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The Crime Fiction Lounge Podcast
Episode #12 – J. Lee, Author of The Hubley Case
December 17, 2018 Paul Stretton-Stephens

Today, Paul will be chatting with Justin Lee who writes under the name J. Lee. They’ll be talking about his debut novel, The Hubley Case and how the story came to fruition. We also chat about Justin’s writing life, which I have to may send you a little giddy, so be warned.


Married with two small children, Justin lives in the suburbs of Chicago.  He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Engineering and Sociology and a minor in Business.  In his spare time, he can usually be found playing Frisbee Golf or reading in his La-Z-Boy.  

Today, Paul will be chatting with Justin Lee who writes under the name J. Lee. They’ll be talking about his debut novel, The Hubley Case and how the story came to fruition. We also chat about Justin’s writing life, which I have to may send you a little giddy, so be warned.


Married with two small children, Justin lives in the suburbs of Chicago.  He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Engineering and Sociology and a minor in Business.  In his spare time, he can usually be found playing Frisbee Golf or reading in his La-Z-Boy.  

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:01Hello and welcome to the crime fiction lounge. You're listening to episode 12 the last episode of 2018 and we're talking to Jay Lee, author of the Hubley case.

Speaker 2:0:14Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the crime fiction lounge. The pipes for crime fiction lovers. Sit back, relax and unwind. You listened to some of your favorite crime fiction thriller authors, and here's your host, Paul Stretton Stephens. Yeah.

Speaker 1:0:41Today I'll be chatting with Justin Lee who writes under the name of Jay Lee, what we're talking about, his debut novel, the Hubley case, and how the story came to fruition, but also chat about Justin's writing life, which I have to say may send you a little giddy, so be warned. Justine's married the two small children and lives in the suburbs of Chicago. He graduated from Duke University with degrees in engineering and sociology and a minor in business. In his spare time, he can usually be found playing frisbee golf or reading is the lazy boy. I hope you enjoy the interview. Hi Jay Lee. Welcome to the crime fiction lounge. How are you today?

Speaker 3:1:23I'm doing great. Thank you very much for having me.

Speaker 1:1:25It's nice and early for you over there.

Speaker 3:1:28Oh yeah. That's kind of the routine these days. Can you, can you tell Allison

Speaker 1:1:33this way you are and a little bit about your background?

Speaker 3:1:36Oh, sure, sure. I'm, uh, I'm sitting in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois in the Midwest, USA. It is right now just a little past six o'clock in the morning, local time. And this is a relatively typical for me. I do most of my writing somewhere between the hours of four 30 and six 30. Anyway, and I'm delighted to sit here in my basement and have a conversation with you.

Speaker 1:2:05All right, good to have you on the show. Thank you. And what's life like for you right now?

Speaker 3:2:13Uh, life is very regimented, probably a little bit more than a sustainable long term, but, uh, you know, I have two small children, uh, ages four and two and a loving wife and a full time job that takes anywhere between 50 and 60 hours per week. And so when you add all of that up and you look at publishing a novel and then writing another novel and all the things that go into both of those things have to be pretty regimented a little bit more than that. I'm used to, uh, but that's how, that's how we make the most use out of the hours in the day. And uh, and I enjoy it very much, but as I said, [inaudible].

Speaker 1:2:55Okay.

Speaker 3:2:56Ultimately results in me seeing a lot of the day from four on.

Speaker 1:3:01No, I was going to ask you, what do you do in your spare time, but it doesn't sound like you have any.

Speaker 3:3:06No, I certainly do. Uh, I just, I just don't have, um, a lot of time to waste. I enjoy the game of racket ball and, uh, I try to go to my health club as much as I can and play Frisbee golf when the, when the weather is, is agreeable. Of course. Right now it's approximately 25 degrees Fahrenheit, uh, outside. So there's not a whole lot of outdoor activity. But we do try to take walks in and spend time as a family when the spare time, uh, is, is there for us. Okay.

Speaker 1:3:42Sorry. I mean Chicago's classes, the windy city, isn't it?

Speaker 3:3:46Yes, it is. It is. It's, it's actually not named that, uh, because of it's because of the wind and the sea breeze, but that's what most people associated with and its name actually goes back to, it's a political reference rather than, uh, than a temperature one. All right. But I'll tell you that if you come to Chicago between November and March, you will feel some wind.

