During my 44 years as a civil justice attorney, I handled several high-profile cases. The one that has stayed with me through the years was a clergy abuse case. After a hard-fought battle, featuring a number of defense dirty tricks, the case resolved in my clients’ favor.
In 2016, I decided to write a fictional account of what defense ‘dirty tricks’ might look like in a clergy abuse case. What must clients and attorneys overcome when pursuing controversial cases in our civil justice system? The result was my first novel, Betrayal in Faith, my fictional take on the epic battle waged so many years ago. The novel fulfilled my bucket list. I didn’t plan to continue writing. However, our society's actual political/legal events compelled me to continue, culminating in a series of social justice novels – The Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series.
The transition from law to novel writing has been relatively smooth. Extensive experience with our justice system has helped me transform newsworthy events into exciting fictional accounts that entertain and enlighten my readers. Each series novel is ripped from headlines, inspired by my legal experience or one of our country's current sociopolitical events. Zachary Blake is the series’ main protagonist, but clients and evildoers share the spotlight. Blake is a fearless and passionate Michigan-based trial lawyer who battles a bevy of bad actors to achieve justice for his clients.
The themes of my novels have been a hit with most readers. With praise and encouragement comes some criticism and discord. This is as it should be—all opinions are welcome. My goal was to create a conversation about justice in America.
If a particular novel makes a reader uncomfortable, I’ve done my job. The story needed to be told. Our society must not become desensitized to decades of clergy abuse, police brutality, corporate and political malfeasance, or mistreatment of immigrants.
Each novel shines a light on an important topic and offers multiple points of view in resolving the conflicts presented. While I strive to entertain the reader, I also seek to provide a mirror for real victims to, perhaps, see themselves through my fictional characters. Maybe one of my novels or characters will inspire a victim to challenge the system, speak out, and pursue their rights. And that, dear reader, would be satisfying, indeed.
The Zachary Blake Legal Thriller novels are available in e-Book, Paperback, and Audiobook and available through most online booksellers.