Today John Dobbyn talks about the 4th novel in his series staring Michael Knight and Lex Devlin. When I asked him what impresses him about his stars he says this about Lex Devlin––"Lex Devlin is, and will always be, a combination of my father and my uncle Dick Dobbyn, both of whom I could not possibly love or admire more..." See what else he says about Lex and what he says about Michael and more below. Then enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of the novel.
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What’s being said about John Dobbyn and his novels:
A poignant tale of brotherhood - torn and mended. A thrilling mix of foreign intrigue and Mafia mahem. A wonderful read. Don't miss it!" Robin Hathaway Author of Sleight of Hand
Frame-Up is a twisted tale of mafia gangsters and international intrigue providing an in-depth view of the criminal justice system. The Big Thrill
This book is definitely a page turner reminding me of John Grisham’s legal thrillers and Robert Ludlum’s international crime thrillers. Review the Book
Dobbyn is a talented writer, and this novel boasts subtle characterizations and a first-rate story.
A fantastic legal thriller that will keep you on the edge of your chair throughout. Bookpleasures
Here is another fast-paced legal thriller from John Dobbyn, a former law professor, whose writing is decidedly nonacademic.” Lincoln Journal Star
Frame-Up is a terrific character driven legal thriller. Fans will relish John F. Dobbyns’ superb tale.
Harriet Klausner Genre Go Round Reviews
John welcome to The Reading Frenzy
Thank you very much. I appreciate this opportunity.
Tell us about your latest release Deadly Diamonds
This is the fourth book in the Michael Knight/Lex Devlin series, and while we love them all, this is by far the favorite. It deals with the intriguing subject of the “blood
diamonds” of Sierra Leone. While it offered the perfect setting to get Michael and Lex neck-deep in the snares and dangers of rival mafia gangs after the same prize, it also gave me the chance to expose to public view the war-torn life of the poverty-mired people of Sierra Leone who are, in part, the source of those pristine, sparkling diamonds in the showcases of our neighborhood jewelry stores.
John, Deadly Diamonds is such a timely tale with what all we hear on the news about Diamond mining.
Did you travel to any of the places mentioned in the preview for research?
The primary settings of Deadly Diamonds are the areas of Boston dominated by the Irish and Italian mafias. I could walk those streets with my eyes closed. The action also moves to both the west coast of Ireland and the city of Dublin. Trips to both of those locations give me a great comfort in inhabiting the pubs and by-ways of almost any part of Ireland. Ah, but the depressed, diseased, poverty-pockets of that little west African country of Sierra Leone, after years of victimization by a totally corrupt government and the scarcely human child army of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) – that’s another story. My research there was a matter of long discussions with the brave souls who have lived there.
Do you have a planned number in the series?
When I’m immersed in the writing of a novel involving Michael Knight and Lex Devlin, I’m walking those Boston or Dublin or London streets with two friends who have become like members of my closest family. Even members of the supporting cast, like Harry Wong, Big Daddy Hightower, and of course, Terry O’Brien, whom readers have pleaded with me to bring back each time, are people I love to re-visit in the writing.
That said, as long as the Lord allows me to live in that world, as well as my beloved real world of Valley Forge with my wife and partner in everything, Lois, I’ll go on getting Michael and Lex in, and hopefully out of, life-threatening trouble.
Your novels star the same protagonists Michael Knight and Lex Devlin, which actually started in your short stories.
What impresses you most about your stars?
Lex Devlin is, and will always be, a combination of my father and my uncle Dick Dobbyn, both of whom I could not possibly love or admire more. They were both the soul of honesty, loyalty, strength, and good Irish wit. Lex is the only character who is taken entirely from any living person.
I’ve often been asked if Michael is in some way me. I could only wish. Frankly, Michael is more courageous, resourceful, and willing to go the limit to fulfill what he perceives as an obligation to a friend or client than I could be. When I’m writing lines and action for Michael, I live a Walter Mitty existence in the first person. At those times, I’m at my personal best.
