Heartbreaking and Tragic

Joseph Lewis
Joseph Lewis Author Interview

Stolen Lives follows a team of FBI agents on a kidnapping case that has been hard to crack, and Kelliher realizes that someone on his team may be in on it. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

I spent a great deal of time on research, including the FBI website, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and various law enforcement sites. I interviewed several individuals who were critical to this novel’s success: Police Chief Jamie Graff (one of my characters in my book, though in my books he is a detective), and James Dahlke, a Forensic Scientist. I interviewed and received help from Jay Cooke and Dave Mirra, who are (Dave has since retired) working in IT and Technology.

Mostly, this book is based upon my work as an adjunct educator with the Wetterling Foundation, who works with missing and exploited families, and educates the public on keeping children safe. I also based it upon my work as a counselor, and though this book is fiction, it is heavily based upon fact: stories I heard from kids and parents in my counseling office and the work with the families of missing children. Heartbreaking and tragic. Still angers and saddens me.

Did you plan the mystery at the heart of this story, or did it develop organically while writing?

I am a “pantser.” I don’t plan ahead. I knew the story I wanted to tell, but I let it unfold in its own way. Typically, it isn’t until I am nearing the end of any book when the actual ending “comes” to me.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

This is a dark book, but I enjoyed the kids’ interaction with each other. I enjoyed the kids standing up to the adults and their willingness to speak their mind to them. Specifically, I enjoyed it when the ones needing to be held accountable were held accountable. I believe in justice, even if life doesn’t always have a Disney ending.

This is book one in your Lives Trilogy. What can readers expect in book two?

There were several loose ends in Stolen Lives. Several of the “bad guys” got away. But a sizeable portion of the next two books, besides catching the “bad guys” is how these missing kids, some of whom were missing and abused for more than a year, reintegrate back into their families. How do they get along without their informal “kid” network? What happens within the family? I answer those questions.

Lastly, George, Brett, Tim, and the Twins (Randy and Billy) play huge roles in Stolen. So, what happens to them? What are their lives like now?

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“A harrowing and unforgettable FBI thriller.” –BestThrillers.com
Three fourteen-year-old boys are inextricably linked by abduction and murder.
Two of them were just abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others… dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved. A fourth boy, George Tokay, a Navajo, holds a key piece to this puzzle and doesn’t realize it.
Kelliher and his team have been on this case for two years. There isn’t much to go on, and each time he gets a break, potential witnesses are found dead. The stories of these boys are like loose threads on a sweater: pull the wrong one and it unravels completely. Slowly, Kelliher realizes that there may be one or more members of his team behind it all.

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 August 27, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my work, Stolen Lives and the Lives Trilogy. I appreciate it.


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