Christopher Flory - A Gritty, Fun, Wild Ride of a Mystery
Christopher (Chris) Flory was raised in Indiana and now lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and dog Shadow. He spent ten years with various correctional departments as a probation and parole officer, specializing in the supervision of sexually based offenders and criminal street gang members. He is currently employed as a contractor for the federal government as an intelligence analyst. Trust Misplaced: A Paul Dodge Novel is Chris' first published novel, though he has been featured in academic journals and professional conference papers while attending undergraduate (BA Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne 00') and graduate school (MA Purdue University 15'). He is currently working on the second book in the Paul Dodge series and has ideas for several more installments. Chris enjoys spending time with his family, baking and outdoor activities. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, Trust Misplaced.
Please give us a short introduction to what Trust Misplaced is about?
Trust Misplaced centers around a parole agent, Paul Dodge, who works with a local police task force charged with investigating sex crimes. Dodge, as most people call him, lives in a seedy world dominated by sex and violence. He is a skilled investigator who will blur the lines to get justice for the victims. His dark side and ego sometimes cause personal conflicts and comes to a head when a local girl is threatened and another winds up dead. The action starts early and spirals until the last page.
What inspired you to write this story? Was there anything that made you want to tackle this?
I spent 10 plus years working in law enforcement. Much of that was doing time as a parole agent and probation officer supervising offenders convicted of various sexual offenses. My head is jammed with stories and ideas for books, as you can probably imagine. You see so much doing those types of jobs, and for me, writing has been a sort of therapy. It allows me to let some of the demons out of the box renting space in my head.
Tell us more about Paul Dodge. What makes him tick?
Dodge is a manifestation of a lot of different things in the world. As you read the books you will see hints of Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, Lucas Davenport and of course, me. He has this justice at all costs attitude supported by a set of personal rules. However, he will break the rules if he deems it necessary to achieve his ultimate goal, justice for the victim. A lot of his attitude and approach to the job are things I feel I possessed when I had a badge. The relentlessness and find a way mentality are two things that came from me personally.
Which of your characters was the most challenging to create?
Most definitely, Anna, Dodge’s love interest. This is my first novel and not wanting to fall into a stereotype for females, I had to rewrite her part several times.
This is quite a gritty book. Why did you take this approach?
I get this question a lot. I write what I know. That is the simplest answer I have.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I am an avid baker and home remodeler.
The book contains a couple of twists and turns. Did you plan it all out before you started writing, or did some of it just "happen" along the way?
I am a full-fledged Pantser! I never outline nor do I plan much. I know how I want a story to end. That is my beginning. I sit down and just start typing. The stories are there, bouncing around in my head. I just have to let them out.
You worked as a parole officer for many years. How has this inspired your writing?
It has everything to do with why I write. All of my stories and ideas are rooted in who I am and what I did and what other people did to each other. If that makes sense? Without doing that job, I don’t think I could have penned three novels (so far).
Why Mystery/Thrillers? What drew you to the genre?
I am a huge fan of Michael Connelly, Lee Child, John Sandford and Robert B. Parker. Harry Bosch is one of the greatest cop characters of all time, in my opinion. He is a righteous fighter for justice and can be an intolerable jerk at the same time. Great good guy characters are also flawed, just like me. Just read a Jesse Stone novel by Parker. I love flawed good guys.
Interesting cover. Please tell us more about the design.
This cover was designed by Elizabeth Turnbull of my publisher, Light Messages Publishing/Torchflame Books. It was not my first choice for this book, as I thought it didn’t fit the genre. But I took a lot of advice from people I know/trust and brought it to the Fairfax, VA Barnes and Noble, along with the other choices. Most of the staff I spoke to liked this cover. I was told it sticks out from the other books in that area. Now I love it and feel the looking up from the ground toward a foreboding sky fits this story. In the end, I’m a writer, I went with the expert’s opinion on this.
When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
This is an easy one. I start writing. That’s it. Everything else just comes to me.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Well, I work full time as a contractor for the Federal Government and work an afternoon shift. So, I get up early and write before I go to work. I get maybe 2-3 hours of writing in on workdays. Less on days off, as I am also completely remodeling my house.
What are you working on right now?
Book two in the Paul Dodge series came out March 1, 2022, Last Rays of Daylight. I have finished book three and will be submitting to the publisher this month and started book four in the series. But, before book four in the Dodge saga is released, I am working on a Detective Renquest spin off. I love his character and want to let my readers have a glimpse into his mind and life. It should be fun!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I have a website, www.christopherflorybooks.com and am active on social media as well. They can also catch a glimpse of me on my publisher’s website, www.torchflame.com. Twitter-@authorflory Instagram: @authorflory TikTok: AuthorFlory Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorFlory
As a parole agent and a member of the local Sex Crimes Task Force, Paul Dodge knows what depravity lies in the shadows. When an investigation into a local sexual predator leads him to a photo of a judge's daughter and another girl ends up dead, Dodge quickly realizes he doesn't know who to trust. His life and career are on the line in this high-stakes case. Aa single misstep could end them both.