"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Partners In Crime Book Tour - When No One Is Watching by Joseph Hayes

Back in March I read and reviewed When No One Is Watching, today he is on a Virtual Blog Tour and has stopped here to answer a few questions.

Here's my synopsis of the book:

Blair Van Howe and Danny Moran are lawyers celebrating a huge court victory for a big corporate client.  Heck, the were even given a nice crystal award by their clients.  Blair is especially excited as he is leaving the law firm to run for Congress. Unfortunately, both men celebrated a little too much and Blair gets behind the wheel of Danny's Porsche Turbo 911 while Danny passes out in the passenger seat. What better way to celebrate than taking a thrilling ride in a supreme car, until his reckless driving forces another vehicle off the road and into a tree. 

Van Howe panics, this will surely be the end of his political and legal careers, so he decides to save himself at the cost of his best friend. He drags Danny Moran to the driver's seat and uses Danny's phone to call 911. The detective assigned to the case knows there's more to the case and tracks it like a dog searching for a bone. He is surprised when he is ordered off the case.  

How far will one man really go to follow his dream and destroy the dreams of another?
My Thoughts

This story is not what I would call a suspenseful thriller because the reader knows the true story.  It is more about how greed and power effect individuals in their decision making and inspirational in the way a person handles the life he has been dealt both my themselves and others.  Who really had the better life, the man keeping the secrets or the man facing what he believes are his responsibilities?

This book is very well written for a first book.  The whole story is well developed and paced perfectly to keep those pages turning.  It also shines the light on the consequences of driving drunk and highlights the first step is admitting you have a problem, though it is sad that someone has to die to wake the characters up, it is very realistic. I highly recommend this book and hope to see more from this author in the future.

Now a little bit about the author.

Joe Hayes is a native of Chicago. He grew up in a family of eight children in the Beverly neighborhood on Chicago’s Far South Side, where the Irish-Catholic heritage and influence was strong and visible. Joe attended St. Barnabas Elementary School, Brother Rice High School and De Paul University before leaving Chicago to attend law school in California, at UC Berkeley. Since graduating from Berkeley, he has practiced law in Chicago, San Diego and Houston. Joe currently serves as chief ethics officer and assistant general counsel for a large, publicly held company based in Houston, Texas, and is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts in his field.  In his professional capacity, he has written extensively about legal and ethical issues and frequently speaks about such issues before employee and industry groups. When No One is Watching is his first work of fiction. 

Joe currently resides in The Woodlands, Texas, with his wife, Susan, and their three children, Amy, Sean and Erin.

Now a little Q&A:
1.   How did growing up in a big family affect your career choices? Becoming a lawyer, and then taking the leap into writing fiction?
For the most part, I don't think that coming from a large family affected my career path. I was the second oldest of eight children, so it wasn't as if I were following a path that multiple older siblings had gone down. In fact, there really weren't any lawyers at all in our extended family. I simply decided at some point during my teenage years that I felt drawn the the legal profession, I think in part because law can be an academic pursuit in many ways and that appealed to me. 

All that said, I come from a family of avid readers and writers. Our house was absolutely full of books. My mother was a very gifted writer, although she never published anything. For her, it was just a hobby, but she was a genuine talent. Several of my sisters are also writers, so the writing bug must be somewhere in our genes! One advantage of being a writer from a large family is that I have a never-ending source of good material. My family is a colorful bunch with a lot of great stories and life experiences. Some of the scenes in my book were drawn directly from those family anecdotes

2.   Is transitioning for non-fiction writing of writing on legal and ethical issues difficult as to keep a reader entertained instead of just informed? I enjoyed your book and you walked the delicate line very well.
Writing fiction is very different from any of the professional writing I have done in my career. Although the craft of writing -- piecing together words in a manner that is clear, engaging and easy to read -- is not much different, the creative aspect of writing fiction was completely new to me. I had two goals in writing this book. One was to tell an engaging story and the other was to communicate some thoughts about ethics, personal responsibility and making a difference. The trick was to communicate those ideas in a way that didn't come across as preachy or forced. I have always believed that one of the keys to good communication is to be entertaining -- whether it's teaching, public speaking or writing. People like to be entertained. It keeps their attention and makes it more likely that they will hear and remember your message. So I tried to weave my messages into a compelling story that could stand on its own when read for pure entertainment value.

3.   Was it hard to write a character inspired by your father’s battles?

The main character in the book (Danny Moran) was modeled after my father. This actually made the story fairly easy to write because I would just ask myself how my Dad would act when confronted with the various situations that Danny found himself involved in. It wasn't painful in any way because my memories of my father are very positive. He quit drinking when I was fairly young, so most of what I recall are the sober years, when he was devoting himself to helping others battle their addictions. I saw him touch many lives in a positive way, which enabled me to write a story about alcoholism that was infused with a feeling of hope.

4.  Where is your next book going to take us? 
My next book is a legal thriller entitled Consequential Damages. Like my first book, my goal was to write a suspenseful page-turner that can stand on its own based on pure entertainment value. However, I also tried to include some thought-provoking concepts for readers who enjoy that. It touches on some of the weaknesses in our legal system and some of the far-reaching consequences that can occur when the system doesn't function as it should.

5.   Will you continue to write legal thrillers? I would think your family could inspire a wealth of story ideas that would cover the gambit of writing genres.
I don't have a third book in mind yet, although I definitely plan to keep writing. I am inclined to write something other than a legal thriller so that I can continue to grow and develop as a writer. Fortunately, I have a lot of great material to work with as a result of a very busy and interesting life and family and I don't think I'll ever run out of ideas for the next story!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn more about this author and be a part of his Book Tour.  I enjoyed When No One Is Watching and can't wait to read Consequential Damages. I will also be looking forward to future titles!  Thank you Joseph for taking a little time out so we could get to know you better.  

If you want to learn even more about Joseph and his work be sure to check out his his web page.

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CMash said...

Fantastic post and a very informative interview. Thoroughly enjoyed it!! Good job!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good choice! Thanks for the informative review, Rae