Friday, June 10, 2022

Art and the Artist

Luke Combs is one of the newer country artists and is a singer/songwriter. This past Wednesday evening, he was recognized by the head of his record company for reaching a milestone.

Combs has co-written and sung nine number one hits! These nine songs were played on air thirty-seven million times. If each of these nine songs were played back-to-back-to-back thirty-seven million times, it would take 150 years for the songs to finish playing.

9 songs. Thirty-seven million air plays. 150 years to play them all if played continuously back-to-back-to-back.

It doesn’t matter if you like country music or not. This is an achievement! And consider the fact that Combs is one of the “newer” country artists.

Now to put that into perspective, Garth Brooks, who has been around for a long time, has 19 number one hits! Bee Gees has 9 number one hits! Beatles had 20 number one hits! The Supremes had 12 number one hits. And while Brooks is still recording and putting out new music, while the Bee Gees had two of the brothers die and no longer record as the Bee Gees, obviously; and while the Beatles have long since broken up; and while the Supremes no longer record together, who knows where Combs will end up on the list.

The painter, Pablo Picasso, is estimated to have completed 50,000 artworks during his lifetime, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, and ceramics. Since 1976 (the year I graduated college), James Patterson has written more than 200 novels. He has had more than 114 New York Times bestselling novels, and holds The New York Times record for most #1 New York Times bestsellers by a single author, a total of 67, which is also a Guinness World Record. Stephen King has written more than 30 books that have been Best Sellers.

I’ve only been writing professionally since 2013. At age 60, my first book, Taking Lives, was published in 2014. When asked how long I take to write a book, I answer it is like giving birth. From idea conception to publication, it takes nine months to a year, depending upon the publisher’s timeline. For Patterson to have written 200 books in 46 years, and for King to have over 30 Best Sellers, wow! I have only one Best Seller (on Amazon in two categories), Betrayed. I guess I should have followed my dream a heck of a lot earlier.

I don’t consider myself in their category. I pale in comparison, any comparison to them. These folks I mentioned above are famous for what they do and give to us. They share or shared their creativity with us, their inspiration with us, and our lives are made more interesting because of their gift. Imagine if books, music, or art didn’t exist. Our world might be more gray, more bland, less colorful and less interesting.

Consider for a minute the number of books written, the number of songs written and recorded, the paintings and drawings and other works of art that are created. Some we don’t know, have never read, never heard, and never seen. Artists in various genres and mediums toiling with a smile on their face. Some with a frown because it might not be working out the way it was originally planned. They don’t quit. They don’t give up. They continue to produce because there is a feeling of “have to” in their heart and soul.

As always, there are some books, some songs, some works of art we don’t like or appreciate. Some we don’t even bother with. The names of the artists go unheard of. Yet, these folks keep at it. They don’t give up. It isn’t for the money. There is something innate, something within them that keeps them going. And we are so fortunate to have them. Each deserve an “atta boy,” an “atta girl.” Each deserve a kind word (a review, perhaps?), a pat on the back. We need them and their work. Someone does, at least. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I finished the edits on my ninth book, Fan Mail. I will let you know the publication timeline of it as I find out. Meanwhile, below are my other books for your enjoyment.

If you have read one of my books, I would like to ask a favor. If you could go online and write a review or, at the least, give a rating on the book, it would be of great help. Both a review and a rating would be wonderful. The review could be one or two lines. It doesn’t have to be long. Just let others know you read it and hopefully, enjoyed it. Obviously, 4s and 5s are the best. Thanks for this consideration.

Connect with me on Social Media: 
Author Website
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at:  
Amazon at: /

Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read! A BestThriller’s Editor’s Pick!

Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko, the head of a Ukrainian crime family, meant the end. It was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Andruko hired contract killers to go after and kill O’Connor and Eiselmann. The killers can be anyone and be anywhere. They can strike at any time. They care nothing of collateral damage. Andruko believes a target is a target, and in the end, the target must die.

Betrayed: A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!

Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback!

A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Greed can be all-consuming, and seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted.

Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. So far, he has murdered eight people. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.

Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by 

Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback!

They found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. A violent gang, MS-13, controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo Fuentes to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay. Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else.  
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out.
Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards!
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved.  
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. 
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and death?  

Photo of Luke Combs by Unknown.







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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe