Day One of my Interview with Jerry Banks

Three- time author of the Barry O’Shea series is my guest author this week. I am honored to have interviewed author Jerry Banks. Jerry practiced law for over 41 years and using his many years of legal experience and his knowledge of how the system works. He has written three outstanding mystery/legal thrillers for everyone to enjoy. I would like to thank author Jerry Banks for agreeing to do this interview with me. Jerry is the author of three outstanding novels that I have read and reviewed. Each day I will post several questions that I posed to Jerry along with his responses. Please feel free to comment, leave questions for the author and read the interview to get to know him better. I am reposting all three of his reviews to whet your appetites and entice all readers to buy the entire Barry O’Shea series written by this five star author. Thank you again for agreeing to do this interview with me. Fran Lewis

Interview Questions for Jerry Banks

Day One

Fran: How did you develop your character of Barry O’Shea?

Jerry:  I have to admit, that Barry O’Shea was modeled after me.  Of course, O’Shea can be a bit of a rule-breaker and I’m not.  But, for the most part, his reactions to events are very similar to how I would handle things.

Fran: In writing your first book in this series did you do any research before writing it?

Jerry:  Yes, of course.  Even though this is fiction, like all good fiction, there is foothold in reality.  Readers are willing to suspend disbelief the moment they pick up a novel, so you have to make it as really as possible for them.  To do so, I visited the site where I put the Lukarilla retreat camp and did research  to develop the NYC & Illinois characters.  I am personally familiar with the NYC scenes like Dorset Hotel which I stayed at many times.  I relied on my personal experience and knowledge for most of the locations and character types.  The saying goes, “Write what you know.”

Fran: As a lawyer how much of what you write about have you experienced in your career?

Jerry:  Most of it.  All of the courtroom scenes are based upon direct experience.  I have tons of expertise to draw from when it comes to direct examination and cross-examination.   My first novel, Secret Agenda, is about a case against a cult—it just so happens I tried a case in Oregon that involved a cult.  Of course, names, locations and circumstances within the novel are different…that’s the fiction part.  I played the game of “what-if” and that added quite a bit of drama to the plot.   My second novel, Second District is about contested election, the “fixing” of the ballots and the recount.  Just so happens I was involved in such a case.  However, in the novel I was able to explore how such a thing happened, whereas in “real” life, the facts were too difficult to prove.  It’s great writing fiction because I get to alter, change, or complete rewrite events.

Fran: In Second District: The character of Arch Sinclair is really interesting- what made you decide on a movie star as the character in your book to go after a congressman? How did you develop the idea for this book?

Jerry:  I like that question because entails a little bit of family history.  The character’s name is the actual my wife’s grandfather’s name, which to me sound so Hollywood and I suppose I was influenced by movie stars running for Congress. I’m not sure why, but that always intrigued me.  I always hope that they are more than just a pretty face!   I was developing a scenario for the novel that would end with a contest of a recount, while doing so I moved the location and was forced to come up with an election event that was much different from the one I was personally involved in.  I also had a case in the Steens Mountains, and I fell in love with the area.  It is distinct different from an area place in Oregon.  I knew of some movie stars getting into ranching, and the Steens Mountain area seemed to me like a great area in which to invest.  There was only one big ranch in the area at the time I was there, but in the book I had my “movie star” buy a fictional farm nearby the real one. I did investigate the existing ranch’s structure, and I patterned the fictional ranch the same way.  I figured that if I made the owner of the neighboring ranch the congressman for that part of the state, I could create a story where the movie star was shooting a movie in the area, fall in love with the scenery, as did I, and by an abandoned ranch.   The problems between the neighbors developed, which can be all to true, and I put them at further odds when the movie star runs against his neighbor in the election.  Again, I manipulated reality and played the game of “what-if”.





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