Welcome to my new blog series, Keeping the Dream Alive. One of my favorite perks about being an author is meeting fellow authors. What fascinates me the most about this new relationship is discovering the magic of the person behind the story. I know firsthand how difficult it is to create a novel from a blank sheet of paper. It takes guts, determination and passion. What idea first sparked their curiosity? What was so special about this topic that kept them writing chapter after chapter? And most important, what drove them through the finish line – the evasive The End? In this new author interview series, I hope to share that amazing journey with my readers.
It's my pleasure to welcome award winning author, Kevin G. Chapman! Thank you for sitting down today with me to share with us a little about yourself, the real person behind the writer. Let us start off with an easy question. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Kevin: I’ve always been a closet writer. I wrote poetry in high school, and did some short stories in college. As a lawyer, my job is to tell stories, albeit in the context of tightly defined facts and evidence. But, storytelling is still the same.
Completing a book is an enormous challenge. What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? In other words, what do you think drove you to complete this enormous project?
Kevin: I have a day job, so the biggest obstacle for me is finding the time to dream up the stories and then execute on the writing. COVID-19 actually helped a lot – since I had little else to pass my time for two years.
I think being able to slip into my manuscript, and into a world I controlled was how I kept sane during the rough months of Covid-19. How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for a writing career?
Kevin: Being a lawyer gives me some perspective into the stories I write, but I also like to bring in my life experiences. We lived on the upper west side of Manhattan for 9 years, so my old neighborhood plays a big part in the stories. My wife and I love to cruise, so I wrote a book about a murder aboard a cruise ship. I love Las Vegas, so I set book #5 there. I play poker, so I had Mike play some poker and discuss some ways that poker strategy plays into solving crimes and interrogating witnesses. So, you use the knowledge you have - - and then use your imagination!
That is the gem of writing a great novel that makes our readers feel, letting in parts of ourselves and our imagination. Great answer. What moment in this journey are you most proud?
Kevin: Last year, book #3 in the series, Lethal Voyage, won the Kindle Book Award as the best mystery/thriller of 2021. That is a wonderful verification from a neutral panel of judges that my books are not just good for me, but damned good.
You should be proud. That is an amazing honor. Congratulations! Let's talk a little about your Mike Stoneman Thriller series. Who is Mike Stoneman?
Kevin: Mike Stoneman is a veteran homicide detective in the New York Police Department. In addition to being the senior detective on his team, he also teaches classes at the police academy and separate night classes for cops studying for the detective’s exam. His classes are on things like evidence handling, crime scene protocol, witness interrogation, and how to testify in court. He typically gets assigned the new detectives so he can show them the ropes. He likes that work – teaching the younger cops and passing down his wisdom. He loves it when other cops come to him for his opinion on a tough case.
He’s also a Mets fan and likes classic rock music. He wears plain slacks and sports jacket combos with non-descript ties and comfortable (old) shoes. He’s not flashy – he’s not trying to impress anyone. He’s just turned 50 and is a little overweight, but trying to work out more and get into better shape, especially since he has become romantically involved with Michelle McNeill, the county medical examiner. But, he likes his pasta. He also appreciates a fine single-malt scotch.
So, your Mike Stoneman Thriller series is also a romance. I love that!!! Tell us a little about the other characters we meet?
Kevin: Mike’s partner, Jason Dickson, is an African-American detective with a military background. He’s young and smooth and confident – but a little too cocky sometimes for Mike’s liking. There is some tension between them in book #1 (Righteous Assassin), but by book #2 (Deadly Enterprise) the partners fully have each other’s backs. In book #3 (Lethal Voyage), Jason takes more of the spotlight along with his girlfriend, Rachel Robinson. Their romance, which was briefly mentioned in book #2, becomes the emotional core of book #3. Then, in book #4 (Fatal Infraction), Jason decides to propose. In book #5 (Perilous Gambit), Jason and Rachel travel to Las Vegas to get married, with Mike and Michelle along as their friends and witnesses. The dynamics between Mike and Jason and their relationship, as well as the relationship between Mike and Michelle and between Jason and Rachel, are the heart of the stories.
I think my readers are going to love this series. What is up next for you?
Kevin: I’m working on a new book that is a stand-alone story – not part of the Mike Stoneman series. Should be done this year. Readers can watch my blog on my website (www.kevingchapman.com) for updates.
Where can readers find out more about your books and yourself?
Kevin, again, it was a pleasure meeting you and I can't thank you enough for being my first author in this new blog series. I wish you the very best with your new manuscript. Please come back when you're ready to talk about it.
Kevin's first novel of the Mike Stoneman Thriller series, Righteous Assassin is on sale for $0.99 for a very short time on Amazon. Grab your copy today and please consider leaving a review.
Hugs to all!!
Nancy C. Weeks