Kevin G. Chapman
Author and Speaker
Kevin G. Chapman is a corporate labor & employment attorney, but you’re more interested in him as an author. Kevin has written both serious literary fiction and crime-thrillers. His current Mike Stoneman Thriller series features NYPD homicide detective MIke Stoneman and his younger partner, Jason Dickson. The four books (so far) in the series range from a serial killer chase to a murder aboard a luxury cruise ship to the investigation of the possibly racist-motivated murder of an NFL Quarterback. Book #5 in the series, Perilous Gambit, set in Las Vegas, is due out by the end of 2021.
The most recent entry in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series is book #4, Fatal Infraction. This murder mystery weaves in a subplot about racism in football and in the NYPD along with the sexual harassment of a female sports writer and also a mob-sponsored sports gambling and point-shaving operation. There’s a lot of social meat inside this fast-paced crime thriller. It figures to generate a lot of discussion and has much to offer a podcaster, whether the focus of the interview is on the racism and social justice themes, the inside football themes, or just the fun and excitement of a murder mystery/thriller.
Kevin is an independently published author and is happy to talk about the writing process, the indie publishing world, and the challenges (and joys) of self-publishing. He also publishes book reviews on his blog and loves talking about other authors, book reviews in general, and any other literary topic.
He’s also always ready to talk about the New York Mets.
I will promote your podcast interview, blog post, or other media in my monthly newsletter, on the Mike Stoneman Thriller Group Facebook page, in a blog post on my website, and in my Twitter feed.
See below for additional images you can use in your publicity.
Podcasts and Interviews:
Read & Write Podcast — Oct. 13, 2021 (discussing the development of characters in my crime-thriller series)
Radio Interview — KONP Newsradio 1450 — Nov. 23, 2020 (discussing Lethal Voyage)
Trip Elix Podcast Aug. 20, 2020 (discussion of indie publishing)
Radio Interview – KONP Newsradio 1450 – July 27, 2021 (discussing Fatal Infraction)
GET IN TOUCH
You can contact Kevin at KevinGChapman [at] gmail.com or via this website’s contact page.
Interview Questions about Kevin’s latest book: Fatal Infraction: Click HERE (or copy from below)
Interview Questions about the Mike Stoneman Thriller Series generally: Click HERE (or copy from below)
Articles and Blog Interviews
InD’Tale Magazine — April 2021 — (“The Value of Beta Readers and Sensitivity Readers“)
Mystery & Suspense.com — Locked Room Murder Mysteries, Nov. 2, 2020
InD’Tale Magazine – June 2020 (“My Self-Narrating Journey -part 1”)
InD’Tale Magazine – July/Aug 2020 (“Self-Narrating — avoiding the mistakes I made – part 2”)
InD’Tale Magazine – May 2020 (“Editing your own writing”)
Fiction with a Touch of Reality (Louse Wise) [April 2020]:
Author Blogspot (2020)
Awesome Gang (2019)
E-Author Resources (Deadly Enterprise)
Media Interview Questions re: Fatal Infraction (Mike Stoneman Thriller #4)
- What has your writing process been like during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What’s the basic plot of the new book?
- This book’s characters are mostly players, owners, and agents in pro football. Are you a big football fan, and are you a Jets fan?
- What was the most fun aspect of researching and writing this book?
- You have a character in the book who is a female sportswriter who experiences some sexual harassment. How did you prepare to write about that?
- Were there any characters in this book that you particularly enjoyed writing?
- In all your books you have a reference to the New York Mets, what’s this book’s reference, and what’s the significance of that?
- This is book #4 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series. Will readers who have not read the first three books be able to enjoy this one as a stand-alone?
- How many Mike Stoneman books do you have planned?
- Is there an audiobook version of Fatal Infraction? Where can listeners find it?
- What’s next up for detective Mike Stoneman?
Media Interview Questions re: The Mike Stoneman Thriller Series (general)
How did you get started writing this crime-thriller series? A long time ago, in the mid-90s, I wrote my first novel, which was a mystery starring a New York Private Investigator named Rick LaBlonde. It was fun and a good try at a first novel. But it was before Amazon and before self-publishing was really a thing. I put it aside in about 1996 when I couldn’t get any interest from a publisher. Then, in 2002, my wife told me that for our 20th wedding anniversary, she was going to pay to have the book published by a new company that had come into existence called Xlibris, which was a division of a big publishing house and which was an early “vanity publisher” that would essentially allow you to self-publish a book. In those days, you had to order a minimum number of copies for printing. It was a lovely present, and I still have a few copies of that first book left on my basement shelves.
But by then I had a new job and three kids and I didn’t do any more real writing for many years. Then in the mid-2000s (the aughts?) as my kids were getting older, I got the itch again and I started working on my version of The Great American Novel. It was very, very loosely based on some autobiographical events in my life, but was mostly just fiction. It’s about a conservative Senator who has to confront his past and make hard decisions about his future. It’s about morality and politics and self-determination and identity. It’s a very serious book, but with some interesting characters and, I think, a compelling story line. It’s called A Legacy of One. It got some great reviews and some book award recognition, but didn’t sell. Part of that was my own lack of understanding about how marketing a self-published book worked in the new Amazon age, but it’s also because the subject matter isn’t particularly popular unless you’re already a well-known author or celebrity.
I spent 10 years off and on working on that and finally published it in 2016. When the dust cleared from that project, I decided I still wanted to write, but I needed to get into something more fun, less serious, and hopefully something more marketable. Along the way, in 2012, I had written a short story for a writing contest where the subject had to be crime or law. I had created a character named Mike Stoneman, an NYPD homicide detective. The short story, called Fool Me Twice won first prize in the contest. So, in 2016, I decided to take that character from the short story and work him up into a full-blown crime fiction novel. The short story is now available for free on Amazon and other sales platforms, and I included it as an extra feature at the end of the first book in the novel series, Righteous Assassin.
