How did you come up with the title? I wanted a title that reflected how the lawyer felt about his client, but also about himself and the work he does. The simplest and clearest title had to be The Guilty.
Who designed the cover? I designed it myself. I wanted the picture to be straightforward and its message easily recognizable (a gavel coming down). That and the title, The Guilty, pretty much let the readers know what they’re in for.
Who is your publisher? I am a proudly independent author. In other words, I self-published using CreateSpace. It’s a great tool for someone who enjoys doing everything themselves, although they also have people on staff you can hire for different parts of the book-making process. If I’m self-published it’s because I realized that a new and unknown writer was going to have to spend a lot of time publicizing his book, even if he used a traditional publisher. So, now I control what kind of marketing I want to do, who I want to do interviews with, where I submit my book for reviews, and so on. I don’t worry about whether my publisher is really pushing my book, or has a vision for it that is different from mine.
How did you develop your plot and characters? The general outline of the murder and the ensuing trial is actually based on a murder case I worked on many years ago. I found the facts of that case could be the framework for a story that was as much about the lawyer struggling with his own conscience as it was about his trying to win his case. As for the characters, I tried to keep them realistic, with well-rounded personalities. They may have a characteristic or personality trait that I may have noticed in someone I met here or there, but none of them are based on anybody real. I tried to write each character in a way that he or she has a specific role to play in the twin conflicts that are fought in the court room and in the lawyer’s conscience.
How do you promote this book? I spend lots of time connecting with readers, as well as other authors, reviewers and bloggers, on various sites. This means lots of interviews, getting others to review my book, writing a humble blog about my struggles to achieve fame and fortune, etc. I do spend quite a bit of time on the marketing and promotion, but I’ve also met many great people who are really into writing or reading books, which just happen to be two activities that I’m really into as well.
THE GUILTY has been described as “A Brilliant Courtroom Drama.” (Charles Bray, theindietribe.com)
It is the story of Robert Bratt, once a high-flying defense attorney, but now haunted by doubts over his chosen profession and the violent people he represents. He is hired to defend Marlon Small, a young tough who is accused of a brutal double-slaying. The accused’s mother is a devoutly religious woman who is certain that her son has been falsely accused, and looks to Bratt to save him. Despite the mother’s protestations, Bratt’s instincts tell him that Small’s airtight alibi is too good to be true, and he is very probably guilty. But Bratt’s drive to succeed, combined with his sympathy for the heartbroken mother, push him to defend the young man.
-Can he continue to turn a blind eye to what his client has done, and manipulate the truth as he so often has in the past, while no longer being able to look himself in the mirror?
-Loosely based on a multiple-murder that shocked Montreal in the 1990s, this riveting story pulls the reader into the inner workings of a murder trial, and reveals what one lawyer must do when he has to defend “The Guilty.”
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Genre – Courtroom Drama
Rating – R
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