Speaker 1:4:11Okay. Okay. Yeah, I've got a friend over there when he's been there for a few years now. So yeah, he's, he's told me a little bit of one. It's like, okay.

Speaker 3:4:19Oh yes, yes. Very bitter.

Speaker 1:4:21Yeah. Okay. Let's talk about your writing. When did you start writing and why?

Speaker 3:4:28I've been writing and journaling and a diary for, you know, ever since I was about five or six years old to be honest. Um, but, but when I really started to put a pen to paper on novels and full length stories was probably about eight or nine years ago. And, and it started as a release, as a, as a way to balance out life. You know, my day job is spent and numbers and schedules and analytics and there's not a lot of room for creativity there. So the writing was an opportunity for me to kind of unplug and dive into worlds that I get to create and have a lot of fun on the creative side. And about four years ago, my, my wife, uh, helped encourage me to seek publication and, and do it, do it for a professional avenue as well. Uh, but writing at its core has always just been a pure hobby of mine and something that I very much enjoy.

Speaker 1:5:36Okay. Now you were a deputy Wolfer um, are your, Roy thing's been likened to having the pace of David Baldacci and Brad Thor and to some extent, Lee Child. And how does that make you feel?

Speaker 3:5:50It is very humbling. Uh, those, those authors are tremendous. And I certainly do not,

Speaker 4:5:59uh, in any way a view myself as their comparable at this point in time. And when you look at everything that they have accomplished and the stories that they've written, they're just magnificent. But it is very encouraging to me that readers see, uh, parallels in writing. And it's very exciting to me because this is a true passion of mine. So to even be mentioned in the same sentence as, as those individuals is quite an honor. And why did you decide on the genre to write thrillers? Or did you or did you just find that? I have always really enjoyed thriller stories. Uh, just as a reader. I in earlier years before life was so incredibly busy, I gobbled them up, you know, several a week I would read. And, um, and I just find great intrigue and that type of a fictional base, suspense, storytelling. And I really have never, I've never really written any other genre other than some nonfiction trade publication, magazine articles through work.

Speaker 4:7:06And you know, a little bit of poetry here and there, but, but my writing has almost exclusively remained within the thriller genre. So we show which Raj has inspired you most along the way. All I've had many inspirations. Um, I think a couple that come to mind and, and not all of these are thriller writers, which is, which is a bit ironic I guess, but, um, Jrr Tolkien, uh, and the Lord of the rings. I, I, it's, it is, it is in my opinion, the best book ever written. And I don't know if there will ever be a better book written, uh, and, and the magical way that he has developed or that he developed those worlds in middle earth and the way that you fall in love with the characters every time you read it is just incredible. Uh, more specific to the thriller genre.

Speaker 4:7:58As a younger man, Michael Creighton was an author that was really the first, the first author that I, that I read a full length novels and, and really fell in love with Jurassic Park and the Andromeda strain and really, really found a, a captivating story teller. And leading up to a present day where you've already mentioned several, just incredible, incredible writers, lead child and Michael Connolly. And there, there are, there are a plethora of very, very talented writers out there. And I draw inspiration from several of them, but I, but I would be lying if I said that at the top of the list would be Jrr Tolkien who's just was such a magical storyteller. Okay. So with your ideas, fuel stories come from, um, they, they come primarily through a, over an active imagination and, um, and, and real life things. Uh, so, so I actually, I read several newspapers, uh, at least a week.

Speaker 4:9:06I try to, I used to be several a day. Um, but I browse, I browse what's going on in the world, and every now and then you'll read an article that just captivates you and tells you, you know what this is, this is something, what if this was been just the spawn just a little differently? Or what if, what if there was a reason behind this natural tragedy, et cetera. And from there, I just kind of map out. All right, well let's, let's see. What if it was like this and take it one step further until there's either an idea that can be put into a story or I table it for the next time.

Speaker 1:9:49Okay. Yeah. Yeah. It's a good way of doing it, isn't it? I mean, there's lots of things in the news. There's lots of, um, activity going on in the world that actually sometimes beggars belief. And when you put that extra spin on it, you know, you, you actually can draw a story from that, can't you?

