I am delighted to welcome guest blogger, author John Beyer!
Many years ago as a rookie patrolman, I happened upon a little pink bicycle dumped in a dirt field. It had been the mode of transportation for an innocent eight year old girl named April, murdered by a villain just two days earlier.
It was my first venture into the evilness that sometimes overtakes humans. The thought of taking a life for a thrill – as was the case with April’s murder – was almost more than I could bear.
The pain people cause others never dulled me from my humanity; the job had to be done. Patrol work led to my becoming a training officer, and ultimately I joined the SWAT team.
After serving nearly ten years in law enforcement, I made the decision to leave and move to the field of education and serve in a different capacity. A public servant to the end.
I went back to college to study humans in more depth. Since I was in education, I earned a doctorate in educational management to move up the proverbial ladder in administration and then later a doctorate in clinical psychology. That degree was designed and intended to help me understand people. Did it help? To a point. But can anyone understand the true depravity of certain humans? We would like to say we can, but some aspects remain shrouded in mystery.
Writing had always been a passion of mine since time immemorial, and over the years I have written a number of non-fiction pieces for various magazines and newspapers but had never tried my hand in fiction until I met a writer by the name of Ray Bradbury. It was one of those meet and greets with a famous author in the small town of Lucerne in Southern California. After listening to him inspire the guests of the evening, I asked him for an interview and he agreed.
The piece was published and we stayed in contact until his death in 2012. He was a mentor and encouraged me to try fictional writing. I did and was rejected more times than I could count.
But I persevered.
Then in 2010, I completed my first novel. Nearly thirty years after I had found April’s bicycle, I penned, Hunted. It didn’t have much to do with the innocent girl’s murder except to inspire me to write about and try to understand – if anyone can – what truly goes on in an evil person’s mind.
The turn to fiction was a change of pace, but isn’t that what we need sometimes in this often crazy world?
Hunted (about a spree killer who decides to hunt the detective who is after him) was purchased and published in 2013 by Black Opal Books, who also subsequently published my second novel, Soft Target in 2014 (about an Islamic terrorist group that takes over a middle school in America) and Operation Scorpion in 2017 (about a rogue military officer trying to sell nuclear waste to the highest bidder).
All deal with the dregs of society – those who wantonly take advantage of those who are weaker, both physically and mentally.
But there is always the protagonist(s) who, perhaps does not exactly save the day, but does put a stop to the path of destruction the antagonist(s) are weaving. My ‘good’ characters are wounded by their past, but they put aside personal feelings and emotions to do what is right. They become real for the author and the reader even though they are fiction. And the bad guys? Well, they usually get put away – permanently.
I like happy endings.
About the book: Operation Scorpion
PI Frank Sanders is “blown away” by the woman who strolls into his office one morning. Not only is she drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also rich and willing to pay whatever it takes for him to find her missing father, world-famous geologist Dr. Stephen Jaspers who went rock hunting in the desert and hasn’t been heard from since. A retired Riverside California Police Department detective, Frank is used to searching for people. He takes the case, assuming it’s a simple missing person. But what he uncovers is more than he bargained for, leading him to suspect that he’s about to be blown away–literally, this time–along with everyone else in Southern California.
I downshifted the Jeep. We ran through the cloud of exploding dirt clods and continued toward the dry lakebed Alicia had told me about. In the distance, I could see the opening of the canyon. I also could hear another missile being fired, but this time it was a lot closer and nearly ripped the front of the Jeep off, if I hadn’t instinctively yanked the wheel to the right and skimmed the fenders off the west wall of the ravine.
I looked over at Alicia and saw a slight trickle of blood escaping from a small wound on her forehead but couldn’t make out the words she was yelling. I was stone deaf at that moment.
Daylight broke in on us like a waterfall as the Jeep shot out of the canyon and sped across the dry lakebed. My hands were trembling on the steering wheel and my concentration was nearly shot as I heard the roar from above getting closer. I started to zig-zag across the bed of the dry lake, trying to make us a harder I was looking at the high walls around us as the Jeep drove through the ravine. “We’re sitting targets here.”
I wasn’t psychic but it was a pretty good guess since Alicia screamed, and I heard the unmistakable sound of a rocket being fired from behind us. A good half-ton of mountain blew skyward thirty yards in front of us.
My hearing was still off but the loud explosion beside me crashed into my eardrums. I turned and saw Alicia kneeling on the seat, shooting the Glock at the approaching Apache. This is really starting to get dangerous.
About the author:
Former street cop, training officer and member of SWAT John Beyer has been writing most of his life. He’s traveled to at least 23 countries (and was actually shot in the head in Spain in 2000 during a march between Neo Nazis and Communists two days after running with the bulls in Pamplona). He was caught in a hurricane off the coast of east Baja (Bahia de los Angeles) while kayaking and lived to tell about it. Essentially, it’s hard to tell where experience leaves off and fiction takes over. You’ll want to read his books.
Website URL: http://johnrobertbeyer.weebly.com/
Operation Scorpion by John Beyer. Black Opal Books (January 14, 2017). ISBN 978-1626945968.