In about five weeks, my publishing company, Escarpment Press will be debuting an outstanding police novel by former NYPD Detective Jake McNicholas called Manhattan North Narcotics: Chasing the Kilo Fairy. This is an authentic, politically incorrect, gritty, and, in some instances, even humorous look at life in the Manhattan North Narcotics Division of the NYPD. Pre-orders are now being accepted for the Kindle edition, which will be published (along with the paperback edition) on October 15th. A large print edition is planned as well. Here is an interview with its author, Jake McNicholas, and since this weekend marks the 15th memorial of 9/11, I think you’ll see why this interview is particularly relevant (for reasons that will become apparent).
Joe—Welcome to my blog, Jake.
Jake—Thanks, Joe. I appreciate you having me as your guest.
Joe—The first line of your novel is quite controversial, Jake. Many readers might be shocked, in fact, to read it. But, I must confess it was exactly what piqued my interest and convinced me to read more, and ultimately made me want to publish your book. Why don’t you tell my readers just what that line is?
Jake—Okay, if you really want me to.
Joe—I do. I do.
Jake—Well, the line goes like this. “Do you know who the fuck Ethel Mertz is?”
Joe—Thanks, Jake. Notice I got you to say the line, rather than me. So, here is my question to you. What is that line all about, and why did you decide to begin the book the way you did?
Jake—If you’re a certain age, like over 50, you probably know who Ethel Mertz is, or was. And I guess with cable TV now, lots of younger viewers know, too. She was Lucille Ball’s sidekick, played by Vivian Vance. Anyway, an agent is pitching a movie part to his star actress, Meg Cassidy, and is asking her the question. I think the line comes right at you, and I swore that if I ever wrote a book, I’d incorporate it—and I did!
Joe—Excellent. So, what tell us, what exactly does Chasing the Kilo Fairy refer to in the title of your book?
Jake—If you were a member of Narcotics anywhere in New York (or anywhere in the world, really), no matter what you were doing, in the back of your mind you were always thinking and hoping that something would result in the big hit—the monster seizure—THE ELUSIVE Kilo Fairy.
Joe—Well, it certainly is effective, and I’m sure its use in the title will pique the interest of prospective readers. Okay, so you’ve written your first book. Any plans to write some more? I hope the answer is yes.
Jake—Writing this book and getting it suitable for publishing was some of the hardest work I have ever done. And I can honestly say there’s no way the thing gets finished without your help, Joe. Thanks again. Who knows about the future? Let me enjoy this one first.
Joe—(Blushing) Thanks, Jake. You’re too kind. It has been nothing short of a pleasure working with you on your book. Now, here is a question I have always wanted to ask a policeman. When did you first know that you wanted to be a cop?
Jake—My Grandfather was a New York cop, my Dad was a New York cop . . . I guess it’s in the blood, so I kinda knew early.
Joe—(Laughing) Gee, why am I not surprised at your answer? Well, I’m glad I got that one out of the way. So, let’s get back to your book, Manhattan North Narcotics: Chasing the Kilo Fairy. The book contains a lot of really interesting characters, especially Jimmy McTigue. Is it a reasonable assumption to say that Jimmy is you? After all, we’re always told to “write what you know.”
Jake—Anybody writing a novel about a particular profession, and who does that kind of work, is going to incorporate some of his own characteristics or tendencies into the character. Sure, Jimmy probably has a little of me in him—and a bunch of other guys I worked with. I will tell you this though, Jimmy McTigue likes beer and so do I!
Joe—I thought that might be your answer. What about the other characters and events in the book, are they totally fictitious, or did you draw upon some of your actual experiences in creating them?
Jake—I will say this. I really didn’t have to use my imagination too much in this book. I mean that. Who could make up any of that stuff? As for my own experiences, I retired out of the Terrorist Interdiction Unit of the Intelligence Division of the NYPD. What I say about Domestic Terrorism in this book is spot on and I changed very little.
Joe—I understand that you are retired, Jake. So what do you do with your time, now that you are no longer chasing bad guys? Any hobbies?
Jake—I work at the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District, Downtown Manhattan. The office has taken down the likes of Bernie Madoff, organized crime guys, and terrorists. I also play the Bagpipes with the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe Band. The 15th anniversary of 9/11 is this weekend. We’re putting on a huge memorial concert in Manhattan and also have a parade down to the Police Memorial. In December, we head to Hawaii for the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor. We stay plenty busy, but, like I say in the book, our most important job is this: sending cops killed in the line of duty home “to be with God.”
Joe—I knew about the bagpipes, but not about all the other stuff. You are, indeed, an interesting man, Jake McNicholas. Okay, is there anything else about you that you’d like my readers to know? This is your big chance.
Jake—I’d just like to say remember this, during the times we live in, if it weren’t for cops, there would be complete and utter anarchy. No cop is heading out the door in the morning looking to kill someone. It’s a very difficult job. Think of this. Between my grandfather, my father, and me, in almost a hundred years of service, and none of us ever fired our weapon on duty. Most cops are like that. Guys actually want to go out there and help people, and get home to their families. Simple as that.
Joe—Well, that is something I wasn’t expecting. And I wholeheartedly agree with you. it’s certainly been interesting getting to know you, Jake. I appreciate your taking the time to visit with us today. And best of luck with your new book. I can’t wait to publish it!
Jake—It’s been a pleasure, Joe.
Joe—Thanks, Jake. And to my readers, please don’t forget to pre-order Jake’s new book, Manhattan North Narcotics: Chasing the Kilo Fairy. I think you’ll find it to be one heck of a good read—and it’s only $4.99 in Kindle. Click Here to PRE-ORDER your Kindle copy today.
To read a FREE excerpt of Manhattan North: Chasing the Kilo Fairy, click on this link: Excerpt Chapter 24.