Speaker 4:10:08Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I would say that the vast majority of the ideas that have made their ways into my books, uh, are not, are not all that far from removed from pure nonfiction. They just have a little tweak here or there. Uh, but, but hopefully what that, what that resonates with readers is a sense of genuineness and authenticity because it is in fact a real life story. I mean, what does that quote out there that there's nothing, there's nothing quite as dramatic as nonfiction, uh, or some variation of that quote. And I find a lot of truth in that. I really do.

Speaker 1:10:45Yeah, absolutely. I was just where you're coming from. So once you've got that storyline in that plot line in your head ready to go, what kind of research do you do and how much time do you spend researching before you write your book?

Speaker 4:10:59Yeah, so I will, I will say that there are some writers who have the ability to just sit down with a blank page and write a masterful story. Uh, and I am very envious of them. For me, uh, there's a relatively extensive outlining process that involves research, setting, research, a lot of character thoughts that all kind of go into an outline format and allow me to see this story from a disease so to speak. Because I have found that if I don't know where the story is going, when I write the words chapter one, I am inevitably going to end up doing a lot of rewriting and crossing out that I could avoid otherwise. So for me as a personal writer, I need to have a relatively comprehensive outline showing some of the twists and the turns that I want to take. And I build the research into that process and tend to maybe go a little overkill.

Speaker 4:12:07But to me that's the authenticity that that makes this writing fun. Uh, I don't want to just sort of get it right. I want to really understand what it is that I'm talking about. If there's a certain type of weapon that's used or if there's a certain type of officer, I really do want to make sure that I have the facts built into this story because that to me is, is something that readers should expect. And so I spend probably six months building that process into an outline and then I forced myself to not write the first pages until that outline is, is complete. Okay. So I've already with to give us, I try to be, I try to be able, like I said, it's, it's to a certain extent, it is because I do not have the ability to just start from a total blank page. I wish I did sometimes. But the other thing is it does afford me the opportunity to find some authenticity behind what I'm writing.

Speaker 1:13:12Tell me, I'm interested in this from another angle. Really. How much does that outlining and planning and researching sort of mirror your day job?

Speaker 4:13:22Hmm. Um, I would say not, not a whole lot other than other than the, uh, a certain level of meticulousness needed. I, you know, my day job, I spend a lot of time looking at budgets, looking at product line P and l statements, financial statements, uh, our analysis and things like that. So it's my day job is spent far more in the numbers side, whereas in this is, is far more on the literal side with words, but, but the parallel is a desire to be very detail oriented and to be as correct as I can be. You know, I've, I've already had some really, um, some really intelligent readers point out a few things that could be tweaked here and there. I, I by no means claim to be perfect in the book, but I will say that I try to spend a lot of time to be as close as I can be to it. And that is very similar to the way that I approach my day job. But in terms of the x's and o's of that work, they're very, very different. One of them is spent primarily in excel and one of them has been primarily and word,

Speaker 1:14:37I know you said you've been writing for some years as, as a contract release or now you've actually got an a, a novel that's been published.

Speaker 4:14:44Okay.

Speaker 1:14:45Yes. How does that feel? I mean, from a creativity point of view?

Speaker 4:14:49Uh, it, it feels exhilarating. Um, I, it has been, um, it has been a goal of mine for several years now and it was not a goal that was very easily achieved. Um, I, I, I admire, again, I admire that some authors are able to write their first draft and have it immediately captivate audiences. I believe Lee child falls into that category. My, my path was not anywhere near as neat as that. I, I actually obtained an agent several years ago and before the first subscript, before the first submission can be made, uh, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and we, we had to part ways for his health and he passed away. And so then I'm back to the drawing board with literary agents. And then when I found another agent, um, it was a process of, of trying to find the right publisher until the wonderful moonshine cove team came along.

Speaker 4:15:51And then I've been able to partner with them, but it's been more of a longterm process. So when November 6th of this year came, it was a very special day in our home. Um, it was a special day of reflection and it is not the end for me. Uh, it is just a pillar in that journey, but it was a very exhilarating experience because it was the, it was the result of many, many years of hard work and, and who doesn't like to see something get accomplished after all that hard work? Absolutely. Couldn't agree more. Now, do any of your family or friends help you in that process to do, do you share it with them? Do any of them read it? So my, my loving wife is a veracious editor who has literally made every page better. Uh, she has an editorial skill that I just simply do not have.

