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Writers Inspiring Change book review: Fan Mail by Joseph Lewis

Fan Mail, by Joseph Lewis, is a gritty coming-of-age mystery thriller. The main plot, which explodes into view at the very beginning of the book, surrounds a series of threatening letters and a car bombing. As investigators try to source the stalker, and the bombing, we find ourselves immersed in the lives of several young men who are connected either through family or friends, and who have secrets they have been hiding about their lives - secrets, which in the course of the book, start to emerge. The culmination, takes the reader to the very top of this mountain of bizarre events, moreover, the dramatic ending when the stalker is finally revealed. An intense emotional rollercoaster ride, written with immense detail to feelings and dialogue, with a constant thread of mystery that holds you to the end to find out what happens. Excellent writing.

Reviewed by International Writers Inspiring Change

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About Joseph Lewis

A short interview with the author

iWIC: Tell us what inspired you to write.

Fan Mail is a departure from my normal Thriller-Crime-Mystery, in that it is a coming-of-age story featuring one of my recurring characters, Brian Evans. He, along with six brothers are all adopted, and each has baggage. I wanted to write a story about the love of family, of sacrifice, and of putting others before self, even at the risk of death. While there is a thriller-crime-mystery to the story, it takes a backseat to the coming-of-age thread in this story.

iWIC: What inspired your book?

I wanted to feature the patchwork adopted family that makes up the Evans' family and their parents, Jeremy and Vicky. I felt I owed it to my readers to bring them up to date on what these characters are thinking, and how this thinking causes them to act and react. I come from a large family of ten, of which I am the second youngest. My wife and I adopted our son, Wil, from Guatemala when he was seven and when our oldest daughter was one month old. Family is, and always will be, important to me and it gives my writing depth.

iWIC: What are you aspiring to accomplish as a writer?

In sixth grade, I had a wonderful teacher who used to put three or four paragraphs on a notecard. She would call these story starters. The idea was that if we had spare time, we could grab one of the notecards and complete the story. There wasn't any credit involved, but she gave wonderful feedback. This lit the fuse for me. I've been interested in storytelling ever since. I've taken creative writing courses, extra English courses, and screen writing courses, but it wasn't until 1987 when I had a short story published. In 2014, my first book, Taking Lives, the Prequel to the Lives Trilogy, was published. I now have nine books published, have won almost 20 awards, and I received a contract for publication from my publisher, Black Rose Writing, for book #10, even though it isn't finished yet. I appreciate their confidence in me.

More about the author

Joseph Lewis has a new thriller/suspense book, Fan Mail (March 2023), and has already won a Silver Book Award from Reader's Favorites, a Maxy Finalist Award, an Eric Hoffer Award Nominee, and a Literary Titan Silver Book Award. Blaze In, Blaze Out (January 2022) has won five awards so far, including Best Fiction Crime Action Book of 2022 by His previous novels include Betrayed (November 2020) which has won eight awards; Spiral Into Darkness as of January 2019, which has won one award; Caught in a Web (May 2018), which earned two awards. Previously, Lewis has published four books: Taking Lives, (November 2020) a prequel to the Lives Trilogy; Stolen Lives, (November 2020) Book One of the Lives Trilogy, which won one award; Shattered Lives, Book Two (November 2020); and Splintered Lives, Book Three (November 2020). Each book is in the thriller/crime genre, and each has garnered outstanding reviews. He writes a weekly inspirational blog, Simple Thoughts From A Complicated Mind, Sort Of at . He has an author website at .

Lewis retired after 47 years as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Kim, along with his daughters, Hannah and her husband, Alex, and Emily and her fiance, Quavon. His son, Wil, is deceased (July 2014).

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