Q&A With Joseph Reid
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Q&A With Joseph Reid
Today’s Q&A is with bestselling thriller author Joseph Reid. Joseph Reid’s novel The Lock Box, written under his pen name Parker Adams, comes out on March 19th, 2024. Previously, Joseph has written the Seth Walker books under his own name. In order, they are Takeoff, False Horizon, & Departure. In a past life Joseph chased great white sharks as a marine biologist & became a patent lawyer who litigates multimillion dollar cases for high-tech companies!
Q: Joseph, would you like to tell the readers of the blog and I about The Lock Box and where the idea for the novel came from?
A: THE LOCK BOX came from the merger of two things: (1) living through the pandemic and its lockdowns, and (2) my love of heist movies.
I’ve always been a huge fan of everything from The Thomas Crown Affair to Ocean’s 11, so at various points I’ve thought about writing a heist story. When COVID hit, I was looking for a new book to write. As I sat around, watching things close, seeing the freeways, empty, etc, it struck me that this would be the perfect time to try and pull off a crime. So I started to play with that idea, and THE LOCK BOX is the result.
Q: Why do you write the Seth Walker series under your real name, & The Lock Box under another name? I’m always curious about why authors write under different pen names sometimes.
A: The pen name was a publisher decision. Because this is a new publisher for me, and we’re launching a new character in a whole new world separate from the Seth Walker series, I think they just wanted a fresh start.
Q: Are you currently writing book 4 in The Seth Walker series?
A: I’ve actually got several projects in development right now. We’ve talked about what a fourth Seth Walker adventure would look like, we’ve talked about a sequel to THE LOCK BOX, and then I also have another, new novel in mind that would be totally different.
Q: Where do the ideas for your characters and fictional worlds come from?
A: Ideas come from a little bit of everywhere. I read a lot of news each day, trying to stay up with current events, and like with THE LOCK BOX, sometimes events in the world are a good inspiration. My books tend to have a lot of action and adventure scenes in them, so sometimes I’ll be in a place that’s inspiring and I’ll think about what kind of chase or fight could happen there. But at the end of the day, whenever you’re thinking about a story, you’re ultimately asking a question about “what would happen if…” and then going from there.
Q: How long does it take you to typically write a book?
A: I try to put a book out each year, but that schedule got disrupted because of COVID. Hopefully I’ll get back to that schedule now. That means taking about six to eight months to research and write the manuscript and then the rest of the time to edit the book and work through the publication process.
Q: What is helpful advice to others on wanting to write great thriller books as you have?
A: The biggest advice is to just keep going. There is a ton of rejection in this business, and it can take a long time to see any real progress. People get discouraged and they give up, but if you really love to write, then the process itself is its own reward and getting published and any success that comes along with that is just an added benefit.
Q: What was it like being a lawyer who litigates multimillion dollar cases for high-tech companies & chasing great white sharks as a marine biologist? Was the transition from doing both of those things to then being an author an easy transition or a difficult one?
A: Both of my other careers are fun and have their moments of excitement. Being a marine biologist meant spending a lot of time on boats out on the ocean. Now, as a lawyer, my exciting days are the ones I spend in court, either in trial or hearings arguing on behalf of my clients.
All three professions—science, law, and writing—have certain things in common. All of them involve a lot of research. All of them obviously involve writing to one degree or another. I’d say they also all require you to work with small pieces of evidence to assemble a bigger picture. In science, you get the results of your experiments and try to figure out what they mean. In law, when you got to prove a case, you gather up pieces of testimony, documents, etc. In writing mysteries or thrillers, you’re also working with clues and hints and the things that the hero (and the reader) is going to assemble to solve the problem. Thankfully, as the writer, you get to pick the clues, which is sometimes a challenge but also gives you control over the story and how things are revealed.
Q: If you were to write in genres other than thrillers, which genres would you explore and why?
A: My books tend to be on the borderline of “techno thrillers,” so I think if I was to get into a different genre, it would likely be something like sci-fi that naturally has those elements.
Q: The entertainment industry is in desperate need of original great content again instead of constant remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels, and spinoffs. Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? Whether they do or not, who would be your dream cast to play the characters you created in your books?
A: My agents are terrific and are always exploring potential deals with Hollywood. I don’t have anything to announce right at this moment, but hopefully soon. In terms of casting, Monna Locke is tall and strong, so I think an actress like Gwendoline Christie (from Game of Thrones) would be perfect to play her.