Reviewer Joseph Valentinetti: Joseph was born in New York City and lives in California. He is a writer, poet, interviewer & reviewer. He also produces Video Book Trailers and contributes various items to several online sources and forums. His dog will vouch for him, if needed.
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
Today, Joseph Valentinetti, one of bookpleasures' reviewers talks with K. J. Janssen, author of Blood Money. Ken’s venture into writing began with his retirement. His debut novel Blood Money was quickly followed by Hampton Manor and Everyman, Revisited. He has also published several short stories.
He summarizes the novel Blood Money like this: Special Agents Mark Matthews and Susan Harrigan become combatants in the War on Terror as they probe the illegal activities of the National Rare Blood Association. What follows is a nail biting adventure involving an abduction, torture rescue and murder.
Hello Ken. Let’s get started. What is the most overrated virtue?
Pride. It undercuts
personal and group progress.
What is the one thing other people always seem to get wrong about you?
Not everyone feels
this way, but I often hear that others find me to be aloof in my
dealings with them.
If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
I would want everyone to
listen more and speak less; the goal being more understanding of one
What pet peeve do you have about other people?
They don’t listen to
each other. They are so anxious to get in their opinions, that they
don’t listen to what others have to say.
Is there any occasion when it’s OK to lie?
Yes. When the truth will be more harmful.
What is your philosophy of writing?
Everyone wants to feel
that they are contributing to the welfare of themselves, their
families and their fellow man. My writing allows me to create
something that can bring joy to others. It is my gift to the world.
Do you consider your writing an art or craft or some combination of both?
Definitely both. The
artist in me can only be effective if basic constructs are adhered
to. There are exceptions, however, I generally try to stay within the
If you could go back ten years and give yourself one piece of advice what would that advice be?
Write, Write, Write…get
started. Find the time. Get rid of excuses. I wish I had known enough
then to follow this advice.
What’s the name and genre of you book and Who’s the audience?
It’s called Blood Money. It’s a Mystery/Thriller and it’s intended for all ages, all genders. There’s something in Blood Money for everyone.
Is this book part of a series?
Yes. It is the first in the Mark Matthews Mystery series. The second, Fatal Dose is nearing completion and a third, unnamed, is in the planning stage.
Describe your protagonist
and describe the challenges the protagonist needs to overcome and the
motivation for overcoming them.
Mark Matthews is a tall,
slim handsome hero with a sensitive demeanor that exudes
understanding and caring for his fellow man. When he falls in love he
is usually smitten and prone to being tender and passionate. Mark
tends to be impatient. The need to protect his love, Susan Harrigan,
reigns in his exuberance as he needs to be methodical in his of
pursuit her captor.
Describe your antagonist and talk about motivation.
There are two antagonists.
John Portman who kidnaps, tortures and shoots Susan in his relentless
pursuit of those responsible for hacking the NRBA computers, and his
assistant Mel Tarkington who comes in late in the story to exact
revenge on the person responsible for bringing down the NRBA. Portman
dies, but Mel Tarkington lives to return in Fatal Dose.
Quote a passage from your book that you love.
I was especially moved
when Dr. Cartwright was rewarded for his work:
As he walked alone toward the elevator, he could still feel Thurston’s hand on his shoulder. He stopped to go to the restroom. As he prepared to leave, he hesitated for a minute to straighten his tie. As he looked at his image in the mirror, tears welled up in his eyes. “Daddy,” he said softly, “The President of the United States thinks that Doctor G. Mason Cartwright is a ‘big shot.’ What do you think of that?” He removed a handkerchief from his back pocket, dried his tears and left the room.
Elaborate on the meaning of the passage for us.
Dr. G Mason Cartwright was
ridiculed by his father for dropping his first name for an initial.
He always called him Mr. Big Shot. and humiliated him at family
gatherings. It was good to see the Doctor exonerated.
What surprising things did you learn while writing this book?
I was surprised to
discover that I prefer dialog to descriptive. With the exception of
Michener’s Hawaii, my choice in books shies away from those
spending half the book describing things. My favorite authors are
John Sandford and Stuart Woods and my writing style is akin to
How has your upbringing influenced you writing?
My life experiences find
their way into my novels. I don’t think that that can be helped. My
lifetime of reading novels has also enriched the source field that I
rely on when I write.
Where do you live and how does that influence your writing?
I live in a Ohio suburb. I have lived in six different states and absorbed their culture over fifty years of working.
Do you have a special routine you go through before you begin writing?
Yes. If I have reference material or newspaper clippings about my subject I will go through these first so that I do not have to interrupt my flow.
That’s the interview. Thanks for listening.