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Author Interview: Behcet Kaya

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Tripti Kandari is talking with Behcet Kaya, author of Uncanny Alliance: A Jack Ludefance Novel.

FQ: There are foreshadowing elements throughout the narrative, such as the Bitcoin intrigue at the beginning and the characters' suspicious behaviors. Was it difficult to strike a balance between foreshadowing and maintaining suspense? Was there a concern of disclosing too much too soon?

KAYA: Foreshadowing, which has been used in all forms of literature for centuries, is a balancing act for all writers. Too much and the story is given away too soon. Too little and there is not enough tension for the reader to keep reading. In writing a PI series it is an invaluable tool. PI’s are by nature introspective and intuitive. They must be in order to solve a case which is their ultimate goal. In writing this series I imagine myself as Jack Ludefance. I must think like him, feel like him, act like him. Because I write from the heart, there are times when I have given away too much too soon and my editor will critique the scene and help me pull back on the narrative. That is why every writer must have an editor he or she trusts to pull back when necessary.

FQ: The murky world of cryptocurrency plays a crucial role in the storyline. What inspired you to incorporate cryptocurrencies into the plot?

KAYA: Pick up any newspaper, or listen to any news station and there are horror stories of people being scammed out of thousands, millions, even billions of dollars. It is the latest get rich quick scheme gone bad. I actually foreshadowed cryptocurrency in Appellate Judge.

FQ: Can you describe your ideal writing environment? What time of day or specific place do you find most conducive to creativity or writing?

KAYA: All my writing is done in Starbucks. There are three all in close proximity to me and I alternate as to which one I go to. I like being surrounded by people as I lose myself in my writing with a Grande Americano sitting next to my laptop. A true story: I had started talking with a gentleman about my writing at one of the Starbucks he frequents daily. The next week when I went to that particular Starbucks, he came to me with a copy of my first novel, Voice of Conscience, for me to sign. After I left I found out he’d told the staff he knew a writer. Because the cover of the book is quite intriguing, they asked what kind of book it was. He explained he had just started reading it but that the author comes in quite frequently. The next time I went to that Starbucks he was there and told the staff, “Here’s the writer!” One of barristers said, “Oh, that’s Ben! We know him, but we didn’t know he was a writer!” From that time on the staff have started reading my novels.

FQ: Rudy is an engaging character with a distinct skill set in hacking and technology. How do you see this character progressing in future books?

Author Behcet Kaya

KAYA: Rudy was introduced in Body in the Woods, the second novel in the series. An unusual young man, his character is being developed and deepened in each successive novel. Finding out Rudy was an orphan was a pivotal moment in the relationship between them. Because Rudy’s talents are invaluable and an integral part of solving the crimes Jack finds himself taking on increasing responsibilities for his well being and stepping in as a father figure.

FQ: Speaking of Rudy, are you ever concerned that Rudy's crucial involvement in investigations may overshadow Jack's role as primary investigator?

KAYA: I doubt very much Rudy would ever overshadow Ludefance. Remember NCIS? Jethro is the boss and has many skilled computer nerds working for him. Rudy’s hacking skills are unique and Jack’s intuitive skills are unique. Together they make a team.

FQ: Do you have an outline for the whole Jack Ludefance PI series in advance? Or do you let each book develop spontaneously while adhering to an overarching narrative framework?

KAYA: No, I don’t have an outline for the entire series. Each novel in the series is conceived individually through moments of inspiration from various sources. Once the inspiration takes hold, I begin developing the story in my head before I even start typing the first chapter. I know the beginning, the middle and the end with that I begin adding all the details. As I finish each chapter my wife will do a first edit over which we discuss what needs adding or deleting.

FQ: Kingsley University is more than simply a setting in the novel; it's almost a character. Can you discuss any real-life institutions or experiences that influenced its creation?

KAYA: The first paragraph in the novel describes Kingsley University as I envisioned it in my mind. I had been itching to write a murder mystery involving academic circles. By using the location of a fictitious private university, I had more leeway in describing the physical characteristics as they pertained to the development of the storyline.

FQ: Your bio indicates your acting experience. What connections do you find between playing a character on stage or film and portraying a character in writing?

KAYA: To tell you the truth, when I analyze a character in a script that I have been given to play, I compare the character with my own, incorporating myself into and becoming that character. I use the same technique when developing the characters in my novels.

FQ: Lastly, can you tell us about your journey to become a published author? What advice do you have for budding authors navigating the publication industry?

KAYA: If you have an itch to write, if there is story percolating in your head, listen to your heart and write. Just write. All the rest will follow.

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