Author: Michael Jordan
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press (January 16, 2018)
The brutal murder of a friend leaves lawyer John Coleman stunned and sends shock waves through the city of Cleveland. The technique of the killing recalls memories of the Torso Murderer, who dismembered at least twelve people decades ago and vanished–eluding even the legendary Eliot Ness. Jennifer, the victim’s beautiful daughter, hires John to handle her father’s estate, and romantic feelings for her soon complicate his already troubled marriage. When John finds himself entangled with a cold-blooded biker gang, an ex-cop with a fuzzy past, and the drug-addicted son of the dead man, he struggles to make sense of it all. But he cannot escape a growing sense of dread.
A deep breath helped to calm me. Oyster’s death had brought an ugly past alive. Just as I’d been assuring everyone, though, there was nothing wrong. My main task for the day was to pick Molly up after school and hope that she wouldn’t be too disappointed when she learned that we wouldn’t be visiting the skateboard park. We would head straight home for a quiet, uneventful spaghetti dinner. Cathy would have polished and set the oaken table. We would talk of things other than serial killers. She would remind me of her upcoming birthday dinner, with her sister and brother-in-law. Her parents would stare down at us from faded color photographs arranged in thin wooden frames on checkered blue-and-white wallpaper. There were photographs of my mom, too, with her tight-lipped smile.
One photo of my father, handsome in a blue uniform, hung on the wall. Whenever Cathy said grace, my eyes would wander to the particular picture, and I would recall games of catch, walleye fishing on the lake, our hikes through the Metroparks. We’d wander the trails there most Saturday mornings, just my dad and me. Afterward, he’d take me to Pete’s Hotdogs on Lorain, and we’d gorge on dogs stuffed into steamed buns and topped with local Stadium mustard and greasy fried onions. Those were the memories I’d try to focus on.
But I could never, ever block out the rest.
Questions and Answers From Mr. Michael Jordan
Your best virtue as an author.
Perseverance. Even when feeling really discouraged, I am able to sit down at my desk and continue writing.
Your most quirky author habit.
Rewarding myself with a square of chocolate or a cup of coffee when I think that I’ve written something that works.
If you could ask any other author, past or present, a question who would it be and what would you ask.
I would ask Edgar Allan Poe to tell me everything he could about writing The Raven.
When you aren’t writing…
I am feeling guilty about not writing!
Your ideal writing place.
Anyplace where it is quiet and I can be alone.
The book you’ve re-read the most.
Tarzan of the Apes
First thing you do when you finish writing a novel.
I never felt as though The Company of Demons was finished! I kept tweaking the manuscript until it was submitted to the publisher, then worked with the editor on further re-writes, and then dove into marketing!
A secret talent you have.
I am oddly flexible.
One tip for aspiring authors.
When you think you’re done, you aren’t. Let your work sit for at least one month and then read it again, with a critical eye, from the opening sentence.
What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
For The Company of Demons, I read non-fiction works about The Torso Murderer, including contemporaneous newspaper and magazine accounts. This took place over several months as the plot began to develop. For my second book, a WWII thriller set during the closing stages of the war, the research has been far more complex as it takes place in a timeframe and setting that are foreign to me. For example, because the story is set in New Mexico, I’ve made five trips there to understand the culture, history, flora, fauna, and climate.
What does literary success look like to you?
When a stranger tells me how much they liked the book.
What inspires you?
A feeling that I am creating something unique that people will enjoy and remember. .
10 tips for becoming a better writer.
- Apply ass to the chair and go to work.
- Research and get your facts straight.
- Seek out exceptional readers who will offer constructive criticism.
- Accept constructive criticism.
- Work with an editor.
- Rewrite again. And again.
- Show don’t tell—everyone recites this, too few do it.
- Persevere. Yes, again. You will become discouraged. See tip number 2 above.
About the Author
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Michael Jordan obtained his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, with highest honors, and his law degree from George Washington University, where he was a member of the Law Review. A trial lawyer and arbitrator for over three decades, he has been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer and named to Best Lawyers in America. A member of the International Association of Crime Writers, The Company of Demons is his first novel.
An avid traveler, Michael has climbed Mt. Fuji, swam in The Devil’s Pool on the cusp of Victoria Falls, trekked a glacier in Patagonia, and visited numerous other countries. Yes—an international thriller lies in the future! He has also acted in several theatrical productions and his experience on stage is helpful in creating characters for his novels. He is currently working on his next book, a thriller set during the closing stages of WWII.
A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Michael and his wife, Linda Gross Brown, a soft pastel artist, divide their time between homes in Rocky River, Ohio, and Longboat Key, Florida. They enjoy traveling, pleasure boating, and very cold martinis.
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I would like to thank Michael Jordan and Goddess Fish Promotions for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour.