First off in the interview process, is Kevin Chapman!
Chapman’s the author of a selection of crime thrillers that will have you guessing—and catching your breath—right to the very end!
Deadly Enterprise sees NYPD detective Mike Stoneman and his partner, Jason Dickson, investigate two cases.
One is a high-profile murder with heavy political implications, the other is the apparent overdose death of a prostitute.
Nobody cares about the anonymous woman, but Medical Examiner Michelle McNeill thinks it might be a murder and not just a heroin overdose, and Mike agrees.
But, when he and Jason try to dig into the case, they encounter unusual obstacles that point in a disturbing direction. To uncover the truth, Mike and Jason must go outside the lines and risk their own reputations, jobs – and lives.
This case is one that Mike can’t walk away from, no matter how much he wants to.
Harry Bosch fans will love this fast-paced police thriller, from award-winning author Kevin G. Chapman.
“Championing the forgotten turns deadly in this pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat crime thriller.” – Bruce Perrin, author of Killer in the Retroscape.
“Unique and twisted. Another home run by Kevin Chapman!” – Michelle Files, author of The Many Lives of Ivy Wells.
“Another strong installment in the Mike Stoneman series. Chapman did it again — I fell for it hook, line and sinker.” – Cynthia Austin, author of The Pendant Series.
Hello Kevin Chapman and welcome. First off, do you have a critique/editor partner?
I am very fortunate that my wife, Sharon, is not only tremendously supportive of my writing in general, but is totally invested in the characters and stories of my current Mike Stoneman Thriller series. We try to take a daily walk and we often kick around plot ideas, dialogue possibilities, character developments, and anything else that comes to our mind. She will wake up in the morning and tell me that she had a thought about some plot element, or some future story arc issue. She even takes “ownership” of a few of the minor characters and shepherds their progress through the stories. She proofs and edits all my books in the early stages and gives me critical feedback all the time. We joke a lot about an anecdote we heard told by humourist Dave Barry at a book signing he had with his co-writer, Ridley Pearson, when they were writing the Peter and the Starcatchers books. These were set in the world of Peter Pan, and there were mermaids in the story. Dave tells about how he and Ridley were arguing over a piece of dialogue, when one of them said to the other one, “A mermaid would never say that!” Sharon and I use that line a lot to each other.
How do your juggle a writing schedule with ‘real-life’ such as family and work?
It helps to have a supportive family. I spent ten years working on a serious literary fiction novel at a time when my kids were still in the house and we were all very busy with activities. Since the kids are gone (off to college, etc.), I have a lot freer time after work, and I use that time in the evening (usually while watching TV or a baseball game) to work on the writing (and marketing). Work gets in the way all the time, but I don’t have that many other distractions, so I can devote a few hours a day to it. When I was recording the audiobook versions of Righteous Assassin and Deadly Enterprise, I would record for an hour every night after dinner, then spend the rest of the evening editing that day’s recording. I did that every day for two months to get both audiobooks in the can.
Was there a scene you struggled to write? Or are there particular parts of writing in general that you’re uncomfortable writing, i.e. sex scenes?
Early on in my writing career, I had problems writing female characters, and in particular realistic dialogue for female characters. My wife, and my editor (also my daughter) would tell me how bad I was at it, and they helped me. I still struggle with it. Perhaps all male authors do. It’s a work in progress.
Does (and how) your protagonist change/learn by the end of the book?
Deadly Enterprise is the second book in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series. In book 1, Righteous Assassin, Mike (the crusty, veteran detective) is paired with Jason Dickson (young, Black detective) and there are some serious conflicts between the two of them. By the end, they have formed a true partnership. Then, as we move into book #2, their relationship grows deeper, as Jason deals with a crisis and Mike shares with him some of his own backstory, which plays into the plot of this book. The scene where Mike tells Jason some things that he has not revealed even to his love-interest, Michelle McNeill, is the heart of the book. I call it “the scotch scene” because Mike breaks out the good bottle of single malt for this discussion. The audiobook version of chapter 23 (the scotch scene) is available for free on my website. By the end, both Mike and Jason have grown significantly. There is also much development in the romantic relationship between Mike and Michelle, but we’ll leave that for another discussion.
What was edited out of this book?
There is a whole scene that I wrote for this book that I had to kill. It involved a woman who was one of the prostitutes involved in the drug dispensary/whore house featured in the story. She had been sent off to prison, but was interested in turning state’s evidence and ratting out the bosses. Mike and Jason go to the prison to interview her, and she is very coy about what she knows and won’t talk until she gets a deal to get her out of prison. The scene where she is bantering and jousting with Mike and Jason was really fun (she was from Russia, so I got to write a Russian accent). I loved the scene, but then there were problems with how it could plausibly work into the rest of the story and so I had to cut it. I’m holding onto it to use as a free “deleted scenes” give-away for my fans.
