It’s my stop on the blog tour for Desmond P. Ryan’s latest book, Death Before Coffee, today and I’m delighted to welcome Desmond to my blog to introduce his main character … Over to you, Desmond …
Detective Mike O’Shea (‘Michael’ to his mother) is now a seasoned police detective who has been on the job for almost thirty years. Having been promoted since we first met him in 10-33 Assist PC back when he was in 2005 when he was in the Juvenile Prostitution Task Force, Mike has spent the last thirteen years working in an inner-city police district in Toronto, Canada. In Death Before Coffee, Mike is reunited with Ron Roberts, who is now also a detective who becomes Mike’s new partner. Over the course of Death Before Coffee, Mike’s wife, Carmen, leaves him for The Little Shit. Max, Mike’s son from a previous relationship, is now a teenager living fulltime with Mike. Bridget Calloway, the Crown Attorney who was brand new to the Courts in 10-33 Assist PC, is now a seasoned prosecutor and, perhaps, a bit of a new love-interest for Mike.
The character carries the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, so he had to be as three-dimensional as possible. I wanted a strong yet fallible character that readers would relate to as someone they might know as well as the dedicated cop he is in the series.
When did you create him?
Mike O’Shea came into being in 2013, when I first began writing the series. I didn’t plan on him or create him on a corkboard of any sort. He just kind of happened.
Did you write the book to accommodate Mike or Mike to accommodate the book?
Death Before Coffee and Mike O’Shea came together at the same time. I don’t’ think I could have written the book without him, although I have toyed with the idea of writing it from the perspective of one of the other characters.
What do you like most about him?
Mike O’Shea very much has an everyman air about him. He takes life as it comes, manages to juggle home, work, and his own development reasonably well and with a bit of humour (which is what keeps him sane—and mostly sober—I think!). What I like most about him, however, is his gentleness. Despite the events occurring around him, he responds to the world around him in a thoughtful, compassionate manner…most of the time.
What do you like least about him?
Going for authenticity, Mike had to be mortally flawed. He is no super-hero and does not solve crimes out of the blue. In fact, he ends up relying heavily on his partner(s) to guide him through the investigations and, in some cases, even save his life. Having so said, if he was that guy who could do everything, then the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, in my opinion, would be very dull and dry. I suppose that which makes him least likable also makes him the most human.
Did your early readers/editorial team like him to start with or did you have to change him in any way?
Everyone seemed to like Mike. My wife, who is my strongest supporter, did have quite a bit of input into the development of his character. There were times when I wrote him a bit softer than he appears in this book, and my wife suggested I smarten him up a bit. Hopefully, the changes worked!
Does he have any similarities with anyone real?
As a retired police detective, I have to say that it was difficult to write a main character without incorporating something of myself in him. I am not, however, Mike O’Shea. He is a compilation of a number of detectives I’ve worked with over the years. With Mike, I wanted to dispel the myth that all cops are tough guys. I wanted to show the reader that cops have personal lives, personal trials and tribulations, and do take home what they are witness to every day on the job. I think this is a universal reality for most cops, so I’m thinking that, as well as being everyman, Mike is, on many levels, reflective of every cop.
What are your plans for him?
As the series continues (Death Before Coffee is the second book—Man At The Door is the third and will be available in October of 2019), Mike is aging and his patience is waning. He is becoming increasingly aware that there has been a massive cover-up around the failed investigation into the murder of his partner that we read about in 10-33 Assist PC, and increasingly begins to take on the investigation himself. This leads to a number of complications and surprises that are woven throughout the next four books (along with the homicide investigations within the books themselves, of course).
On a personal note, perhaps he and Bridget Calloway get together, or maybe they don’t. And Mary-Margaret, Mike’s mother, becomes quite involved in Mike’s home life, much to his chagrin.
Would you be friends in real life?
I think I would be friends with Mike, but he seems to spend a lot of his time at work. And, having done his crazy hours, I suspect that, when he is not working or in court (or, as in his case, recovering from some horrible dust-up!), he’s likely sleeping. Outside of all of that, I’d certainly clear my calendar for a pint or two with Mike O’Shea.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us today, Desmond, Mike sounds amazing!
If you think so too, Bookworms, you can get your copy of Death Before Coffee now!
Here’s the blurb …
By 2:27 on a Thursday afternoon, the one-legged man from Room 8 at 147 Loxitor Avenue has been beaten to death with a lead pipe. Twenty-eight minutes later, Detective Mike O’Shea is testifying in a stuffy courtroom, unaware that, within an hour, he will be standing in an alleyway littered with beer cans and condoms while his new partner—the man who saved his life thirteen years ago—flicks bugs off of a battered corpse with a ballpoint pen. When a rogue undercover copper prematurely hauls in the prime suspect, Mike blows a fuse, resulting in an unlikely rapport developing between him and the lead homicide detective sergeant, a woman known for her stilettos and razor sharp investigative skills. At the end of his seventy-two-hour shift, three men are dead and Mike O’Shea is floating in and out of consciousness in an emergency room hallway, two women by his side. Death Before Coffee, the second book in the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, weaves a homicide investigation through the life of an inner-city police detective intent on balancing his responsibilities as a son, brother, and newly single father with his sworn oath of duty. When faced with death, Mike is forced to make decisions that stir up old memories, compelling him to confront his demons while fighting the good fight.
Make sure you keep up with the rest of the tour and huge thanks to Shell Baker for my stop on the tour 🙂
About the author …
For almost thirty years, Desmond P. Ryan began every day of his working life with either a victim waiting in a hospital emergency room, or a call to a street corner or a blood-soaked room where someone had been left for dead. Murder, assaults on a level that defied humanity, sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the individuals who were no more than objects to the offenders: all in a day’s work.
It was exhilarating, exhausting, and often heartbreaking.
As a Detective with the Toronto Police Service, Desmond P. Ryan wrote thousands of reports detailing the people, places, and events that led up to the moment he came along. He investigated the crimes and wrote synopses for guilty pleas detailing the circumstances that brought the accused individuals before the Courts. He also wrote a number of files to have individuals deemed either Not Criminally Responsible due to mental incapacity, or Dangerous Offenders to be held in custody indefinitely.
Now, as a retired investigator with three decades of research opportunities under his belt, Desmond P. Ryan writes crime fiction.
Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.
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Thank you so much for taking part x