Poison Town, Crittendon Files Series #2Poison Town, Crittendon Files Series #2
Creston Mapes
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People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that's crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss. The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon's long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal. The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable-he knows too much.
     

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Creston Mapes' popular Christian suspense novels have become 'must reads' for
inspirational fiction lovers. Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University,
then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as
a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.
Today, Creston writes the kind of novels he loves to read--tension-filled thrillers.

Favorite Bible verse: Galatians 2:20 (NASB): I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.


 

 Our Conversation with Creston Mapes


 

What is your favorite Bible verse? Translation too, please.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (NASB) and “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2: 24 (NIV)

Please tell us a bit about your background and how you started as a CBA writer.

Although I grew up going to church on Sundays, I really did not surrender my life to Christ until I was 28. Prior to that time, I did a lot of excessive drinking, drugging and carousing. Up until the time I began writing my first novel (for CBA) I had made a living professionally as a reporter, then corporate copywriter, then freelance writer. But one day my regular writing work slowed down and I thought, “You know, who better to write a gritty, contemporary novel than me?!” I had lived on the dark side, God had found me, and so I decided to attempt to write novels that might draw people closer to God.

Your wrote Dark Star many years ago; what happened in the interim between books?

Yes, I wrote Dark Star in 2005, Full Tilt in 2006 and Nobody in 2007. My next novel, Fear Has a Name did not release until 2013. In the interim, I simply had to get my freelance writing business back up to full speed. After having written three novels in three years, my regular work had taken a hit and I needed to generate more income for our growing family (wife and four children).

So, my agent, Natasha Kern, suggested we write an entire manuscript as time permitted. That book turned out to be Fear Has a Name. David C Cook liked it and we partnered to do this new 3-book series, The Crittendon Files. Poison Town is book two in the series, but each book is designed to be read as a stand-alone.

How did you come up with the concept for Poison Town?

When I was a reporter in Ohio, there was a large, ominous manufacturing plant in town that was sometimes cited for various environmental pollutants. I often wondered how it was actually impacting the health of the people who lived near the plant on the poor side of the city. So, I began to imagine, “What if…” What if this plant was poisoning people on the poor side of town and knew it was doing so, but continued to do so because of the massive profits it was making on the materials it was producing? Our protagonist, reporter Jack Crittendon, begins investigating the plant and its power-hungry leaders, and finds himself in the middle of one powder keg of a story. It eventually threatens his life and the life of his family and closest friends.

Great title: did you choose that title?

Yes, I did. I’m glad you like it. I love the title and cover design. It is a book I would definitely pick up as a fiction-lover.

 

What made you decide to write a suspense novel?

After finishing my first three novels, my new agent, Natasha Kern, really determined that I should set out to become a purebred thriller writer. I had written Nobody, which was more of a murder-mystery, and also Dark Star and Full Tilt, which were definitely suspense, but perhaps not “thrillers.” So, in this new series, we have three full-throttle, hold-on-to-your-seat, fast-paced stories. I think your readers will devour them!

How much research did Poison Town require?

I did quite a bit of research about pollutants and the illnesses they can cause. Beyond that, most of the time away from writing was spent thinking about how the dual storylines were going to eventually meet up in a smooth and dynamic fashion. I also spend a lot of time on making sure my settings, locations, directions, etc., are accurate.

How much of your book is based on fact?

As with each of my books, just a tiny, tiny seed of the idea for the book is real, for example, you have a large manufacturing plant in a mid-size Ohio city that may or may not be emitting hazardous pollutants. Beyond that it is all fiction. “What if this were to happen…” or “What if this character has to face this crisis or dilemma…”

How did you choose this setting?

I grew up in Ohio and loved it there—so I’m familiar with the state. Later, I became a city hall reporter at a newspaper in central Ohio, so I based the book there. It was someplace I could easily envision in my mind. The name of the city in the book, Trenton City, has been changed to protect the innocent!

What is the most interesting thing that you learned while writing Poison Town?

I learned that I really enjoy writing some humor into my books. In Poison Town, some of Jack’s closest friends are a family of good ole boy, redneck mechanics (father and two sons). They become main characters in this book and I had loads of fun creating them and their quirks and a lot of good, humorous dialogue. In fact, I found that the subtle humor added in a very positive way to the intensity of the pacing and plot. I am extremely excited for readers to get their hands on this book.

What is the most challenging part of being a writer?

Unless you are the very unusual exception of the novelist whose first book “breaks out” and becomes a best-seller, you have to keep writing fiction until you build up a huge following of readers in order to make a living at it. In the majority of cases, that takes a lot of time, and a lot of books. It is not easy making a living at fiction writing. Most authors have other jobs as well, and/or spouses who help supplement the income. My dream is to write fiction full-time and I’m hoping once this new series finishes coming out with Poison Town (Feb 2014) and Sky Zone (June 2014), we will be a whole lot closer to that goal.

What is the most exhilarating part of being an author?

For me it is hearing positive feedback from readers. What could be better than getting letters or emails from people in prison or rehab, or people struggling with depression or having trouble in their walks with God, who want to tell you that your book helped them draw closer to Jesus Christ? That your story inspired them to live differently, to pray differently, or to treat their fellow man differently? It is an awesome feeling to receive such feedback. That is why I write fiction. It is a ministry for me.

What new projects do you have on the horizon?

Sky Zone is the follow-up to Poison Town and it will release just four months after Poison Town comes out in February 2014. So we are putting the finishing touches on that now. Beyond that, I am dabbling with new story ideas. I have a bunch of them!

What do you do to get away from it all?

My freelance marketing copy writing gives me a good change of pace. Plus my wife Patty and I have four wonderful children and we are a close-knit family, so we do a lot together. We try to get away from home 1-2 times a year, usually to the ocean.


 
Fear Has a Name, Crittendon Files Series #1
Fear Has a Name, Crittendon Files Series #1
Creston Mapes
CBD Price: $11.99

Fear Has a Name - eBook

Fear Has a Name - eBook
Creston Mapes
CBD Price: $7.99

The Crittendon Files, Volumes 1 & 2
The Crittendon Files, Volumes 1 & 2
Creston Mapes
CBD Price: $20.99

Poison Town: A Novel - eBook

Poison Town: A Novel - eBook
Creston Mapes
CBD Price: $7.99

Sky Zone, Crittendon Files Series #3
Sky Zone, Crittendon Files Series #3
Creston Mapes
CBD Price: $11.99

Fear Has a Name: A Novel - Unabridged Audiobook [Download]
Fear Has a Name: A Novel - Unabridged Audiobook [Download]
Creston Mapes & Paul Michael(Narrator)
CBD Price: $14.69

Fear Has a Name Unabridged Audiobook on CD
Fear Has a Name Unabridged Audiobook on CD
Creston Mapes
CBD Price: $19.99

Poison Town - unabridged audiobook on CD
Poison Town - unabridged audiobook on CD
Creston Mapes
CBD Price: $19.99


 

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