Speaker 4:16:51She can take five pages of my long winded rambling and she can turn it into one page of very tight, well-written book. So she has read every page and I have asked her to please continue to read every page til death do us part. Um, but, but aside from her, no, I was actually, um, several of my family and friends, uh, were very surprised to hear that I was having a book being published to the point where my publicist at one point said, you need to put, you need to put this on your website as a frequently asked question. Why did you not tell family and friends that you were, that you were a writer? Why did you not share that throughout the journey? Um, and, and the really, the only reason is number one, I didn't feel there was anything to tell. I was, I was a hobby.

Speaker 4:17:48We all have and I don't necessarily know what my friends, hobbies are, right. So I didn't expect for them to want to know what mine are. And number two, I guess to be open and honest with you, Paul, there's some vulnerability and putting it out there, right? Uh, especially for someone who's, uh, by nature a little bit introverted. Um, the, the idea of putting out there to the friends and family and world that this is something that I'm doing and a book is being published. There was a certain element of exposure to that. And I think that I kind of put that off until I absolutely knew it was going to get published and then it was all in. Right? But until that point, this was my little closet hobby that very few people knew about. And um, you know, it, it probably, it probably would have been better from a reach standpoint had people known about it in the years leading up to November 6th.

Speaker 4:18:52But I never even thought about it. It never even crossed my mind to tell family and friends other than my wife who, uh, who's just made the book that much better. So life changed in a lot of ways, uh, this past year and, and now my friends and, and a lot of my acquaintances and my family members, they all know. And, and I'm happy that they do that. That was, that was by choice. But again, there's a small part of you that, that feels that vulnerability. Do you know what I mean? I don't have to find complete quick, but it's not a hobby for you anymore, is it? No Sir. No, and that's the difference in my head is that now, now this is, um, this is not a closet hobby. This is something that frankly, I want people to know about. And if, and if I can make somebody's vacation a little more enjoyable by giving them a good story to read, I'd love for them to know about it.

Speaker 4:19:47Uh, but, but that's been the transformation from before November 6th to November six. That's been the shift in thinking that's occurred this past year. All right, so you're hoping the case, can you tell us a little bit about the plot without any spoilers? Sure. Um, it begins with the murder of a very seemingly normal businessman who's sitting in an airport waiting for his flight like so many of us do on an everyday basis. And shortly after his murder, um, the perpetrators are dead and nobody understands why this individual was gunned down in such a brutal fashion. And the story essentially revolves around, um, trying to figure out why this normal businessman, uh, became such a, such a victim of

Speaker 3:20:48such a terrible prime. And it in it, it's summons different subplots around people wanting to make him a scapegoat for things and people wanting to spin this story to be something else. And ultimately what it comes down to is, um, a lot of diversion and a lot of manipulation of public opinion tied to something completely unrelated to the main, to the, to the victim in the beginning of the movie. And then the beginning of the story. So Peter Hubley is the name of the victim. And it's the story of how these two protagonists and FBI agent from the Chicago field office and an ex marine, uh, work together to uncover why this happened to this man and brings readers to several different cities of Brazil where, uh, Peter Hubley was sitting when he was murdered and hopefully takes them on a ride of a lot of twists and turns to figure out why this happened and who was behind it.

Speaker 3:21:57And what was your inspiration for this particular story? Well, as I said, I tend to have an overactive imagination, but, um, and, and hopefully I don't come across as too twisted here, but actually I was sitting in the very airport where the book begins, the Sao Paulo International Airport. Uh, and I was sitting there having a coffee waiting for my flight back to Chicago. And I, and it just sort of dawned on me as I looked at this gentleman across from me, that if something like that were to happen, I would be both terrified and intrigued at the same time. Uh, why would, why would this seemingly normal man sitting there in a suit waiting for his flight to arrive, sipping his Cappuccino? Why would two people possibly want to come up to him and do what the, what the bad guys did in the story? And that idea just kind of stuck with me that if I were to witness such a crime, I would be very intrigued.

