Interview with Gus Leodas

What's the story behind your latest book?
I was a member of the Huntington Yacht Club on Long Island, New York for many years. So, I followed the traditional question - What should I write about? Answer - Write about what you know. The plot challenged me because it couldn't be written as a normal mystery with usually one victim. There were over three hundred members in the club. I needed to write Unsafe Harbor on a multi-layered basis with more than one guilty person, and more than one victim. I added several characters and thought I had all the ingredients to make the soup, but when the manuscript finished, something was missing. The soup did not taste good. It was like preparing chicken soup without the chicken. The needed ingredient was English Literature, which motivated the killer to send clues to the police based on excerpts from the works of famous English writers daring the police and membership to save the intended victim...wanting the clues solved so that his next victim would suffer knowing that he was about to die.
Unsafe Harbor received some excellent reviews. Writers Digest called it a great book. The mystery was a Book of the Year Awards Finalist.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A relative who had an idea for a mystery asked me - How hard is it to write a novel? I thought about it for awhile then said to her - Writing is as a lonely walk through deep woods where only you hear the sounds of the forest and only you savor its scent and the long and lonesome journey. If you succeed in reaching the end of the woods then you have become a writer regardless of the manuscript's future.
The next day I called her and said - I forgot to warn you that the writing process is addictive because you'll find it challenging, entertaining, and satisfying and then becomes better and easier as you learn and study the craft.
The greatest joy of writing for me? The addiction.
What are you working on next?
Another Mitchell Pappas mystery/thriller. Mitchell is the main character, of course. But I wanted him to be an intelligent person, so I created him as a true crime investigative author, someone who could work with the police and without the police to investigate independently. I didn't want an investigator who was a former cop who was a drunk or was forced to retire as a cop because he goofed on a case then brought back to save a case. Those types were overused and now boring over the years. I teamed him up with Lieutenant Ken Mullins of the Suffolk County Homicide Squad. They are a perfect pair.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Grisham - We once had the same agent. James Patterson - When he was the international creative director for J. Walter Thompson, an advertising agency, my film production company did several commercials for him including his Goodyear Tires campaign. Mary Higgins Clark, Sandra Brown, and Stephen King.
What is your writing process?
Usually during the mornings on sunny days. And most of the day when it rains. And constantly editing.
How do you approach cover design?
I had the good fortune of working with art directors and designers for many years when I was in advertising. My covers are conceived and prepared by those professionals. I want my novels to put their best foot forward.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The one that downloads my books.
Published 2013-10-10.
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Books by This Author

Forerunners - A Prelude to the Second Coming. Novel.
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 85,920. Language: American English. Published: March 31, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
(Christian Fiction, Mystery, Thriller) A priest and an ambassador search the world for the evil forerunner in Greece, Turkey, India, Japan, and the United States...and beware the temptress Pandora. All prophecies in the Bible are happening now - Disruption in natural disasters, International economic recessions, terrorism of religious persons and symbols. All are happening today!
Where Forgotten Things Belong
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 6. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,910. Language: American English. Published: August 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A Romance Mystery - Harry Stone begs his investigator friend Mitchell Pappas to help him solve a personal crisis without police. Mitchell needs to help but has no idea how to solve the baffling mystery. He is in constant life-threatening danger as he travels in a world of lies. Along the way, and surprisingly, he finds that the answers lie within classical Plato's writings on love.
The Almost Forgotten Wife
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,120. Language: American English. Published: April 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Madge's husband, a United States senator, and daughter share secrets that exclude her. Exempt from the family mystery she is an outcast, ignored, and treated as nothing more than a household item, a part of the furniture, and a houseplant thirsty for water. The new attorney asks Mitchell Pappas to help with a case filled with obsessive love and hate that surge the plot to its unexpected ending.
The Devil Walks Beside Her
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,130. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
'Deanna, vote for the legislation or die.' Deanna Layne, a Suffolk County legislator pregnant with twins, flees to Fire Island terrified of being murdered before becoming a mother. So begins Deanna's nightmare. She needs to survive a killer in an environment sated with unusual alliances, lethal relationships, and solutions.
The Letter From Magda
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 8. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 92,890. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Bestseller - 'My dearest Johanna, I pray you never have to read this letter while your father and I are alive.' So begins Magda's letter to her daughter urging her to change identity and to run and hide.
A Sorority of Angels
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 7. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,610. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Several determined and concerned women at the UN unite to help solve hunger and poverty in their countries. What they encounter, what happens to each when they return home is almost unbelievable.
The Forgotten Mission
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,690. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Eighteen-year old Melissa confronts four World War II German spies on her farm in 1942 in this cold case mystery. Decades later the abandoned barn that leaned precariously from old age still waited for a strong wind to complete the collapse before someone discovered its horrible secret - Originally published by Kensington Publications.
Unsafe Harbor
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 64,260. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Book of the Year Awards Finalist. At an exclusive yacht club, a police lieutenant and his investigator are trapped in a web of disappearances and murders that link club members to Washington, the Coast Guard, and the underworld.
Huntress
Series: The Award Winning Strong Women/Mitchell Pappas mystery thrillers, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 84,540. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
(5.00 from 1 review)
Victoria Nelson-Lee seeks revenge against politicians who kill her husband, and now search for her. She deceives police to help her with notes and clues from Greek mythology signed Artemis, the goddess of the hunt.