The book featured now in the Author’s Lounge, LIES, is by Jay Mackey. It follows Eric, who is aging, well, but not happily.
The story starts when a former business associate invites Eric to invest in a real estate deal. It sounds interesting; it’s not only potentially profitable, but it will give him something to do—helping design and furnish new homes. The thing is, his wife died not long ago, and he needs to keep things occupied in addition to his writing. So he agrees to invest.
Of course, things don’t go according to plan. The deal not only goes bad, but he ends up fighting for his life. Others aren’t as lucky.
The plot drives the action and provides the twists and turns, but the book is also about Eric, his life, his family, and how he copes and doesn’t, what’s important to him. He’s an ordinary guy, and I hope he’s likable. Yes, he’s aging, and he must face some battles with that, but he’s not befuddled or feeble. Mentally, his mind works as well as ever, or at least he thinks so, and physically, he’s in good shape, at least for his age. I’ve had readers say he reminds them of someone they know.
The title, LIES, came to me because I noticed how often lies were told—important ones that figured in the plot, but also the little ones, like ones we all tell in our daily lives. At one point, Eric is accused of being a liar, and he feels insulted and becomes indignant. But, on the other hand, when asked his age, he never says the same thing twice.
I’m a voracious reader, and I read for fun, so I like books that are easy to read, hard to put down, and that move fast. And that’s what I write: thrillers that readers will enjoy and finish quickly.
I think it was Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite authors, who said of his own writing, “I leave out the parts that readers skip.” I try to do that. To me, interesting dialogue is much more enjoyable than long paragraphs of descriptions.
An interesting thing sometimes happens when I write a scene with characters talking to each other: the story takes unplanned turns. It’s as if the characters have taken hold of the book and have decided to have things happen that were never planned by the writer, that is, by me. Sometimes the new direction doesn’t work out and I must go back to that conversation and rework it somehow, but sometimes I find the unexpected turns are better than what I’d planned.
Thrillers have to have exciting parts, or they wouldn’t be thrillers. But they should also have some lighter passages.
In LIES, some of the character development and some of the lighter parts come from secondary characters. For example, Eric has an older sister and a younger brother. One has found God, and the other has found drugs. I leave it to you to find which he’s closer to.
Some of the humor—I don’t necessarily mean gut-busting-laughter-type humor, but at least things that will bring a smile to your face—come from Eric’s writing. It seems he writes novels, and his current work in progress is a book that parallels what’s happening in LIES. He talks to the protagonist of his book, blaming him, for example, for shortcomings in the book. At one point, he says the book needs more action and tells the protagonist that he sees a car chase in his future. He also changes the protagonist’s name frequently, saying things like, “Sorry Steve, it’s not you, it’s me. Let’s see if Blake can do better.”
I’m not trying to impart any huge life lessons in LIES; rather, I’m writing about an ordinary guy who finds himself in an extraordinary situation. Let’s just see what happens.
I worked in advertising for many years and enjoyed the creativity that was required. Now, I use my writing for my creative release. I live in Cincinnati with my wife. We treasure the time that we get to spend with friends and family, especially our three young grandchildren.
If you’re interested in this book by Jay Mackey, purchase it on Amazon: