Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Bookish Chat with Legal Mystery Author Ken Malovos

Ken Malovos has been practicing law in Sacramento for over forty years. He spent twelve years with the Public Defender’s Office and twenty-five years as a business litigator. He now serves full-time as a mediator and arbitrator. Ken has written two previous Mike Zorich novels and both have been recognized by Chanticleer Book Reviews. Contempt of Court was a First Place Category winner in the legal genre of the Mystery and Mayhem competition in 2014. Fatal Reunion was a finalist in the Thriller and Suspense competition in 2016. Ken and his wife live in Sacramento.

His latest book is the legal mystery, ONE NIGHT IN AMBOISE.

Visit his website at www.malovoslaw.com.

As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I thought of secrets that we all have and how we try to keep them hidden. For example, the former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert kept a secret for many years, that he was involved in improprieties with young men when he was a wrestling coach. Yet, he ran for Congress and was third-in-line to be President before anyone found out. How does someone keep something like this a secret? What goes through his/her mind? What is his/her emotional state?

Can you tell us what your book is about?

It is about an allegation of rape that took place in Amboise, France, thirty years ago. I follow the lives of the man and the woman and how each of them copes with the initial event. The man becomes a lawyer and then a judge and is now on trial for murder of someone else and he must revisit the rape in order to defend himself.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

The main characters are the man and the woman. The woman has much trouble coping with the rape and  telling anyone or even admitting that she is not sure if she was raped. Many people might find this all hard to believe, but it is a reality, as many studies have shown. As I said above, the man becomes a judge and is accused of the murder of someone else. He must finally confront the secret of his life in his trial.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

Read. I did not read much fiction as a younger person but now I love fiction and I am catching up with my reading, while I am writing. I wished I had read a whole lot more.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I am a half-outliner and a half-pantster. I try to outline the initial thoughts and plot ideas and then just write and see what would logically happen next, what the next decision of this character would most likely be.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I do. I have received some nice reviews, which I love. But I doubt that many people are going to take the time to tell me the book was lousy.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

I need to “show not tell.” This is the classic writing rule and it is sometimes hard to follow. I think I am showing, through dialogue, but then I lapse into more telling than is necessary.

What has been your best accomplishment?

As an author, I have received awards from my first two novels from Chanticleer Book Review Book Competitions. This has validated my writing from an objective third source, which has been very rewarding.

Do you Google yourself?

I do. Not often, but I do. I read what others have written but usually I already have seen their reviews on Amazon.com.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have a total of three published novels and a whole bunch of partial writings. Everything else is just an idea in my mind. I am still debating on what my next project will be.

Fun question – if you were princess or prince, what’s one thing you would do to make your kingdom a better place?

Get rid of guns of all types, except legitimate hunting rifles and shotguns. I see absolutely no need for guns whose purpose is to kill people.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

I just hope that they enjoy this book. It was a lot of fun writing it and I want all my readers to have a fun time with my books.

About the Book:

JIM HANSEN AND CORINNE LARSON are overseas college students at Amboise, France. After meeting at a local bar they leave and encounter a drunk. JIM hits him and the man may be dead. At the manor house where they live, they kiss and make love. The next day she accuses him of rape but does not formally charge him. He denies the charge. The police investigate the killing of the drunk.

After they return to California, CORINNE struggles with the whole incident, wondering if she was at fault. She talks to her sisters and then seeks professional help after turning to alcohol.  JIM goes to law school and becomes a deputy district attorney, always wondering if the allegation of rape will surface and whether he did the right thing. He marries another overseas student from Amboise.

ALICIA OBREGON contacts JIM and asks him to dismiss the criminal case against her husband. She informs JIM that she knows all about Amboise and threatens to expose him. He throws the case, thereby allowing a guilty person to go free. Over time he pays her money.

JIM is appointed a judge and ALICIA continues to blackmail him. CORINNE’s husband comes to Sacramento and confronts JIM in his chambers. JIM says he is sorry about the whole thing. JIM goes to a rehabilitation facility but in a few weeks he leaves, feeling he has resolved all of his concerns. 

ALICIA is found dead. ALICIA’s husband is charged with her murder but he implicates JIM because he knows all about the blackmailing scheme. JIM then is arrested and must stand trial for the murder of ALICIA. The prosecutor focuses on JIM’s motive. JIM asks noted trial lawyer MIKE ZORICH to represent him.  JIM turns down a plea bargain and a sensational jury trial follows. JIM is not truthful with his wife, his attorney or the jury. CORINNE’s husband testifies. The jury cannot reach a decision and JIM must live with a tarnished reputation amidst unsettled questions whether he killed ALICIA and raped CORINNE.



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