Well hey there Shirley Ford fans. I’m very honored to be invited and have the opportunity to write for you. Let me first introduce myself. My name is Joe Conlan. I am a retired trial lawyer turned author. Have you ever heard of that before? For the first several years of my career, I was a prosecutor for the State of Florida. I then turned to civil practice, representing corporations, doctors, nurses etc for personal injury cases filed against them. The novel I wrote, titled Nameless, is a crime fiction thriller.
I’m not your typical writer. I hear from so many other authors that they have been writing since they can remember. There’s no question, I cannot say the same. In fact, I never much liked it as a youngster. If you would have given me a calculus problem to work out or a chapter from a science book to memorize, I would have been happy as a clam. When it was time to write an essay for English class, I dreaded it. My grades for my writing were quite mediocre. The one thing I can say, however, is that I always enjoyed a good read. I have been an avid reader of fiction since my early teenage years. I admired and idolized any author who could take me into a fantasy world, craft characters that would become my friends and force me to read until the wee hours of the night because I couldn’t put the book down.
Whenever I admire or idolize someone, I have often challenged myself to become more like them. At 11 years old, I was obsessed with Walt Frazier of the New York Knicks professional basketball team. I know. I’m aging myself. In any event, my own personal basketball career started upon discovering Mr. Frazier. I would play for hours a day practicing foul shots until I was ultimately able to sink more than 90 out of hundred. It was more perseverance than any innate talent. That’s just me. I tell you that story only because once I became a fan of Stephen King and Anne Rice as a young adult, I wanted to be able to do what they did. I just didn’t try until I was 50 years old.
Even then, I really didn’t know whether I was capable of creating an entire novel. Based on my grades in writing class, one would say probably not. But, that didn’t stop me. Well, let’s say, I eventually got to it. It all started the day my daughter turned 20. The family was gathered for her birthday. I was retired by that time. During conversation, I announced, out of the blue, that I have always wanted to write a novel. My father-in-law, in his inimitable fashion then inquired, “What the hell is keeping you from doing it?” My ex-wife chimed in that I should write about a cruise ship murder. That very day, the first words of Nameless were on paper.
After starting to write, I still had no idea whether I had any skill or talent. So, I asked several members of my family and friends who were avid readers to read as I wrote. I begged them to be brutally honest with me as I didn’t want to waste my time. Fortunately, it turned out that I couldn’t write the book fast enough for them. Any thriller fans interested in checking out Nameless can visit my website, joeconlan.com. It is currently on sale for 99 cents, 49 pence in the UK and has a 4.9 star out of 5 rating on Amazon.com and 4.81 stars on Goodreads. Very briefly, as I don’t want to overwrite my welcome, it is about the psychological and intellectual struggle between a young FBI Special Agent in Charge and a deranged, but brilliant serial murderer. Many thanks to Shirley for the invitation and to you for taking the time to read this.