“Frank had gone from a crimes-against-persons detective to private detective when he retired from the Riverside Police Department. Jonas Peters had gone from homicide detective to falling into a bottle of Jack Daniels and then re-surfacing to finish a case which cost him a dear friend, along with many innocents. Fortunately, that story had a happy ending, with the killing of Zachary Marshall, the psychopath who had started it all. It should have meant the release of the demons Jonas had felt for so many years, but instead, it just reinforced the negativity of the world in which he had lived for so long. He wanted out, but did not know how to exit.”

–From Iquitos: The Past Will Kill by John R. Beyers

John R. Beyer spent nearly ten years in law enforcement in Southern California as a street cop, a training officer and a member of the elite SWAT team. After leaving the force, he continued in public service entering the field of education. During his tenure, he served as classroom teacher, school administrator and district administrator, and was an integral part of the gang and drug force in San Bernardino. While in both worlds he earned a Doctorate in School Administration and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

During all those years, he never gave up the passion for writing – both fiction and nonfiction. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and the like for decades, writing on a variety of topics. His latest short stories in the past year can be found in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (2016) and GNU Journal (2017). He is also the author of three highly praised internationally known novels – Hunted (2013), Soft Target (2014) and Operation Scorpion (2017).

He won the ‘Write Well Award’ in October of 2018 from the Silver Pen Writer’s Association for a fictional short story.

His newest novel, ‘Iquitos – the Past Will Kill’, was released in November of 2018 by Black Opal Books bringing two of his protagonists together for their first investigation. Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders will work hand in hand with an international incident which left undetected could cause a catastrophic issue for the United States. They are friends and they are good at they do. Catching the bad guys.

Book Description:

Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders team up to solve a string of murders, starting with the intentional and fatal bombing of a local coffee shop in downtown Riverside—a usually calm city in Southern California. Dozens are dead after an explosion rips apart the Coffee Grind, leaving dozens of others gravely wounded. Frank soon finds himself up to his elbows assisting the bombing victims, especially when he discovers that Jonas was walking to the Coffee Grind to meet up with his fiancée, but he never made it. In an instant, all their lives are thrust into a trail of death and destruction carried out by an unknown psychopath.


Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for, Iquitos, The Past Will Kill?

I had a desire to use Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders in a novel together. They have been protagonists in my other books, but the thought of them working together to solve a heinous crime seemed pretty interesting. My wife and I had traveled to Peru a few times and I was always deeply intrigued by the mystery and darkness of the Amazon rainforest. I had to use it as a backdrop – just had to. Then the idea came up of having Jonas there in the past and move the past forward as the harbinger of dangerous things to come for both Jonas and Frank.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters?

Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders are both retired police detectives from Riverside, California. They had worked together in the past but were not what we would call close friends. When they retired and turned to the business of private investigations, they again worked together on cases and a close friendship has developed. Both men have suffered great losses in their lives – Jonas watched as his young daughter was murdered in front of him and Frank’s entire family, his spouse and two children, were killed in a car accident while he was on duty. So, both are emotionally flawed but at the same time, they have a great understanding of human nature. They can laugh, love, but simultaneously, be very dangerous for those who may want to harm others.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

I am hoping it is when a terrorist attack takes place in Riverside leaving the love of Jonas’s life in a medically induced coma. Jonas is also physically hurt but, and again this goes to his character, he defies doctor’s orders and leaves the hospital to find the perpetrators. It is at this point in the story, Jonas’s true personality comes to the surface and he makes it his mission to find those responsible and to ensure they pay for hurting those he loves.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

My usual writing procedure is to knock out as much as I can in a sitting and then edit it the next day. Many times I will go back and check what was written to ensure it is following logically with the telling of the story. My wonderful spouse, Laureen, is my first editor, since she is looking at the writing with a critical eye where a writer may not see some flaws in both story and grammar, since they are the creators of the fiction. Her fees can usually be paid with a kiss or a glass of wine. After the novel is finished, the editors at Black Opal Books, the publishing house which has purchased all four of my novels, puts the novel through a rigorous three editor process. After each edit the work is returned to me so I can agree or disagree with any changes they have suggested. There are multiple sets of eyes perusing the work to make sure it is the best it can be when finally released. Since they have purchased the rights to the book, the editing is done, of course, at no cost to me.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

I believe it is human nature to look for beauty and a book cover definitely needs to fit that definition. But the cover of a book must also be able to draw the eyes of a potential reader, and reveal an intriguing glimpse into the story. The cover of any book, be that fiction or non-fiction, is the first thing a reader sees. If it draws enough curiosity, that book will be picked up, turned over and the back cover read so the reader will begin to form a concept in their mind whether or not if it is something worth reading. Let’s look at a book cover like a house for sale. New paint, a well-manicured yard, and the right appeal will have potential buyers stopping by for a peek. It’s the same with a well-conceived book cover.

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

I wanted to be so many different things. A dentist, a cop, a painter, but the one thing that has always been in my mind was to be a story teller. I am so thrilled and honored to have people enjoy reading what I write – that is a dream come true. Of course, I wanted to be a good husband and great father – I hope I have succeeded in both – I think I have given it my best and continue to do so.

Do your novels carry a message?

I never intentionally set out to create a message, but since my novels deal with crime and the solving of crimes – I guess the message is that good will always triumph over evil. Even if my protagonists are flawed humans – not always the best people they go out of their way to protect others, with their own lives if need be. I suppose, as my story and characters develop, the psychology of the message is revealed to me, and unfolds within the telling of the story. It is more of an unconscious thing. I love the motto we used to have when I was in law enforcement – we are the sheep dogs who will protect the sheep from the wolves. That theme certainly has run through my life and pervades my writing.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

I just want my fans and potential new readers that it is very humbling to have such people in my life. The appreciation I feel cannot be described in simple words. When I work on a novel and know when it is released that people will enjoy reading it – it just makes all the hours sitting behind a keyboard worthwhile. Without readers there would be no writers – there wouldn’t be a need for us.

Thank you all.


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