The Digital Ink Spot: Does the main character in Higher Court mimic your own spiritual journey?
John L. Betcher: William Kensey bears a number of similarities to me. He's thoughtful. A mediator. A person with a bit of personal wisdom. But his spiritual journey isn't at all like mine. I don't approach spirituality as pragmatically, as Kensey does. And I think he works too hard at trying to resolve the verdict using his lawyerly logic, when he himself realizes that mere analysis of facts is going to fall short of delivering an answer in this trial. At some point, a leap of faith will be required. But will it be faith in a God, or faith in science?
The Digital Ink Spot: Do all your novels have a courtroom element to the story telling?
John L. Betcher: Actually, A Higher Court is unique among my books in employing a trial motif as a significant part of the story's action. The debate under consideration in A Higher Court seemed to lend itself well to the Socratic Method. Since my lawyering background has made me familiar with courtroom action and discourse, delivering the various arguments via court testimony and jury deliberations seemed a natural fit for me.
The Digital Ink Spot: You did a lot of research for THE 19TH ELEMENT. Are you always so thorough?
John L. Betcher: I try to be as thorough as I can when I write any novel. A wrong detail here or there can easily distract a reader from the plot. In a recent best seller, one of the characters released the "safety" on her Glock .40 caliber pistol. Well . . . a .40 Glock doesn't have a safety. It's a small point. But I try to eliminate as many of those miscues as I can by being thorough in preparing. Besides . . . research is my favorite part of writing. I get to meet interesting people (like an ex-Army Ranger, a research geneticist, a nuclear chemist, a small plane pilot, and various law enforcement personnel). I also get to learn new things -- things I try to simplify and explain through the characters and action in the books I write.
The Digital Ink Spot: What have you read currently that stands out in your mind?
John L. Betcher: I enjoyed Simple Simon, by Ryne Douglas Pearson. The book is a few years old and was made into the movie, Mercury Rising. It is a fast paced thriller with a clever and well-researched plot. Your readers should take a peek.
The Digital Ink Spot: What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
John L. Betcher: My next Beck book (Book 4 in the series) will concern geo-political intrigue arising out of, and circling around what many refer to as, "The Arab Spring." There will be stolen U.S. military technology. One big plot question will be: "Who assassinated the newly elected Egyptian President on the day of his inauguration?" Of course, there will also be a Minnesota connection, since that's where my core characters call home. The research is done. The plotting is ready. And I'm looking forward to getting it written.
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