Speaker 3:22:59So I always have different ideas that I'm writing down and I'm recording. And I took that idea and I applied it to some other thoughts and I said, okay, well what if that was the start of a story? Could you, could you work in some of these other ideas that you've read from newspaper articles or that you've read from different magazines, et cetera. And could this be the catalyst for an overarching thriller that that would be compelling? And, and that's really how it began. It was just pure fascination with, with a relatively morbid idea. Okay. Are there things that you do come over to your path when you say that? I will. Thank you and thank you.

Speaker 3:23:45Nope. For our listeners. Can you describe the main protectiveness in the story? I know you said the special agent, a Nicky Benton. Yes. Can you tell us a little bit about her? Sure. Um, so the, the Unikey Benton is a troubled FBI agent who has made some mistakes in her past life that have led her to feel that serving in the FBI is the best way to redeem herself. Um, and she, she does a good job and she works very hard and her, her intentions are pure, but the reality is she's always running to something because she's running from something. And she is far from perfect in that what led her to where she is or are some of her own mistakes. And she's pretty clearly in over her head when she's given this case and she doesn't even know why she's given this case. Um, and, and one of the things that I liked about the, the Nicky character was that we get to see what I, what I would interpret as a very real life person who, you know, wants to do the right thing and wants to be in the right place at the right time and isn't always sure how to be there and how to do that.

Speaker 3:25:08And so she's chasing perfection to try to make up for things and doing it with the best of intentions. But that results in a lot of sloppiness because it's not really what she's meant to do, for lack of a better word. So she's kind of in this spot where she's constantly behind the eight ball to use an expression. And then she is introduced to this, this main protagonists, Ben Seabird, who is as unconventional as they get, but he is exceptional in the areas that he works because he has not gone down the wrong paths in his life. So she finds herself at first thinking that he might be responsible for this crime and considering him a suspect and finding out just how motivated and how focused he can become when there is a task at hand to solve. And so his, his backstory and he's who I would call the primary character, the main protagonist. He is brought into this because he is very good friends with um, the sister and with the, with the sister, um, uh, Peter Humbly. And he has asked to try to figure out what could happen and, and what could be done and, and how is she going to pick her life up. I said, sister, I apologize. I'm a wife. Uh, so she's a widow and she reaches out to him, say, please,

Speaker 4:26:44can you help me understand what happened to my husband? And he very reluctantly starts getting involved. And then when the two of them Benton and a seabird meet up in the story, they have very contrasting styles. She's a rule Fowler. She tries to do things the right way all the time and he is willing to bend or break just about any rule to serve an end purpose. And so it's a lot of fun for those two characters to uncover what they do along the way. I see interesting. Now without giving away any sport is again, which seem to do most enjoyed writing. My, my favorite seem to write was their first encounter without question. Um, uh, respecting your wish to not give away too much. Um, one of the things that I've always admired about like, you know, say, say a Michael Connolly is he has an ability to add a lot of depth to characters, but to do it in a way that does not take away from the pace of the story.

Speaker 4:27:50And so there's a fair amount of backstory to both of these characters, Benton and CBRE. And I really enjoyed writing the setting in which they first meet. That leads to some of that backstory being revealed, but in a very fast paced way. That was a lot of fun. That was probably the most enjoyable series of a, of pages in the whole book for me to write. Right. Okay. [inaudible] which seems the most challenging to run because they're not always the same holder. No, no, they're nuts. Um, but I think probably the most difficult, um, is there, there is a scene where one of the, one of the characters in the story is, um, is sort of a bad guy who works for the main bad guy and his job in, um, supporting the antagonist is to sway public perception of certain things. And so there is a chapter in there where there's no dialogue and there's a lot of ideas that need to be communicated about what he's doing to try to accomplish his task.

Speaker 4:29:07And I struggled through that primarily because I didn't want the pros to become overwhelming or repetitive. And my wife really hack that one up like line by line really made that chapter a lot better. But it was an interesting task to try to accomplish too, to use pure pros to, to communicate how this individual was, was trying to manipulate public opinion and what the different vehicles were and how he was measuring this. As I, as I wrote through, I actually rewrote that chapter five or six times and even after that chapter had been rewritten five or six times, it still went through some very, very rigorous editing. And I'm very proud of it. I, it's actually one of my favorite chapters to now read and I'm sure that that's a part of why it is because it, it was such a struggle, but like anything in life, you know, sometimes the harder you work at something and the more sweat and tears you put into it, the more rewarding it is at the end. Right. So I think it's kind of one of those situations. Yeah. Now, what makes you decide on the issues you tackled within your books?