Can you share a few lines from your best review of this book?
That’s the easiest question possible! I am often amazed at how much joy I get from reading reviews from total strangers, who say that they enjoyed my books. It shouldn’t really matter that much, right? I should be more concerned about the responses from people I know and respect. Yet, it’s the anonymous strangers whose words give me the greatest happiness. Here’s one:
This book offers a thrilling, tightly paced crime novel with finely drawn characters and a twisting plot. The moral dilemma of how to resolve the crimes without crossing ethical boundaries adds tension to the story. The action moves, there’s good pacing, and a well-drawn plot in this police procedural. Peripheral characters like Dolores and Jason make amusing side threads to the main story. All characters are vividly drawn and colorful, as is the exotic world of drugs, corruption, murder and politics. The romance adds a grace note where the reader takes a breath. Well done and worth the read.
Can you share something interesting that happened during the writing process?
I have a good friend, with whom I play poker regularly, who read book #1 in the series. One night, he arrived early for the poker game and told me that his wife had also read the book and she was very concerned about whether Michelle (the county medical examiner, and Mike Stoneman’s romantic interest) was OK at the end. There was some ambiguity about that (I realized). I was touched that she cared enough about the character to be worried. So, when I finished the draft of book #2, I sent it over to Buzz and Beth, to get some feedback from them while I was still in the editing stage. Buzz came by for another poker game a few months later and he had twenty pages of typed notes that he and his wife had worked on together. They mostly concerned Michelle and her relationship with Mike and the scenes where those two characters were interacting. Buzz told me that he had been married for 35 years, and that never in their marriage had he and Beth spent so much time talking about the same subject together. It’s not like they needed marriage counselling or anything, but their investment in the characters and their passion for what was happening in the relationship between Mike Stoneman and Michelle McNeill brought them closer together than ever before. I’ll never get a better review than that!
Give me the best one-liner from the book.
When Mike Stoneman needs to have a heart-to-heart with his partner, Jason Dickson, he drags Jason to his Upper West Side apartment, where he breaks out his best bottle of scotch. Jason protests that he’s not much of a scotch drinker, but Mike tells him that he’s got to learn. “I’m not having this conversation sober, and neither are you.”
Share with us (if you dare!) one of the WORSE reviews you’ve had.
There are no bad reviews (yet) for Deadly Enterprise, but I got a few for Righteous Assassin. There’s always somebody you can’t please. One guy wrote:
“Otherwise page-turning story ruined as the author goes out of his way to make sure his readers know the serial killer is a supposedly a born-again Christian. Really? Why? Does your hatred for Christ simply get in the way and you have to express it in this way?”
Really? What you got out of the story wasn’t that the killer was deranged and was using his psychotic delusion that he was God’s avenging Angel as a messed-up mental justification to kill people he thought deserved to die. No, you focused on the fact that the delusional killer’s God-complex was Christian-based, rather than Muslim-based. Talk about missing the point.
If your book disappeared forever, do you think it’ll be missed?
One of the reasons I decided to record the audiobook versions of the books in my own voice (aside from being a cheap-ass, and also aside from having a huge ego and thinking that nobody could read my books into the microphone better than I can) is that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can someday listen to the books while I read them. I’m putting in my will a stipulation that my kids have to force their kids to listen to the audiobooks. It’s my legacy.
Deadly Enterprise Links
Amazon Sale (ebook and paperback) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y2S79TQ/
Reviewers can download a free copy at https://storyoriginapp.com/reviewcopies/4365e548-0eaa-4ebd-9407-bf72eed4d6b7
Audiobook Reviewers can get a free code [Author’s Direct] by using this link to Audiobookworm.com: https://audiobookwormpromotions.com/adopt-an-audiobook-mystery/
Social Media Links
Righteous Assassin Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MikeStonemanThriller/?modal=admin_todo_tour
Mike Stoneman Thriller Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/703027696777079/
Kevin G. Chapman on Goodreads.com: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5194743.Kevin_G_Chapman
Follow Kevin on BookBub.com: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kevin-g-chapman
Audiobook excerpt: https://soundcloud.com/user-256907084/deadly-enterprise-the-scotch-scene
Audiobook excerpt: from my website:
Audiobook Sale links:
Audible – [pending]