Interview with J.R. Lonsway

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first novel I read was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I was ten-years-old when my father gave it to me, and I remember the joy and pleasure of reading that book. I immediately began The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after finishing it. I was hooked for a lifetime on reading.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love so many books, fiction and nonfiction, by different writers, so I can't say these are my "favorite" five, but they were the first to come to mind.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Greek Fire by Nicholas Gage
anything written by Pat Conroy and also the writings of Robert D. Kaplan.

I like books that reflect the struggle of the human spirit against adversity. With respect to Kaplan, his writings on world affairs are second to none.
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything!!! Fiction, nonfiction, if it looks interesting, I'll read it. There are so many great writers out there that no one has heard of, and it such a pleasure to discover them.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Years ago, when I was still working overseas for the State Department after my police career, I bought a Nook. I may be mistaken, but I don't think Kindle was yet an item. I bought the Nook because on my first two deployments, Kosovo and Afghanistan, I carried books in my luggage. Not only is that prohibitive to meeting weight restrictions for flying, but they were HEAVY! The Nook, obviously, allowed me to carry hundreds of books literally in the palm of my hand.
Describe your desk
Primarily clean! When I first started writing, I wrote longhand on legal pads, and I used a typewriter to document the finished product. I swore I would never be one of those writers that could sit at a typewriter and hammer out a novel. But, as technology changed, I did, too, and first came the word processor, and then the computer. Now, all I use is a laptop and what a godsend! No white out, no correction tape, no wadding up balls of paper and tossing into the wastebasket. Spellcheck and online thesaurus and dictionary have made writing so much easier.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
We moved around a lot. My father was a career Border Patrol Agent, and he started in 1953. President Eisenhower had a former WWII General in charge of the Immigration & Naturalizations Service (as it used to be called), and he firmly believed that corruption was inherent to law enforcement. Therefore, agents were moved around every couple of years. I was born in south Texas (Falfurrias) and lived in Hebbronville, McAllen, El Paso, Brownsville, and Fort Pierce, Florida, until, in the summer before my ninth birthday, we settled in Las Cruces, NM.

I can't say it influenced my writing, although a person who was a big influence was my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Watkins. She saw something in me that I did not see in myself, and she kindly, and frequently, encouraged me to write. One of my great regrets in life is never taking the time to find her after I reached adulthood to thank her for being so nice to me. She passed away not to long ago.
When did you first start writing?
I would write short stories as a child, and poetry, too. I wrote my first novel in my twenties, and it took me several years.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My first book, Twenty, was nonfiction and about my 22 years in the Las Cruces Police Department. It consists of vignettes, and shows the hard and soft side of policing, some humorous and some not, with adult language and content. Policing can be brutal, and I did not want to sugarcoat the way it was by writing something that was less than truthful. The greatest compliment I've received on it is from law enforcement officers from various departments and jurisdictions who have told me what a great read it was, and that it was good because there was no political correctness.

So, the latest book(s) are fiction, and are part of the Bela Garcia Detective Novels. I wanted to write a series about a female detective who is good at what she does, but has her ex-husband as a boss, and he is a real loser. All my characters are based on people I've known, and each one is a combination of personalities I became acquainted with over the years. No one character is ever based on one actual person, that would be too obvious, but most of what you read in my fiction has actually happened. I like to let the reader figure out what's probably something that really happened, and what is made up by me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is hearing from people that have read what I've put on the page, and having them tell me how much they enjoyed it. That alone motivates me to keep writing.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! When someone tells you that they like your writing, that's the highest compliment out there. Without fans, there really is no point in producing. I mean, I love writing and I would probably do it anyway, but being able to share it, and have people say,'Hey, I loved it and can't wait for the next one' means a lot.
Published 2018-01-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Conspiracy Of Evil
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 100,700. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
A gripping tale of a father's descent into the abyss to find his kidnapped daughter.
The Mack Daddy Affair
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,390. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
What do corrupt cops, a dead stripper, a City Manager claiming drugs found in his car were planted, an unethical Mayor, and an unscrupulous police Lieutenant who is Detective Bela Garcia's ex-husband, have in common? The answer lies in the pages of The Mack Daddy Affair, the third volume in the Bela Garcia Detective Novels.
The Immigrant Murders
Series: Bela Garcia Detective Novels. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 80,380. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Someone is murdering illegal immigrants in the southwest desert city of Las Palmas, New Mexico, and as the body count mounts, Detective Bela Garcia is tasked with solving the case. Complicating her investigative effort is her ex-husband and supervisor, Lt. Larry McNeeley, an unethical, womanizing, misogynistic creep who does everything in his power to undermine Bela's investigation.
Adultery & Murder
Series: Bela Garcia Detective Novels. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 104,570. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Jack McPherson had violated the cardinal rule of extramarital affairs: never fool around with anyone who doesn't have as much to lose as you do.
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 147,670. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Law enforcement
An unapologetic and politically incorrect memoir of policing. This may be one of the best books out there about cops and the job they perform.