Speaker 4:30:24Um, well I, I think, I think I start with a, it has to serve the overarching storyline. So there are a lot of, there are a lot of subplots in this story and they all kind of dovetail together throughout the, the back half of the book and to be, and so they all kind of reemerge. But the, the fee consideration when I try to invoke subplots is they certainly have to serve the ultimate goal of moving the story along and adding something for the reader to enjoy. Uh, I actually cut out about 30% from the initial draft before the publication draft because I found that the ideas that I was incorporating, they were interesting and they, to me, they were interesting and I think they might've been interesting to readers, but they didn't serve the story. So being very regimented about making sure that they serve the ultimate story is the first criteria.

Speaker 4:31:26And the second is just quite frankly, what, what I, what I think is very compelling and what I think other people might find very compelling. Uh, and, and I'll use an example to try to illustrate that. You know, we live in a day and age where anybody can post anything on the Internet about anyone. And truth is often, um, something that can be manipulated, spawn even unintentionally. So it can be, it can be far from accurate. So I found that to be an idea that I wanted to, to bring into this just to show how sensitive some of these things can be when you're in a day and age where everybody's connected and when you're in a day and age where everybody can, can post something on the Internet, how can that both serve and backfire a general, the general public. And, and I found that to be an idea that, that people might find interesting, uh, because in a lot of ways that touches their lives. So those are really the two things. They have to move the story along and they have to be, I, I have to believe that, that the reader would find them. Interesting. Those are the two main criteria for ideas in the book. Okay. Now is there any part of you in the story?

Speaker 4:32:48We'll certainly, certainly, um, there are, there are characteristics that, uh, some of the characters have that mirror my own. Um, and there are, there are some fun things in the story. You know, one of the, one of the fun little perks about being a writer is that as you're developing these characters and these worlds, you have the opportunity to, uh, bring a little bit of your personal life into it. And you don't necessarily have to share that. It's your personal life. It's just an interesting thing. And so I'll, I'll give an example. Um, the main character Ben, uh, Siebert he has a nutcracker collection, um, with, you know, that'll nutcracker dolls around the whole time. I have my own and I get to put it up every year and my wife and I fight about how early I get to put it up. And, uh, this is something that I've had since I was a little, a little boy, you know, six years old.

Speaker 4:33:47And so it was fun to take that specific example and get to invoke it into this story. And when I think about some of the, the character traits and, uh, some of the expressions that people say, there are certainly some examples of me. You know, Ben Ben is a very meticulous person. He, he really wants to grasp and understand everything fully before he dives in. And then that's a trait that I would say that I share and sure there are, there are both examples taken from me and from people I know that are kind of interspersed throughout the story. But there is not any one character in the, in the novel that was based on either myself or someone. I know it's, it's always a compiled of different traits of people that I've met throughout the years. Okay. All right, good if it up. Yeah, absolutely. So what's, what's the future for, for you as an author?

Speaker 4:34:49I mean, do you have a new book on the way? I sure do. I sure do. Uh, I've been, uh, working on it for a while now, uh, and I'm, I'm not, uh, I do not have a publishing contract yet for it or a release date or anything like that. But, uh, I certainly love to write and have continued to do so, uh, this year has been, you know, between the day job and the activities behind the publication of the Hubley case and the writing of the next story. It's been a kind of a constant flux of, of where the time is spent and then of course, family and, and, and the most important parts. Um, but I've enjoyed a writing the next story and hope to continue writing for a long time. I mean my, my ultimate would be to be able to do this for a living and uh, and continue to write and bring stories to the world that people would enjoy reading and be entertained by.

Speaker 1:35:48That's great. You just have to let us know when the next one's out.

Speaker 4:35:51I most certainly will. I most certainly will. I'm a, that's one of the, that's one of the, the goals for the next several months here is to get that nailed down.

Speaker 1:36:02We have a point in the interview, I ask you some rapid question questions, rapid fire questions. Is that okay? Sure. Are you sure for those?

Speaker 4:36:12I am as ready as I'll ever be.

Speaker 1:36:14Okay then. So if you could chat with any crime fiction author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Speaker 4:36:20I would have to say Michael Crighton, um, just because of how compelling I find his characters to be and the way that he reveals those characters in a fast paced way. He, he impresses me as a writer with the way that he's too, he develops these very complex, very, uh, very deep characters that are not very black and white and, and does so with a very fast paced story. And I would love to have a coffee with him and, and hear about how he goes into developing characters and how he builds that into his plot.

Speaker 1:36:57Yeah, that would be an interesting chat, wouldn't it?

Speaker 4:36:59Oh, absolutely. You know, and he worked as a reporter for a Los Angeles newspapers. So I it just, just a, you know, a, a coffee to kind of hear about how he invokes all of that and how he puts it together and, and how he thinks through his characters and what experiences he draws on, uh, would be a truly fascinating experience for me.

Speaker 1:37:20Okay. Next question then. Can you name a tool, app or product you can't live without and why?

Speaker 4:37:27Hmm. You know, there are, there are several that come to mind, but the one that's at the top of the list would have to be gps navigation. Uh, I am, uh, I am what you might call navigationally challenged. And in the course of my life, you know, the advancement in this area has been pretty incredible. You know, I remember pulling over to the side of the road and pulling out the pocket map from the glove compartment and looking at a map. And then I remember printing up mapquest directions and taking a wrong turn and having to get myself back on that path. And when I think about now that you can get into your automobile and you can through Bluetooth, click a button and speak and address and get step by step instructions that not only tell you how to get where you're going, but also taking in consideration traffic delays, accidents, construction. Uh, it, it's really mind blowing to me how far it's come and I, and I've become quite spoiled by it because I, I struggle with directions and so I rely on it quite a bit. And uh, it would be hard to go away from gps.

Speaker 1:38:43Oh, I see. I see. I'm really interested in the story about gps with a friend of mine who used to work in, um, in military intelligence and he speaks fluent Russian, so he always sets his gps to Russia, the Russian language, so you can just, you know, get, keep, keep her accustomed to the language and listening, et Cetera, et cetera. Uh Huh. Oh, I was going with him for a meeting one day. This was a few years ago and he put the name of the street into the GPS and we arrived and it was the wrong place. He couldn't figure out why and he hadn't put here postcodes mean everything of the UK. They're very tight, tightly. Um, you can pin a location that very tightly with a postcode, but he put the street name and they're not thinking there was another street, have the same name in the same city.

Speaker 4:39:32Oh, why don't you just couldn't figure out what was happening at the time. Oh Wow. Yeah, no, I that is, that's a, that is a funny story. Ah, wow. Yeah. You don't trust them all the time. No, you're right. You're right. I mean, it's like any piece of technology really. Right. You can't become too reliant on it. Although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't too reliant on gps and, and I, I travel, you know, not a, not a ton, but a fair amount for work. And uh, you know, I just, I, I'm more or less plugged that in and, and it takes me where I'm going. But your, your friend's story is a great example of, yeah. You, you can't over depend on it either. I mean, relies on humans as well. The input, the absolutely. Uh, what number one tip would you give for a new author?

Speaker 4:40:19Uh, I would say the most important thing is have a sense of what you really want out of your writing journey. Um, and be honest with yourself. You know, I mean, writing all by itself is just such a privilege. It's something that, that we should get to do, that we should want to do. Um, and, and so when you think about it, you know, an author could just want to right by him or herself and, and, and be in their creative worlds and, and not, not publish anything. And that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. Or it could be, I want to publish one book. I have this goal of mine. It's a life checklist item. I want to publish it and move on. That's fine too. Or, or, or like me, you know, like I would love to write for a living. Um, and I think knowing what it is that you really want to get out of your journey is important up front. Because I've met a lot of people that are writers, but they're not really even sure what they want and that that can result in feeling overwhelmed because you don't know how to handle the different tasks that come in. You don't know, is this worth it? Is this not worth it? You should, you should in my humble opinion,

Speaker 3:41:34should have an idea of where you want to go before you start trying to get there. That would be my number one piece of advice to any new author.

