The Story Behind Slater’s Vendetta by T.J. Jones
26 May 2020
By T.J. Jones
“Slater’s Vendetta” is the fourth book in the Slater Mystery series. It continues to follow Eric Slater and his quick-witted partner, Maggie Jeffries. When their real estate agent is found dead, they’re both suspects, as well as a host of others. While they’re sorting it all out, Slater befriends a ten-year old street urchin and takes him under his wing. When the boy is eventually kidnapped as a pawn in a gang war, Slater losses it. As often happens, his partner is the voice of reason, helping him save the boy and solve the case.
I started the Slater series with very little forethought. I knew I wanted my protagonist to be talented, but not too talented; tough, but vulnerable; a good guy, but not a saint. I didn’t intend for it to be a romance, but I love writing characters, and for most people, finding that right person is a big part of everyone’s story. Slater and Maggie seemed inevitable from the moment she walked up to his plane in the first scene, and their banter always feels like it writes itself.
I’ve never been one to outline, quite the opposite. I’m told some writers do and some don’t. I spend a lot of time rewriting, and that’s okay. Sometimes that’s when the best stuff happens. I “met” Jasmine Thatcher in the first book. She was intended to only have a small part, and be a means to an end for a totally unrelated plot point. That’s what’s great about not sticking to an outline. She soon became an intrinsic part of the series, and one of the most fun characters to write.
Hopefully you will find humor in the Slater series, but the books do touch on some dark subject matter. Every author is shaped by the world around them, and I only needed to read an occasional headline to find the villains in my books. But of course, this is fiction, and for the most part good wins out in the end. Hopefully in an entertaining way.
Throughout the series, Slater meets, and will continue to meet, interesting characters with perspectives of their own. He learns to hate, he learns empathy. Some of the characters deserve his anger, and some deserve his compassion. He is very capable of both. He is both a hero and an everyday guy. I hope you like him as much as I do. Thanks for reading. T.J. Jones
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