Search this blog

Friday 8 January 2021

ℚ♫ The Things that Last Forever: Vic Lenoski Mysteries [3] - Peter W. J. Hayes

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Things that Last Forever (, Level Best Books, 337 pages), a Mystery Police Procedural, book three in the Vic Lenoski Mysteries series.

In The Things that Last Forever, Peter W. J. Hayes delivers the goods in masterful fashion: a compelling plot populated with complex characters in an atmospheric setting, capped off by a gut-punch of a final twist you won’t see coming. Throughout it all, Hayes paints a vivid picture of Pittsburgh detective Vic Lenoski’s emotional struggles that will resonate with every reader. A terrific novel!" —Alan Orloff, Thriller- and Derringer-Award winning author of I KNOW WHERE YOU SLEEP

"The mystery plot itself is riveting; Hayes expertly guides readers from lead to lead, and they'll find themselves fully immersed not only in the search, but also in the depiction of the protagonist's mounting desperation. A captivating and emotionally intelligent crime drama." - Kirkus Reviews.

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Peter W. J. Hayes; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Peter W. J. Hayes has shared with us his music playlist for The Things that Last Forever (all 60 tracks of it!) - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for The Things that Last Forever?
"As the third book of the trilogy, I already knew that I had several plot lines to tie off, including the outcome of the mystery that spanned all three books. What I didn’t have was a way into the story. However, in book two (The Things That Are Different) the primary suspect flees the state, and a suspect’s ex-husband is a likely witness. The ex-husband had worked in Pennsylvania’s fracking industry and left the state.

While researching the fracking industry, I learned that North Dakota also has a large fracking industry, so it made sense that the ex-husband might have moved there (and it would be a good place for the primary suspect to hide).

Between the Indian reservations and boom towns that grew up around the fracking industry in North Dakota, I realized I might have a good location, and flew out to take a look. Within a few hours of arriving in Williston I knew I had the right location, and I started to sketch out the novel in my motel room that first night."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"A fair amount of myself appears in the books, starting with the titles of the three books. For many years I was a marketer. All marketing begins with market research, and the titles of the three books reflect the analytical approach I was taught to use when trying to find the information hidden within data.

I was taught to search data for things that should be there but aren’t, (Book 1: The Things That Aren’t There), to spot and understand the significance of things that look different or out of place (Book 2: The Things That Are Different), and to understand the constants that change very little over time (Book 3: The Things That Last Forever).

The unique mystery in each book was solved via an analysis of the clues represented by the title of the book. Some of my own personality also appears in several of the characters, but I’m not telling, as far as that is concerned."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Things that Last Forever - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Shawn Reilley Simmons at Level Best Books deserves a lot of credit for the book covers. We knew going in that we wanted similar covers over the course of the three books, and we worked out an approach that let us use a template for each book and only swap out some photographs.

In all three books, the top photo is representative of the setting where the book takes place, the middle photo represents a critical plot point, and the bottom photo (which is the same on all three books) represents a characteristic of the series main character, Detective Vic Lenoski. Vic was, in his youth, a Golden Gloves boxer, which is why we chose boxing gloves."
Why should we read The Things that Last Forever and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Throughout all three books I tried hard to portray the emotional lives of the main characters, how they are affected by the trials they face, and what ties one to the other emotionally.

I’ve also been told over the years that my descriptive prose has a poetic note to it, and I never met a humorous analogy I didn’t like. I’m hoping that combination of things, in addition to an interesting mystery, will resonate with readers."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Things that Last Forever, its story and characters?
"All three of the main characters have some quirky components to their names. The first name of the main character, Vic Lenoski, is actually short for Victor. A good name for any protagonist, but the name was borrowed from my great uncle, Albert Victor Messenger, who early in life did something infamous (the record is fuzzy), and was sent by his parents from England to Canada and told never to return. That was the last our family ever heard of him. Borrowing his name was my way of keeping him in the family.

Vic’s best friend in the books is a PI named Levon Grace. I developed his name during the last couple of years before I retired from my marketing job. I wanted to write and had started to work on a novel. My idea was to finish the novel, publish it and leave the company on a grace note. The phrase ‘leave on a grace note’ slowly morphed into Levon Grace, the character name.

Pittsburgh also fits into the names. Vic’s last name of Lenoski is a type of surname often found in Pittsburgh, thanks to the northern European immigrants who worked our steel mills. The last name of his partner, Liz Timmons, just happens to be the same last name as Lawrence Timmons, an outstanding line-backer who played many years for the Pittsburgh Steelers."
Who would you recommend The Things that Last Forever to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The books are police procedurals, and I would hope anyone who likes a good mystery would like them. Since the second book, The Things That Are Different, was nominated for a Silver Falchion award, I feel readers can feel confident of a good read.

Readers should be aware that the first book has some excessive drinking and a brief scene involving infidelity. Those items disappear from books two and three. There is violence in all three books, and discussions of human trafficking, but apart from the description of a murder victim in book two, I don’t think the scenes are particularly graphic, and I certainly don’t dwell on the violence."
If you could / wished to turn The Things that Last Forever and the Vic Lenoski Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I think the locations, Pittsburgh and North Dakota, speak for themselves.

I’ve often thought that Vic and his partner, Liz, would be well represented by Matthias Schoenaerts and Viola Davis. I’ve always thought that Matthias broods especially well, which is a component of Vic’s character, and he has the right build and look. Viola Davis can do anything well, so that pretty much sums that one up. I have yet to come up with someone for Levon Grace."
What do you like to write about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I’ve been sticking to crime and mysteries. My short stories tend to be more about crime and often involve criminals, while my novels are either police procedurals or (as is the case of my current WIP) a PI novel."
What is your writing process?
"Once I have an idea (and by that, I mean a firm idea of the crime that’s been committed and by who) I try and knock out a first draft by writing four pages each afternoon. Before the pandemic, I usually drove to a Starbucks and worked there, writing on an iPad with a detachable keyboard."
What is in store next?
"I have the first draft of my next novel in hand, which is a stand-alone PI novel with Levon Grace as the protagonist. It is both an origin story about Levon, and a prequel to the Vic Lenoski trilogy, because it is in that book that Vic and Levon meet for the first time. After that, I’m under contract to produce three more Vic Lenoski novels for Level Best Books."
Thank you for sharing, Peter.  We hope you are having a great tour!

Detective Vic Lenoski starts a desperate search. Can he stay alive long enough to discover the whereabouts of his daughter and rebuild his life? Or is everything from his past lost forever?

The Things that Last Forever
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads

1 comment:

CMash said...

The cover definitely draws me in.