Speaker 1:41:42Okay. Okay. I think it was sound of his voice. The sound advice. Hmm. Thank you. What, I think you might've already told us this any way, but what's your favorite book and why?

Speaker 3:41:53Oh, it's gotta be Lord of the rental that you were going to say that. I mean, I, I read it every year. I've read it at least 25 or 30 times and every time I do, um, I, I get, um, I learned something that I had not learned before and I fall even more in love with characters that I thought I couldn't be more in love with. And it's just a, it's just a wonderful, wonderful tale.

Speaker 1:42:19I'm on. What's your favorite movie?

Speaker 3:42:23Probably the Shawshank redemption, just because, you know, if, if you haven't seen it, it's, it's the story of a wrongfully imprisoned man. And, and it, it is both inspiring and it is very dramatic because you really feel for what this individual is going through. And he does go through some very difficult things, but it captures a lot of the things that in this life are so important. Uh, things like trust and faith and friendship and the harsh reality that sometimes life is not fair and it does so in a, in a really well told way that, um, that it's, it's certainly an adult movie. It's based on a Stephen King novel, but it's, um, it, it captures a lot of things in life that to me are very important.

Speaker 1:43:15Yeah, I know. Well, it's a good, really good choice. Good choice. It really is. [inaudible] what's your favorite piece of musical song?

Speaker 3:43:23Yeah, I don't, I don't listen to music as much as I'd like any more these days, but my Goto is always pocket Bob Canon in d minor by Mozart. Uh, it's just very soothing classical music. Nothing like having a glass of red wine and listen in to some pocket Bell Canada at the end of a long day to help unwind. And uh, I very much enjoy that genre of music as well.

Speaker 1:43:49Yeah, I'll have to agree with that. With that one there for me too. You're on the city, you're having the same page. Yeah. It always takes me back to Covent garden in London. Oh, because the day, I don't know whether you've ever been to London, but if you go into London at Covent garden, there's like, um, a balcony and there's like a w I could well beneath that if it's just, he's still with us as a bar in there and a paved area and there's always top class musicians in there, busking basically. And very often you'll find there's a string quintet, the playing Pachelbel's Canon. Oh, fantastic. And the ambiance there is just super lime. It really is. I of you ever get chance to go, you've got to go.

Speaker 3:44:33I will definitely check that out. Thank you very much for that. That sounds wonderful.

Speaker 1:44:39Listen, how can listeners get in touch with you and your books?

Speaker 3:44:43Yeah, no, I, I mean first of all I, I just want to say thanks a lot for having her having our chat and this has just been wonderful and I've really enjoyed talking with you and share a bit of this. Absolutely. Um, if, if reader, if, if anyone would like to learn more about the book or me, um, certainly I would recommend going to my website, which is www dot Jay Lee's and you'll find a lot of information about quirks that I have and learn a little bit more about me and, and find ways to get in touch with me. If you'd like to talk, I'd love to hear from you and if the book sounds interesting, um, there are a bolt print versions and electronic reader versions available. You can find all the different links to the different retailers and such through there. But, uh, I'd love to hear from you. So if you decide to give it a shot, uh, please let me know what you think.

Speaker 1:45:40Okay. Do you have any plans for an audio version?

Speaker 3:45:43Uh, you know, starting to actually talk about it a little bit, but haven't, haven't gone too, too far down any, any specific path? I, it's, it's actually a question that I got from a reader, uh, and I, and I really hadn't thought about it too much, but, but may end up going down that path. Yeah.

Speaker 1:46:01Okay. Okay. Well Jerry Lee, uh, I need to call us the time here with the crime fiction lounge. I want to really thank you for a really fascinating chat. Thanks for being here.

Speaker 3:46:12Well, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Speaker 1:46:16Now for all our listeners out there, Jaylee's details and the details of his books or on our website, the crime fiction lounge and that's at So I know he's mentioned that just now, but you can get them there as well. Uh, I want to thank you for listening and let you know that our next guests will be Teressa Tolbert. Uh, um, it's going to be another don't miss interview. I know I say every time, but they are don't miss interview, so I'll see you then.

Speaker 2:46:42Bye for now. If you've enjoyed this episode, why not subscribe now? Leave a review and share with your friends, and don't forget to tune in for the next thrilling episode until then, stay safe.

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