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The Blake Cutter Detective Book Series

Interview with the author Edward T. Milligan



Welcome stranger 😊 to our new blog post in this improvised book club!


Today I would like to meet you with the author of The Blake Cutter Detective Series, award-winning poet and accomplished speaker, Edward T. Milligan.


I have been working with Edward for over two years now, and it has been a real pleasure to be part of his publishing team.

Photo of Edward T. Milligan © 2023
Edward T. Milligan © 2023

A native of Leesville, Louisiana, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in News-Journalism from Northwestern State University in 1981 while being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Due to his outstanding performance as a cadet and a military officer, he was inducted into the Northwestern State University ROTC Demon Regiment Hall of Fame in 2019.


As a published author, Milligan has six books in print, which includes a fiction detective thriller series, a biographical novel promoting organ donor awareness, a young adult fiction promoting self-esteem in adolescents and a book of poetry. He is the recipient of two national poetry awards: the International Pen Award and Poet of Merit and the Editors Preference Award.


 

Hello, Edward and welcome to our book club. Tell us about your detective thriller book series. How was the idea born?

E: My two motivations were two-fold. First, I was motivated to write detective series by reading the Don Pendleton’s “Executioner Series” paperbacks when I was a youth. I think I purchased and read about 50 in all. At that point, I knew I wanted to be a writer of fictional stories. Secondly, when the original Stars Wars original movie trilogy was released on film, I decided that it was time to fulfill my dream and try to write a fiction novel that could turn into a series.


Where did it all start? Tell us more.

E: I started writing poetry in high school, then I wrote my first novel when I was 21 years old. It was a young adult fiction book. Then I wrote a second young adult fiction book. But when I started reading adult fiction books, that’s when my attention in writing turned to that genre. It all started with me writing Past the Line, which was going to only be an independent fiction novel. After getting so many good reviews, I decided to keep the story going because the protagonist, antagonist and major characters all survived the first book.

Let us know a little bit about the storyline and the characters in The Blake Cutter Detective Series?

E: The main character is Blake Cutter, a decorated Miami police detective who has to deal with witnessing his wife killed in a terrorist-style cat bombing intended for him, perpetrated by a revengeful mob leader who Blake Cutter had been tracking and disrupting his drug operations in Miami and Southeast United States. When Cutter encounters a woman named Penelope Lane who is a doppelgänger of his late wife, he is seduced by her similarities to his ex-wife but later finds out she could be connected to the drowning death of a real estate mogul. He becomes torn between his fascination with her and his responsibility to investigate her as a possible person of interest in the murder. He soon learns that Penelope Lane is the only link between the drowning victim and the mob group responsible for the death of his late wife.

What do you want to tell the world through them?


E: That everyone has a compromising or breaking point whereby they’re willing to risk their career to find renewed love, or to protect a loved one or to get justice for a murdered loved one.

Which part of your story was the hardest to write?

E: In the third book, Remember the Sabbath, I had to do research for the settings in Northern China which supported what I wanted to happen with the plot. It required extensive research about mines and transportation systems for delivering goods to a Chinese international port.

How do you combine a career in the military and your poetic heart?

E: I spend a lot of my spare time working on something from a creative standpoint, whether it be working on a novel or a poem. Creative writing is my primary hobby. Once I left my daytime military occupational duties behind, I compartmentalized those duties and responsibilities and imbed my thoughts into my stories and my writing pursuits. It’s a delicate balance of thought but I’ve gotten better at it over the years.

You graduated in journalism. What made you join the army and serve for 23 years? Tell us more about this.

E: I actually followed several friends from my hometown who went to the same college I did and joined ROTC. They were my early role models. Once I joined the ROTC program and took a couple of ROTC classes, I like the hard work, leadership training and teamwork. I felt it would be an honor serving country and to be commissioned as an Officer. I stayed for 23 years because I enjoyed serving the nation, staying physically fit and many opportunities that it gave me to continually learn leadership, management and people skills. During those 23 years, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else as a full-time career.

What did you learn from this career about yourself and how it helps you in writing?

E: I learned discipline and determination from my military career and the ability to organize and follow a schedule. That served me well in my desire to write the book series. I also learned to never doubt yourself, always stay confident and believe that you can accomplish a goal, even if you can’t see ‘the finish line.” Additionally, I also learned the power of persistence and determination in completing your mission in the military. I used those attributes while writing this series over a ten year period. This translates into diligence, patience and perseverance in never giving up on a storyline and taking my time.

I would like to ask you about your award-winning poem "I'll never die" translated into nine languages. What triggered your soul to express yourself in such a fascinating way? Tell us about it.


E: I wrote the poem after the death of my first wife. I had to dig deep into my soul and relieve every gut-wrenching experience that occurred during her demise. I was experiencing grief and heartbreak and I wanted to write something to myself that would motivate me to push beyond the grief to resilience and recovery. I’ve always had a determination to recover from adversity and turn the experiences into a positive and I was determined to turn her tragic death, while waiting on a liver transplant into something inspirational to others who were facing various psychological challenges as well as grief. I posted it on my social media, and the poem has received over 150,000 engagements and has been shared over 11,000 times from readers all over the world.

award-winning poem by E.T. Milligan - I'll Never Die
I'll Never Die by E.T. Milligan from the poetry book ‘Images of Life’

you can strip me of my wishes.

you can take away from dreams.

you can thirst me of the waters,

by contaminating streams.

you can rob me of my richness,

untill I'm homeless bare and wry.

but unless you pierce my fighting heart,

and How? I'll Never Die.

you can blind me of my vision,

untill my life appears in a jam.

you can even ridicule me,

of everything I am.

you can fill me with such anger,

untill I can barely strain to cry.

but unless you take away my soul,

and How? I'll Never Die.

you can regulate my learning,

untill my ignorance is bliss.

confine me of my freedom,

untill captivity's remiss.

deplete my cultivations,

of resources which I rely.

but unless you disembowel my will,

and How? I'll Never Die.

you can take what I consider gold,

and tarnish it into rust.

disease by body tissue,

and cast it into dust.

expire life as swiftly,

as the blinking of an eye.

but unless you take me from my God,

and How? I'll Never Die.



 

Remarkable. Few poems remain in one's consciousness and manage to charge you with strength and willingness to continue fighting despite a difficult fate. This poem wins such a prestigious award - International Pen Award, right?

E: It was a great honor and one of my most memorable personal accomplishments, especially since I had the opportunity to recite the poem at the International Society of Poets Convention in Washington, D.C. in 1992.


 

I believe today's bookish meeting with the author Edward T. Milligan was inspiring for you, our book lover. You can read excerpts from The Blake Cutter Detective Series on E.T.Milligan's author site, which we worked on for quite some time with him.


The audiobook will be released very soon.



All of the author's books can be purchased as ebooks, paperback, or hardcovers from Amazon.

Follow the links to read the excerpts from The blake Cutter Detective Series on Amazon.


Book 4 - Coming in 2024


Follow the author E.T.Milligan to be the first to hear about her next literary work or important news. You can find him on Facebook / Goodreads / LinkedIn as well.

thank you note to the readers of this bookish blog

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