TFx: Where did you come up with the idea for “The SCOTUS Affair,” and what can you tell us about the plot?
Stephen: I have always loved political intrigue and conspiracy stories. Grisham, Clancy, Vince Flynn, Lee Childs, that sort of thing. I wanted to try my hand at it in a contemporary setting. Obviously, I wrote the book well before the death of RBG.
In The SCOTUS Affair, the oldest justice dies of natural causes which triggers an assassination plot to take out the youngest justice in an effort to impact the balance of the court. Given the level of contentiousness, and some of the news we’ve seen recently, it is not hard to imagine things spiraling out of control. I certainly hope not.
TFx: Your work touches on a lot of contemporary and somewhat controversial themes. What draws you to writing about these subjects?
Stephen: First and foremost, my goal is to tell a good story and compel the reader to turn the page. Secondarily, I’d like to make people think about some of the issues we face today as a society, perhaps through a different prism than their norm. I believe that power tends to corrupt. There is plenty of that to go around on both sides of the aisle.
I don’t think most Americans favor corruption of our core institutions. As citizens we must remain vigilant and not turn a blind eye toward the erosion of public trust. In my view, this duty supersedes political affiliation or ideology. Having people think about these issues in a fictional format may be less threatening than getting into a shouting match on Facebook, and ultimately may do more good.
TFx: TFx: Why did you choose to set part of the book in Alexandria, Louisiana?
Stephen: Honestly, I had been there many years ago. There was no special significance to choosing Alexandria. I wanted part of the book to set up the unlikely love story of Ben Johnson and Acadia Lafleur. I had in my mind that she would be of Cajun decent, from a political family. Hence, Louisiana, and then somewhat arbitrarily, Alexandria.
TFx: What are you reading now, and what good books have you read lately?
Stephen: My taste runs toward thrillers, suspense and intrigue. In addition to the authors previously mentioned, I read Patterson, Brad Thor, James Rollins and many others. I have to read a lot of dry material for my day job, so in my downtime I favor escapism. The best book I’ve read in recent memory was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen.
TFx: What’s next for the The Dimase Augustin series?
Stephen: I’m really excited about evolving Dimase as a character. In my inaugural book, The MIT Murders, he was a homicide detective. I wanted to give him a broader platform, so in The SCOTUS Affair he moved to the private sector. The next book in the series, Water War, involves him in an international terrorism plot with a very unique twist. I’m currently nearing completion on the sequel to The MIT Murders in which notorious serial killer, Hans Berger, is resurrected. The working title is Mindbender.
Get Stephen's latest release, The SCOTUS Affair, out now on Amazon.
When the love of his life is left in a life threating coma after a home invasion, Ben Johnson, one of the most successful black entrepreneurs in the country is accidentally drawn into a sinister plot to shift the balance of power on the United States Supreme Court.
With nowhere else to turn, he enlists his longtime friend and former homicide detective, Dimase Augustin, to find who is responsible... and why.
After a similar attack results in the death of an elite, Washington DC escort, Augustin uncovers a widespread conspiracy within the highest levels of government and law enforcement.
From rural Louisiana to the seats of power in Congress, Augustin pulls at a thread that reveals one shocking twist after another. The future of the country and the promise of the Constitution itself hang in the balance. This is the second installment in the Dimase Augustin series.
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