Tuesday, October 18, 2022


As an author, I spend a great deal of time and energy, not to mention dealing with heartburn, trying to get my words correct. Not only correct to me and for me, but for the characters I create, and the settings and situations I place them in. And for the reader who reads those words. It isn’t as easy as one thinks, but that is where my joy in writing takes over. I’m free to explore and invent and create. And the words have to be just so. It was someone a lot smarter than me who said that when the words are just right, the tuning fork vibrates. I like that analogy.

Yet, I think my task as a thriller-crime-mystery author is easier than the journalist and the poet.

The journalist is bound by the economy of words in their copy (as I understand it, and from my limited experience writing for my high school yearbook and newspaper so long ago. So long ago, I forgot whatever it was I wrote!). The journalist has to not only convey the story, but capture the reactions to the story accurately.

The poet, by nature and definition, has to convey a thought or feeling, and move the reader. This movement can be uncomfortable, especially if the thought or feeling contradicts what the reader holds to be true. 

I prefer my role as an author. I get to create characters and the world to place them in. I get to create the situations and circumstances, and I get to imagine how they feel and how they will react. Once I figure that out, I have to convey that to the reader.

It’s all imaginary … or is it?

I’m not sure who said it, but someone said: even though the world and life doesn’t make a great deal of sense sometimes, fiction has to all the time. While sometimes life is just unbelievable, fiction has to be believable, or at least, if written well, the reader has to suspend his/her belief and trust the author who is taking them on the journey. 

It doesn’t matter what genre. Thriller, romance, crime, mystery, horror, dystopian, fantasy. The story has to convey truth, and it has to make sense, again, even if life doesn’t.

Being an author or journalist or a poet is easier than being a parent or counselor. Most of the time, anyway.

As a counselor, I remember kids and parents sitting in my office discussing this or that, and I wanted to squint in my disbelief, laugh at them, and be sarcastic. There were times I wanted to smack them up alongside the head. Sometimes, it wasn’t easy to refrain from making these unwise choices. 

Instead, I had to form my words and my questions and lead them to discovery and onto a better choice of paths on which to embark. And for sure, I had to sit on my hands for fear of them flying into someone’s head. Folks, sometimes, these sessions were like pounding rocks (and I’m not talking about the kid’s or parents’ head, either).

As a parent, there were times when what took place in the counseling office would somehow become a similar conversation around our dinner table, or at bedtime, or at breakfast, or after a party or night out. Kim and I would listen and question, accept, and lead our own kids onto to a better path and help them decide on a different course of action or train of thought.

Sometimes my emotions got the best of me and I blurted out things I so regret. It wasn’t often, but it was enough for me to have to admit this. I can rest in the fact that I’m only human, right? Not satisfying to me. Not even close to the justification for hurting someone. Instead of using love and compassion and gentleness, I was abrupt and harsh and hard. Not at all soft as kids … or my wife … or family members … or friends deserve.

I think we’ve all been in this place, this situation. I think each of us has had those moments we’d like to take back. Unfortunately, once a word or words are said, we can’t chase them down, capture them, and hide them. Ears and hearts heard those words. Eyes and souls saw our expressions. And we can’t take them back.

The best we can do, and it seems like such an insignificant best we can do, is to apologize and strive to do better. To somehow make it up to the one we hurt, the heart and the soul we hurt. Learn from the mistake and strive never to repeat it. The best we can do, which is sometimes never enough. Something to think about … 

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I have fantastic news!

My newest book, Fan Mail, is Available for Preorder at https://www.blackrosewriting.com/thrillers/fanmail  Use code PREORDER2023 to receive a 15% Discount. If you head over to my author website at www.jrlewisauthor.blog/ you will find the cover and book blurb to Fan Mail.

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 Websitewww.jrlewisauthor.blog/
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
Facebook at: 
Amazon at: 
www.amazon.com/Joseph-Lewis/e/B01FWB9AOI /

Fan Mail: New Release!

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?

Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Readers’ Favorite 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. https://amzn.to/34lNllP

Betrayed: Two Top Shelf Awards: 1st Place Fiction-Mystery; and Runner-Up Fiction-Crime; 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! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS

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. https://amzn.to/2EKHudx

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. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm

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

Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! http://bit.ly/2WO3kka

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. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696  
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 Courtesy of Leighann Blackwood and Unsplash.


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