A Conversation with 'Broken Family' Kevin Hopson #crime #mystery

Prior to hitting the fiction scene in 2009, Kevin Hopson was a freelance writer for several years, covering everything from finance to sports. His debut work, World of Ash, was released by MuseItUp Publishing in the fall of 2010. Kevin has released several other books through MuseItUp since then, and he has also been published in various magazines and anthology books. Kevin's writing covers many genres, including dark fiction and horror, science fiction, and crime fiction.

His latest book is the crime/mystery, Broken Family.

You can visit Kevin’s blog at www.kevin-hopson.blogspot.com.

Can you tell us what your book, Broken Family, is about?

The following is a blurb, which sums it up best.

Sheriff Joseph Mauro is summoned to a local lake in Stone County, having received a
report of a dead woman along the water’s shore. With foul play a possibility, he utilizes the help of his two female deputies in questioning family members and friends. As the three of them search for clues and possible motives, the case takes an unexpected turn, and Sheriff Mauro must rely on his instincts if he is going to weed out the killer.

Why did you write your book?

I have written crime fiction before, but those stories involved an element of science fiction. As a result, I wanted to do a straight-up crime/mystery piece for a change – one that is more realistic – and I believe Broken Family delivers in this regard.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Joe Mauro is a 40-something male who is in his third term as Stone County Sheriff.  Both of his deputies are minority females. His right-hand deputy, Janelle Bowden, is an African-American woman who has worked with Joe for several years. Her understudy, Ira Batista, is a Hispanic woman fresh out of the policy academy, and this is her first year (probationary period) as a deputy.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

It’s usually a combination of both. I might create a character from scratch, but they almost always remind me of someone in real life, whether it’s someone I know personally or someone I’ve seen on television.  

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I try to plan out as much as I can in advance, but my writing usually takes an unexpected turn at some point and branches out on its own. Very rarely does it end up being the story I initially imagined. That’s the fun of it, though. More times than not, the story will end up writing itself.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Yes. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t suffered from writer’s block in some form. The thing that works best for me is to get away from the story, even if it’s only for a few minutes. I do some of my best thinking during mundane activities, such as house cleaning or taking a shower. Great ideas will come to me at times like these. 

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I would spend it with my son.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Halloween. I’ve always enjoyed a good scare and, though I’ve recently made the jump to other genres, I wrote a lot of dark fiction and horror when I started out as a writer.

What do you like to do for fun?

Anything that stimulates my mind, whether it’s reading, watching movies, or interacting with my son.

Can you tell us about your family?

I have been married to my wife for almost 13 years. We have two sons. Our first son, Aydin, passed from stillbirth on August 28, 2010. However, our second son – Skyler – was born healthy on October 23, 2011, and he’s become the joy of my life.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Keep writing. As cliché as it sounds, writing on a regular basis (whether it’s an actual story or just a blog post) keeps a person sharp and improves their craft. It makes jumping into your next writing project that much easier.