Tuesday, February 24, 2015

L.T. Graham, Author of The Blue Journal

l.t. graham, lt graham, the blue journal, murder mystery
L. T. Graham is the author of the murder mystery The Blue Journal.

Describe the plot of The Blue Journal in a few sentences.

When one of Randi Conway’s psychotherapy patients is found dead of a gunshot wound, the investigation is turned over to Lieutenant Anthony Walker.

Formerly a New York City cop, Walker now serves on the police force of an affluent community in Fairfield County, Connecticut.  He lives among the privileged gentry, where he understands that appearances are often far removed from reality.  This certainly proves to be true in the death of Elizabeth Knoebel, when Walker discovers that she had been keeping a private journal entitled “SEXUAL RITES”.

In her diary, Elizabeth was recording the explicit details of her sexual adventures with various men, many of whom were married to the women in her therapy group.  Elizabeth was a predator bent on seducing and, in some instances, humiliating these men, obsessed with a perverse mission that Walker believes led to her murder.

As Walker uncovers the secrets of Elizabeth’s memoir, he becomes convinced that her killer is another of Randi Conway’s patients.  But which one?  Dr. Conway is unwilling to divulge her patients’ confidences, complicating the investigation while increasing the danger the therapist faces, especially as Walker comes closer to the truth and to Randi herself.

Amidst these unfolding revelations, we meet an assortment of Dr. Conway’s patients, glimpsing the dynamics that cause marriages to succeed, to fail and, sometimes, to end in tragedy.   

Who do you think would most appreciate this book? 
Anyone who loves a good mystery, or who is interested in what makes a marriage succeed or fail, or who wants to explore what drives sexual attitudes and desires.

What inspired you to write a murder mystery involving a detective who is out of his element, having moved from NYC to a suburb in Connecticut?
Some years ago, I witnessed the marriages of several close friends dissolve into unhappiness, unpleasantness and, ultimately, divorce.  I wondered what led to the disintegration of those relationships, and why people I knew so well, and thought were so happy, had grown apart.  That was my original inspiration for creating and examining the various characters for this book.

The murder victim, Elizabeth, is unique in that she had a specific sexual agenda and carefully documented her sexual adventures. What inspirations contributed to this character?
Every good book has a good villain.  Elizabeth is based on a particularly evil woman, and I chose her to be the central figure of the mystery around which the story revolves.

Who was your favorite character to write?
I love them all, the good and the bad.  A novelist spends so much time with his characters, you cannot avoid getting close to them. My favorite, however, was Anthony Walker.  I like all of his contradictions, flaws , and his basic humanity.

The Blue Journal, in addition to being a mystery, contains elements of suspense and erotica. Did you want these elements in the story since the beginning of the writing process or was incorporating these elements just something that happened as you wrote?
These elements were always a part of the story, since they are inextricably intertwined with the action, the characters, and the things I wanted to examine as I wrote—and the things I want readers to experience and relate to as they read the novel.

Were there any murder mysteries that influenced your style as you developed as a writer?
I cannot possibly point to any one book or author, since the genre is so rich with talent.  From Poe to Christie to P. D. James, just too many to name.

Can you share with us what the creative writing process is like for you, from initial idea to finished novel?
Only if you have a year!  Seriously, the ideas for my novels percolate for quite a while until I even decide I am willing to spend the time and effort necessary to develop a particular concept.  Then I move from summary, to outline, to first draft and then rewrite after rewrite after rewrite.  As to process, I prefer to write early in the morning so, if I can put in a good three or four hours, I know I’ll be happy the rest of the day.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
Anything that gets people to read is a good thing, and the devices certainly make traveling with multiple books a lot easier.  Personally, I like the feel of holding a book, but that’s just me.

Can you tell us anything about the next book in the Detective Anthony Walker series?
Well, both Walker and Randi Conway will be back. And this time, the murders at the center of the book will be particularly sinister.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
I promise they will not be able to put it down, and that it will keep them thinking about the characters even after they’re done :)

More Information

Buy the book on Amazon
Check out the book on Goodreads
Visit the author's website

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