Interview with John R. Beyer, Author of Iquitos, The Past Will Kill #writing #research @drjohnrbeyer

John R. Beyer spent nearly ten years in law enforcement in Southern California as a street cop, a training officer and a member of the elite SWAT team. After leaving the force, he continued in public service entering the field of education. During his tenure, he served as classroom teacher, school administrator and district administrator, and was an integral part of the gang and drug force in San Bernardino. While in both worlds he earned a Doctorate in School Administration and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

During all those years, he never gave up the passion for writing – both fiction and nonfiction. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and the like for decades, writing on a variety of topics. His latest short stories in the past year can be found in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (2016) and GNU Journal (2017). He is also the author of three highly praised internationally known novels – Hunted (2013), Soft Target (2014) and Operation Scorpion (2017).

He won the 'Write Well Award' in October of 2018 from the Silver Pen Writer's Association for a fictional short story.

His newest novel, ‘Iquitos – the Past Will Kill’, was released in November of 2018 by Black Opal Books bringing two of his protagonists together for their first investigation. Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders will work hand in hand with an international incident which left undetected could cause a catastrophic issue for the United States. They are friends and they are good at they do. Catching the bad guys.

Website Address:
Twitter Address: @Drjohnrbeyer

About the Book:

Author: John R. Beyer
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 353
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders team up to solve a string of murders, starting with the intentional and fatal bombing of a local coffee shop in downtown Riverside—a usually calm city in Southern California. Dozens are dead after an explosion rips apart the Coffee Grind, leaving dozens of others gravely wounded. Frank soon finds himself up to his elbows assisting the bombing victims, especially when he discovers that Jonas was walking to the Coffee Grind to meet up with his fiancée, but he never made it. In an instant, all their lives are thrust into a trail of death and destruction carried out by an unknown psychopath.


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The conception of this story – my latest novel, Iquitos, The Past Will Kill, came to me as I was watching a documentary on the Amazon rainforest a few years ago. Having been to Peru on two previous adventures, I had the privilege of experiencing the formidable mysteries of Peru from Lima to Machu Picchu and back past the Nazca Lines, I knew I had to write about the rainforest. Just had to. Then I wondered what would be that story? I stepped into the mind of one of my favorite protagonists, Jonas Peters, and asked what if Jonas had been to the Amazon before? What would have been the reason? What would have been his thoughts? His emotions? As a writer, I believe research is one of the key elements to making any fiction believable. So, I asked my lovely spouse, Laureen, to accompany me to the Peruvian rainforest along the Amazon River near the village of Iquitos. A month of adventure, exploration, and research among the local villagers, and the story almost created itself. Jonas had been there nearly twenty years prior in the capacity of a law enforcement officer working alongside the Peruvian military on an international multi-agency drug enforcement operation. From there the story unfolded, starting in the city of Riverside, California and morphing into a tale of murder, intrigue, disaster, and resolution.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing can be easy or difficult – be that fiction or non-fiction. For me, I do not suffer from writer’s block so when I sit down behind the keyboard, the story comes out with a flourish. Of course, I edit everything I write and sometimes what flourished the day before, gets deleted. Just because I don’t suffer from writer’s block, doesn’t mean that everything I write is golden. Sometimes something more tarnished may appear and then it’s back to rewriting what I had just spent hours on. The one element a writer must have to persevere in this world of fiction is to keep going. Do not give up. Anything worthwhile takes effort.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Black Opal Books out of Oregon. I had written my first novel, Hunted and wanted to see if I could go the traditional route of publishing instead of self-publishing. I have no issues with self-publishing since I believe if a writer knows a story needs to be in front of the public than any means to do so is well and good. After numerous rejections and I mean numerous, from other publishers – I landed with this new and (at the time) small publishing house, Black Opal Books. They took a chance and I have been with them through my newest novel, which is my fourth.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The amount of editing back and forth with the publisher was quite a surprise. After writing Hunted and self-editing, and the having my English teacher spouse give it the once-over, twice, I believed the book was ready. That was not the case. Three different editors closely perused the work and each time it was sent back to me to complete additional re-edits. The process took nearly nine months before Hunted was deemed ready for release.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I am currently working on two books simultaneously – a fictional police novel and a historical fiction novel on Vlad Dracul, the real man behind the character made famous by Bram Stoker. These will likely be ready for release in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

That the protagonist, Jonas Peters, is a lot like myself. He’s a good man but not a nice guy. He’d take a bullet for family or friend but he will also speak the truth and sometimes that truth is not pleasant to hear. It’s a realistic world in which my characters reside – gritty and ugly sometimes - and I have, in many ways, lived in that same kind of world, especially during my tenure behind the badge of law enforcement in Southern California.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

The story is written to show how good will always triumph evil when people work together for that resolution. I believe in the power of positive over negative because with a positive outlook, no matter the current situation, good things will eventually occur whereas negativity only breeds negativity.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you for the chance at this interview and I just want to tell readers to continue reading so we writers have an audience. To the writers, continue writing so our audience have stories to read.

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