TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?
LT: I imagine the ideal reader of my books to be fascinated with the drama and thrills that permeate a high stakes trial and the lawyers involved.
TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?
LT: My older brother was an international best-selling author (In fact, his most famous book, Blood And Money, is finally going to be a major television series…after thirty years). He died young, and I always knew that I would take up his mantle. He wrote true crime. I write legal thrillers.
TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?
LT: I write legal thrillers that involve some sort of major crime. Additionally, all of my stories, so far, raise questions about an underlying social problem in our country. Having been a trial lawyer my entire life, I know that great trials attract attention, whether on television or in the written word. A well written legal thriller is almost impossible to put down.
TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?
LT: I hate writers that fill their books with too much detail that rarely moves the plot. When a character walks into a room, I don’t need a page or so that describes the furniture, the drapes, the pictures on the wall, etc. Give the reader credit for using his or her own imagination. The writer should give a brief outline and let the reader fill in the details. For example, in The Insanity Plea, a major supporting character is a criminal lawyer. All the reader knows is that he is six feet, ten inches tall, a former NBA star turned criminal lawyer. The reader then learns about him through his words and actions. Any further description would have been superfluous..
TBM: What inspired you to write The Insanity Plea and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
LT: I was inspired to write The Insanity Plea after a woman named Andrea Yates was almost sent to the death chamber in Texas because she drowned her five babies. She needed to be committed because she was certainly insane, but execution should not have been in the picture. I was incensed at how the legal system treated the insane. My story has nothing to do with mamas drowning babies, but it’s a thriller that every reader puts down, having read a fine story and also having a better understanding of the plight of the mentally ill in our society.
TBM: How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?
LT: I’m still a full time trial lawyer; so when I am not in trial I write a couple of hours weekday mornings before heading to the office and four or five hours on Saturday and Sunday. Keeping that schedule, I usually complete a book in about a year.
TBM: What would you like to say to your readers?
LT: To my readers, I want to ask that they try The Insanity Plea as a sample of my work ($5.95 on Kindle). I’m confident that having read it, they will be back to read my others.
TBM: What’s your greatest strength as a writer?
LT: I am often asked why I wait so long before I became a writer. The answer is that I was too busy raising kids and trying lawsuits to devote time to writing. When my last child graduated from college and went off on his own, I decided that the time had come. As a sidelight, I might add that my last writing class was freshman English. I was stupid enough or brazen enough to think that since I had read fiction my entire life, I could write it.
TBM: Why should the reader read The Insanity Plea?
LT: I’m proud to have written The Insanity Plea. My two goals were to write a really good thriller, involving a serial killer, and to share the plight of the mentally ill with readers. Considering the hundreds of comments on Amazon (4.7 stars average), I succeeded with both.