A Joe Erickson Mystery

Lynn-Steven Johanson
Lynn-Steven Johanson Author Interview

Rose’s Thorn follows a homicide detective that’s thrown into an enigmatic murder case that turns into a race against time once the killer strikes close to home. What was the inspiration for the setup to this riveting novel?

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a screenplay which is the initial story for Rose’s Thorn. It sat languishing in my database for years, and one day my wife suggested turning it into a novel. I scoffed, saying I could never write anything that long. Then one day a few years ago, I had dried up on ideas for a new play and remembered what she said. So, I pulled up the screenplay and began adapting the opening scene into the first chapter. I found I could do it. Then I moved on to the second chapter, then the third, and thirty-some chapters later, I had the first draft.

Joe is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

You know the old adage, “write what you know.” I’m from Marathon, Iowa, a small town in the northwest part of the state. So, I made Joe from there, too. As a result, I instilled in him the same values and ideals I grew up with. His parents raised him to be honest, moral, sincere, and with a positive outlook on life. But I am far from the tough, intense guy he is.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Did you plan the story before writing or did it develop organically?

I use the same three-act structure for outlining a novel that screenwriters employ. And I outline the story in detail before I ever start writing chapters. That way I know where all the major plot points exist and all the minor events that lead to them. I am one of those writers who needs structure. But it has to remain flexible because if something changes while I am writing a particular chapter, I go back to the structure and make changes.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My next novel, Havana Brown, is the second in the Joe Erickson mystery series. It is a prequel to Rose’s Thorn, and it is due to be published by Level Best Books in March. I am presently working on the third book in the series, but I have just begun writing it. It is scheduled for release in March of 2022.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

The last thing homicide detective Joe Erickson needs is to get involved in murder investigation. On a medical leave from Chicago PD after developing acute stress disorder, he has returned to his hometown in Iowa to settle his father’s estate.

But when he learns two teenage girls in neighboring towns have been abducted, murdered, and found posed nude along a riverbank, he takes notice. And when his former lover and criminal profiler is brought in to consult, she talks him into joining the investigation.

Known for employing unorthodox methods, Joe throws himself headlong into a case that will test his mental stamina. But when his neighbor’s daughter is abducted, his razor-sharp intuition and keen investigative skills kick into high gear as he races against time to find her before she becomes the killer’s third victim.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 24, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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