In a gritty town rife with organized crime, dirty cops and corrupt politicians, Detective Adam White stands alone as the people’s symbol of justice and hope for a brighter future. He’s cracked the biggest cases, and stood up to the crime families who’ve torn apart Prairieville with their power struggles. He’s gorgeous, humble and incorruptible; a crime fighter so pure that the locals nicknamed him the White Knight.
What the people don’t know is their reluctant hero is cracking before their eyes. Ten years have passed since a pack of bank robbers gunned down his wife in the street. He’s relentlessly worked every case he could get his hands on since that night with the hopes of finding some link to her killer, but every lead always winds up a dead end. He made a vow on her death bed that he wouldn’t stop looking or move on with his life, personal or otherwise, until her killer was either dead or behind bars.
His obsession is starting to affect his work, including a new set of murders which are eerily similar to cold cases in which a gangland legend called The Reaper is the main suspect. A routine canvas of the area in which the bodies were found led Detective White to Heath Grim, a reclusive millionaire with grisly facial scars and a past which doesn’t quite add up. There’s something about his story which makes Detective White curious to dig deeper into his background.
Just as Detective White closes in on his killer, the mob hatches an elaborate scheme which could cost him everything. In his moment of need, an unlikely ally presents a way out of the plot against him and information on his wife’s killer. However, it leaves Prairieville’s paragon of justice with a moral dilemma. Can he abandon all of the heroic ideals upon which he’s based his life and become the type of man he’s hunted for so long to settle a score with his wife’s killer?
This is the exciting premise behind Joseph Spencer’s new paranormal crime thriller, Grim. We interviewed Joseph about his new book, what his greatest challenge was in writing it and more.
Thank you for this interview, Joseph. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I worked for ten years as a print journalist for regional daily newspapers before switching careers to work in public safety at a 9-1-1 emergency call center. Though, I find my new job challenging and rewarding, I missed writing and figuring out ways to tell a story. I’ve only been writing fiction the past three years.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
Grim started with the character Heath Grim. He was inspired by Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in Dark Knight. I wanted to create a character which created chaos like the Joker character, but had more of a sympathetic story. I’ve always loved gritty, edgy characters which are morally gray. I wanted to take my readers down a more chaotic path than what was explored in the Dark Knight.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I work with police officers every day at the emergency 9-1-1 communications center, so I try to infuse my writing with some of the personalities I hear on the radio. I’ve also had an affinity for crime fighters/vigilantes such as Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Jack Reacher and Dexter Morgan, so I’m writing material close to what most entertains me as a reader.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
I work 50-60 hours per week at our center because it’s understaffed right now. It’s difficult for me to find time to write every day because of the time commitment to my full-time job.
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
I am published by Damnation Books (www.damnationbooks.com), an independent horror trade press out of Santa Rosa, Calif.
Was it the right choice for you?
I’m thrilled with Damnation Books. I’ve had two tremendous covers designed by their award-winning artist Dawne Dominique, and owner Kim Richards personally sends out a lot of helpful emails about promotion and sales. They’ve believed in me when a lot of other places weren’t willing to give me a chance, and for that I am eternally grateful.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I’ve blended personal appearances at shows such as Killer Con in Las Vegas, Scarefest in Lexington, Ky., and Days of the Dead in Chicago with online blog tours. I’ve done some local signings at libraries and businesses near where I live in Peoria, Ill. I also am online at www.josephbspencer.com.
How is that going for you?
I’ve had a lot of great feedback already from readers about the book. Grim is my debut, and it’s only been on the market for five months. I’m content with my sales to this point, and hope to grow a following with the more titles I write in the Sons of Darkness series.
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
I mailed out personally addressed postcards featuring my book cover to family, friends, acquaintances and anyone who signed up for my mailing list on my Web site.
Do you have another job besides writing?
Yes, I’m a supervisor with an emergency 9-1-1 communications center.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Make sure that you always carry business cards with you, and don’t be shy about giving them out. If you don’t already have them, get online social media sites on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
What’s next for you?
I am picking up where Grim left off with my second book in the Sons of Darkness series, Wrage, which Damnation Books will release on June 1, 2013. Wrage delves deeper into the lives of supporting characters – Anna Duke, Jeff Wrage and Christopher Sinks – from Grim.
Thank you for this interview, Joseph. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
My site is www.josephbspencer.com. My Damnation Books page is: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727520. They are currently offering 28 percent off ebooks with promo code 289snake. My Amazon page is: http://www.amazon.com/Grim-Joseph-Spencer/dp/1615727531/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362903116&sr=8-1&keywords=Grim+by+joseph+spencer. My Barnes & Noble page is: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grim-joseph-spencer/1112783042?ean=9781615727537.