention and just enjoy the story, you won’t be disappointed. Detective Lewis is a born story teller and his characters like the Colonel, Seven-Eleven, and Charlie will live with you long after you put the book down.

Quote of the Day: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”  George Orwell

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Florence, Stewart, and Danny

Sorry for the delay, folks. I could blame it on Hurricane Florence and say that I’ve been so busy dealing with water and wind damage that I had no time to write a blog. However, that wouldn’t be true since I never even lost power and there was no damage whatsoever to my home and property. And I’m mighty thankful!

I could blame the delay on Stewart still being in rehab and my spending three to four days a week driving to Raleigh to visit him for these last six weeks and counting. That would be a lot closer to the truth. But even with that, I could have found time to write a blog and let you know I wasn’t floating down the Cape Fear River on my way to the Atlantic. No, I’ve just relished my days home alone in peace and quiet. Boy do I sound like my dad; all he ever asked for was ‘peace and quiet.’ Seriously, when you’re on the road every other day, staying home seems like a gift from Heaven. No place to go, no schedules to keep, nothing to do; so that’s just what I did. Nothing.

After the first couple of weeks, I actually got back to writing, working on my latest novel, Remaking Danny. Danny is always waiting for me when I get home; sometimes I spend time with him and sometimes I can’t find a creative bone in my body, so I leave him alone in Buffalo, putting out fires and waiting to find out what he’s going to do next. Ha! He thinks I’m going to tell him what to do next when actually, I have no idea; I leave it up to him to tell me what he wants to do next. I like surprises and I’m always rewarded with a surprise at the end of a chapter when I see where we just went together. Usually it’s not a place I would’ve thought of on my own.

And that, my friends, is why I don’t outline my stories. I have a vague idea of what might happen down the road, but each time I sit down to write, I haven’t a clue where the story will take me. Friends in my writing group say, “I can’t wait to see what happens next!” to which I reply, “Me either.” ALL of us have to wait until next week to see what happens.

Between my fingers on the keyboard, Danny, and Divine Inspiration, a book gets written. I pray for inspiration when I sit down and I’m seldom disappointed. The good Lord helps me write a book I’m proud of and that I hope gives life lessons to my readers. All ten of them. (My books aren’t exactly on the best selling lists!) But I have fun and that’s what counts. As I tell people, writing keeps me busy and out of trouble.

Now if I could only think of a blog subject.  😊

Quote of the Day: “The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.
The terrifying thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.”
 J.K. Rowling