John I know so many lawyers who become authors.
Why do you think this is?
It’s a natural progression. When a lawyer – particularly a criminal lawyer – takes on the case or cause of a client, the lawyer steps into the driver’s seat of the life of that other person. It has drama, since the life or freedom of that person is literally in the lawyer’s hands, and it brings out emotions that span the gamut from joy to fear to soulful empathy. The judge, jury, and public only see the cardboard, one-sided aspect of the defendant that is revealed to them. The lawyer enters into the emotional trauma of both the defendant and the defendant’s family. And that’s also the stuff of moving, engrossing fiction.
You mention that you live where your novels take place.
Is this important to you and why?
Absolutely. Very important. Second only to readers’ responses to Michael and Lex and the characters of the books, readers comment on how much they enjoy dropping in to the restaurants and bars and familiar locales of Boston, for example. I write about Boston with the same deep emotions that I feel toward the characters. You could say that Boston is actually a character in the novels.
I love to hear first sale stories.
Can you tell us yours?
You bet. My first sale was an absolute fluke. My wife, Lois, signed up for tennis lessons with the Main Line Night School. I wanted to drive her and be with her, but the question was how to kill the hour of class. Without ever once in my life giving a thought to writing fiction, I signed up for a course in Creative Writing. As an assignment to write something involving the five senses, I wrote a short mystery story using a blind criminology professor as the detective, so that he’d solve the crime through the other four senses. On the teacher’s recommendation, I sent the story to Mike Shayne’s Mystery Magazine. By some miracle, they bought it. It was a total fluke because Heaven knows, I had no clue as to how to construct a short story.
Proof of that was the fact that, with the writing hook set, I went on grinding out short stories and bouncing them off of every magazine in print – and collecting enough rejection slips to paper our split-level home. Further proof was the fact that Mike Shayne’s Mystery Magazine soon went out of business – although I claim no blame.
What’s your favorite past time activity?
I guess it’s a dead heat between all of the following: Ice hockey, horse racing, music (jazz and classical) and piano playing, reading, movies, teaching, and anything I do in company with my wife, Lois.
John you’re pictured on your website with Sheltie’s.
Do pets feature in your novels too?
At long last, YES. For years, Lois has been suggesting that I give our Shetland Sheepdogs a part in one of the books. It took three books before I realized that that was an excellent idea. Our Kelty finally got to play an essential heroic role in Black Diamond. And the readers seem to appreciate it.
John Thank you so much for taking the time to let us get to know you better.
Will there be any author events or signing to celebrate this release?
The pleasure was all mine.
The events that are so far scheduled include talks and signings at the following: September 5, 7:00, Inaugural talk and signing, Barnes & Noble, Swedesford Rd., Devon, PA
September 10, 7:00 p.m., Tredyffryn Library, Strafford, PA
September 11, 9:45 a.m., Television interview with Lou Beccaria, “Around Phoenixville”
September 19, 6:30 p.m., Henkin Library, Exton PA
September 27, 12:00 a.m. radio interview with talk show host, Jordan Rich, WBZ Boston
October 3, 7:00 p.m. Phoenixville Library, Phoenixville, PA
October 8, noon, White Marsh Country Club
October 8, 5:30, Phoenixville Country Club, For The Cure
October 10, 10:30, Retirement Home in Bucks County, PA
October 11, 7:00 p.m. Club House of Community, Lynnfield, PA
October 16, 7:00 p.m., Harvard Coop, Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts
October 19, 7:00 p.m. Barnes & Noble, Peabody, Massachusetts
November ---, 7:00 p.m. Phoenixville Country Club, Phoenixville, PA
April 3, 11:30 a.m., St. Matthew’s 59ers club, Valley Forge, PA
Other events pending. I will send notice when definite dates are set.
Connect with John on his - Website