Something is rotten in the town of Hamlin…
Detective Sam Cross drives into the town of Hamlin in search of a stolen Ferrari. He’s met with a malfunctioning GPS and his cell phone and radio won’t work, either. The local sheriff isn’t any help and even tries to dissuade Sam from investigating further.
The tenacious detective won’t be deterred. However, his investigation takes a dangerous turn after Sam is warned that he won’t be able to leave town and the sheriff’s daughter tells him about a mysterious but powerful organization called Hive.
The Missing is a thriller that takes you to a small town full of secrets. Even worse, a town that continues to dwindle in numbers even though the residents can never leave of their own volition.
The author crafts a complex deception behind the facade of a sleepy small town. It makes you want to know how and why the Hive organization has such a deep-seated power. Even more compelling is the need to know whether Sam will ever be able to return home!
Now to the author’s own words:
Jenn: How did your journey as a writer begin?
Stephen: So I suppose you could say that I actually started writing as a teen with poems to girlfriends (none of which exist today, thankfully!). My “day job” of pastoring involves a significant amount of writing to craft three sermons a week. As far as writing novels, that traces itself back to 2019…
J: What was the inspiration behind The Missing?
S: Sometime in 2019 I had a dream – which is odd for me because I either never dream or never remember my dreams once I wake up. But this one stuck with me, so I told it to my wife over breakfast. She said, “You should turn that into a book.” So, as a smart husband, I took my wife’s advice and did.
J: Would you talk a little bit about the significance of Sam Cross’ name tag in the book?
S: Sam Cross’ name tag early on in The Missing serves as both a comedic object as well as giving a bit of insight into Sam’s character – it reveals the newness of his promotion as a Detective, as well as Sam’s bent toward perfectionism (it really bugs him that it’s not right).
J: Hive’s penchant for expensive cars is what got Sam into this mess in the first place. How did you settle on auto theft vs some other crime?
S: Chasing a stolen car was in my dream, so I stuck with it. Plus reselling exotic cars fits with the whole “criminal organization” bit that Hive is.
J: Which of The Missing characters is your favorite/do you relate to most and why?
S: I love them all! They all have such a unique personality. Ms.Gena is super sweet and spunky. Gunny is gruff and at times unapproachable but with a soft spot for his daughter (think Hopper from Stranger Things – which I actually knew nothing about and had not seen prior to writing The Missing). Tiffany is a lot of fun as she’s becoming a woman, and discovering that she’s stronger than she thinks she is. And of course Sam: he’s at times overconfident in himself, but eventually learns that “two are better than one…and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” But if I had to pick a favorite, it’d probably be Tiffany, but I probably relate most personally to Sam. In fact, my 12-year-old daughter told me that Sam is a “less nice version” of me. [laughs]
J: How would you react if you suddenly found yourself in Hamlin under Hive rule?
S: I think I would have been a part of the Defiants. I’m not the kind to go away quietly.
J: Do you have any advice for others who want to write a book?
S: Writing is a craft. You have to work at it if you’re going to be good at it. I also think writing is a talent/gift. Like art, writing just comes more naturally to some people. So if you think you have a story worth telling (and probably most people do), the discipline to get it done, and the aptitude to do so, then absolutely go for it. And if it doesn’t come as naturally to you, but you dream of writing a book, don’t let that discourage you – but also don’t be like Sam Cross, overconfident in yourself, and be willing to avail yourself of editors, proofreaders, beta readers, etc. and take their advice to heart.
J: What are you reading now?
S: Nothing fiction for the moment. I got a wonderful Christian book called Lectures to my Students by C.H. Spurgeon for Christmas this last year and I’m just now finally working my way through it.
J: What are you working on right now?
S: Priority 1 project right now is Sam Cross Book 2: The Holiday Killer. I hadn’t originally intended to turn Sam into a series character or even necessarily to write more books, but my publisher asked if there was going to be another Sam Cross book and then ideas started coming to me. And so now, a year later, I’ve finished The Holiday Killer and hopefully will be submitting it to my publisher very soon. I also have a YA SciFi/Romantic/Thriller called “The Boy With the Blue Light” that I’m about 75% of the way done with. And, yes – more Sam Cross books. I’ve got ideas for at least 3 more!
Okay, that’s all for now. Don’t forget to check out The Missing featuring the adventures of Detective Sam Cross. Have a wonderful day, everyone!