Can you describe your main characters? Mike Stoneman is a veteran homicide detective in the New York Police Department. In addition to being the senior detective on his team, he also teaches classes at the police academy and separate night classes for cops studying for the detectives exam. His classes are on things like evidence handling, crime scene protocol, witness interrogation, and how to testify in court. He typically gets assigned the new detectives so he can show them the ropes. He likes that work – teaching the younger cops and passing down his wisdom. He loves it when other cops come to him for his opinion on a tough case.
He’s also a Mets fan and likes classic rock music. He wears plain slacks and sports jacket combos with non-descript ties and comfortable (old) shoes. He’s not flashy – he’s not trying to impress anyone. He’s just turned 50 and is a little overweight, but trying to work out more and get into better shape, especially since he has become romantically involved with Michelle McNeill, the county medical examiner. But, he likes his pasta. He also appreciates a fine single-malt scotch.
Mike’s partner, Jason Dickson, is an African-American detective with a military background. He’s young and smooth and confident – but a little too cocky sometimes for Mike’s liking. There is some tension between them in book #1 (Righteous Assassin), but by book #2 (Deadly Enterprise) the partners fully have each other’s backs. In book #3 (Lethal Voyage), Jason takes more of the spotlight along with his girlfriend, Rachel Robinson. Their romance, which was briefly mentioned in book #2, becomes the emotional core of book #3.
The dynamics between Mike and Jason and their relationship, as well as the relationship between Mike and Michelle and between Jason and Rachel, are the heart of the stories. The Jason/Rachel story line gets big play in book #4 (Fatal Infraction), and will play a big part in book #5 (Perilous Gambit), which is due out in late 2021.
What makes them original? Mike and Jason are both complex and “real” people. Neither is a super hero who takes on multiple attackers barehanded or outthinks an evil mastermind, or smoothly seduces the female spy. They are vulnerable and awkward and emotional. Their comrades in the precinct are similarly “normal” people who banter and argue and yell. They are very much New York-based people and I try to give an authentic feel to their surroundings and stories. Mike’s status as the mentor and senior detective give him a unique persona and perspective.
The relationship between the middle-aged couple, Mike and Michelle, starts out slow and then settles into a very comfortable ongoing romance, but they deal with their own issues. Jason and Rachel are younger and the discussion about whether to get engaged is a big topic, along with what it means to be married to a cop – and what it means for Jason to be a cop and also a husband and father. They are murder mystery stories, but the characters draw the reader into a real world, not a big-budget movie fantasy.
What makes them tick? Mike is a very by-the-book guy for the most part, but we learn in all the stories that he’s willing to bend the rules when he feels that it’s necessary or justified. He also is concerned about his relationship with Michelle and how to keep that going, without putting her in danger. He’s also (surprisingly) concerned about Jason and his future and well-being. So, he’s both a crusty jaded cop and a sensitive, concerned person. He’s also now concerned about his own mortality and his own future to a degree that’s new to him, after 24 years on the force.
What is their biggest fear? Now, Mike’s biggest fear is that something bad will happen to Michelle because of one of his investigations. It nearly happened in “Righteous Assassin,” and it became an issue between them in “Deadly Enterprise.” Unfortunately for Mike, there is more peril ahead for Michelle.
Is there a consistent bad guy in the books? No. Each book has its own villains and challenges. Not every situation is clear-cut, which makes it fun. There is no super-villain who keeps coming back to terrorize the City. Each story is very unique.
Can the books be read in any order? Each book is a fully stand-alone story. I’ve had many readers pick up the series at each point and nobody has had any problems enjoying the books separately without having read the earlier ones. But, there is some development of the characters going on, and there are references in each book to events that happened in the earlier books. Some are necessary for later readers, and some are Easter eggs for readers who will get the “inside” jokes. There’s not much of that, but enough to make my audience happy. But they definitely can be read in any sequence. Book #4 in particular is a very self-contained story that requires no knowledge of what happened in the earlier books to enjoy.
If you and your character met in real life, do you think you’d get on? Oh yes! I have given Mike many character traits from my own backstory. We would definitely go to a Mets game together and then share a high-end single malt. Mike’s a little younger than I, but we are both Boomers and share a lot of common experience. I’m not a cop, but that wouldn’t stop us from being friends.
Who would you like to see play them if your books were made into a film or TV show? In the movie version of Righteous Assassin, if it were made soon, Michael B. Jordan would play Jason. Mike is a tougher call. Maybe Russell Crowe or Brad Pitt. Two decades ago, I would have said Charles Durning, but he’s too old now.
How many books do you have in the series so far? Books 1-4 are published and available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook editions. I narrated the audiobooks myself. Book #5 is in production and I hope to have it available for sale by the end of 2021. That will make it a 5-book series in just about three years. Not bad for somebody with a day job.
What’s in store for them next? At the end of book #4 (Fatal Infraction), Jason has just proposed to Rachel (spoiler: she says yes). They are just back from their adventure in book #3 aboard a cruise ship and how have dealt with the murder of a Black NFL quarterback. They could use a rest. Book #5 will pick up in late 2020 and will involve a trip to Las Vegas. It will end before the end of January, 2021, so right before the COVID-19 lock-down. At that point, there will be a lull in the story. Book #6 (if I decide to keep going) will be set sometime in 2022 or maybe even 2023. I won’t give away anything about the plot of book #5 except to say that a few old characters will make appearances. Book #5 will be the end of a story arc for the characters, but there’s plenty left for them in the future.