Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and seventy-ninth, is of novelist, short story author and poet DJ Swykert.
DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator. He has had short fiction and poetry published in: The Tampa Review, Monarch Review, Sand Canyon Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors and Spackle, Spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and BULL.
He is the author of two novels; ‘Alpha Wolves’, a novel, released May, 2012, by Noble Publishing and more recently, ‘Children of the Enemy’, a novel, released September, 2012 by Cambridge Books.
You can find him hanging out on the blog: http://MagicMasterminds.com.
He is also a wolf expert.
And now from the author himself:
When people used to ask me who I am I used to answer: I’m an insane Yooper poet police dispatcher fortune telling witch, I’m armed, and very very dangerous. This was just for fun, but true. As well as writing crime stories I do like to write about wolves.
In Children of the Enemy, Jude St. Onge is forced to go on the run after he steals a lot of drugs from Parson, a big drug lord in Detroit. This leads to Jude’s wife’s brutal murder and daughter’s kidnapping. He ends up getting some unexpected help from a convicted murderer and a newspaper reporter, who in turn kidnap Parson’s two sons. The Detroit police force tries to solve the murder and kidnapping but they are always a step behind.
The idea for the plot line in Children of the Enemy originated from an article I read in a Detroit newspaper that stated: Detroit Police only solve one-third of the homicides committed in the city. My first thought had nothing to do with the one-third they solved, but for the victims of the two-thirds that go unsolved.
Children of the Enemy is a story about justice. It’s about innocents caught up in the Detroit drug business, a story about victims and perpetrators, not a detective story. It’s about people working outside the system who can’t get justice within the system. Raymond Little is an ex-convict attempting to save Jude’s daughter who was kidnapped by a drug dealer. He knows if he goes through the system Angelina is as good as dead.
I write a book like you would watch a movie. It’s how I move the story along, chapters being scenes, the end result being me as a director, assembling the chapter-scenes into a coherent story consisting of characters, conflict and resolution. It all begins with the characters.
My protagonist Ray in Children of the Enemy was a man I saw who ran a salvage yard, which could also be accurately labeled a junkyard. He was sitting on a chair outside of a house trailer smoking a cigarette, with virtual mountains of scrap metal pieces and junk appliances surrounding him. I imagined in real life he was perhaps a cross between Dirty Harry and James Earl Jones. He just had this look about it that I found fascinating. Three-fingered Jack Davis is based on a man I knew as Three-fingered Jack, although he’s probably called Two-fingered Jack by now, the drug business is every bit as violent in reality as portrayed in the story.
Once I have a few characters I like I put them into a situation, this creates the conflict. The next step is to frame in my mind how I intend to resolve the conflict. The rest of the writing consists of chapters that point toward the resolution. Last, good writing always needs even better editing. I have been blessed with a good editor. A writer puts down on paper the essence of a story; the editor shapes the story into a book. Few writers can edit themselves. It really helps if you can find an impartial editor to help you with clarity in your writing and story.
You can find more about David and his writing via…
and Children of the Enemy can be purchased at these websites or a few select mystery bookstores:
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