Saturday, March 7, 2015

What We're Writing Week: Julia Spencer-Fleming and HID FROM OUR EYES

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: My offering for What We're Writing week is a continuation of the scene I shared with you two weeks ago.  Kevin Flynn, formerly the youngest officer on the Millers Kill Police Force took a job with the Syracuse PD at the end of my last book, THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS. This scene will be the first time we see him in HID FROM OUR EYES (Probably. Like Deborah said yesterday, the order of things are still in flux.)

One of the great pleasures of writing  series is seeing characters grow and change, and in my books, no one has grown and changed as much as Flynn. When we first meet him, in IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER, he's barely twenty-two, and so new to the job of policing that he practically claps his hands in glee at seeing his first suspicious death.  We follow him through the next seven books as he gets older, gains experience, stops copying his elders and starts thinking for himself. He learns to doubt authority, even the authority of people he cares for and respects. He falls in love. He does some things he never, ever thought he'd do when he was still a rookie.

Now, at twenty-seven, he's left his home town and is breaking out of the limits of his previous position. And, of course, he's changed from being a gawky, too-skinny kid to being a very attractive man - which gives me another excuse to pepper this post with pictures of hunky redheads.

Kevin unfolded his legs and stood up, shaking his feet and arms loose, trying to look stiff instead of jittery. He took another drag, letting the nicotine work it's magic along his nerve ends. He had been surprised, at his first meeting at the DEA Central New York HIDTA, by how many of the cops and deputies and agents there smoked. After being part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force for three months, he didn't wonder any more. 
Oh. Hey. Here he comes.” Brock jumped to his feet, brushing grass off his backside. Kevin scooped his phone off the ground. “Just be cool, man. Don't, you know, speak unless spoken to.”

Kevin nodded. The man walking toward them was short, with a prison gym physique and, Kevin saw when he got closer, tats to match. Ink on his neck, probably from a sharpened paper clip and a ballpoint pen. Very painful, very hard core. The man stopped several feet away. Midway between the lights of the athletic fields and those of the running paths, it was just dim enough to blur his features. He stared at Kevin for a long moment before switching his attention to Brock.

Frat Boy.”

Brock lifted his hand in a gesture that was half greeting, half surrender. “Easy. Thanks for meeting us.” He nodded toward Kevin. “This is my friend Irish I told you about.”

Kevin stepped forward. “My name's--”

I don't want to know your name. And you don't get to know mine. What you don't know, you can't tell.” Easy turned toward Brock again. “This kid's an amateur.”

Brock shook his head. “He's a good salesman, man. Really good. He's been selling for me and I can't keep him supplied anymore. He goes places – well, you know. I don't feel comfortable everywhere.”

You're a pussy, kid. I don't mind that, because you got good connections at the hospital.” Easy looked at Kevin. “He's selling so he can take a five-finger discount on the stuff for himself and to piss off Dr. Mom and Dad.” 
Hey!” Brock objected.

Easy lifted his chin toward Kevin. “What's your story, kid?” 
I was studying at t' university, but my money ran out.”

Easy's stone face cracked a little with surprise. “You're really Irish. I thought it was just because of the hair.”

Yeah.” Kevin rubbed at his red beard. “Because I wasn't enrolled anymore, my student visa expired, so I can't work legally. I need to make money, a lot of it, and this is somet'ing I'm good at.”

Why'nt you just go home?” 
I can't.”

Why not?”

T'ats my business.” He had a reason, if he had to give it, but it was better to keep something hidden. A fake secret to distract from the real one.

You a cop?”

Kevin laughed. “No. Are you?”
Bonus Sam Heughan in leather and a kilt!


Joan Emerson said...

It’s been a pleasure seeing how Kevin has evolved through several books; this excerpt really spotlights his metamorphosis from that over-eager rookie to veteran undercover cop. Thanks for this little tidbit [and for the awesome pictures] . . . I simply cannot wait to read the rest of the story.

Kaye Barley said...

Kevin rocks - as do these cuties you've shared with us today. Looking forward to the new book, Julia!

Mary Sutton said...

Ooo, more hot, red-headed men. Can't object to that.

Thanks for another tease.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

I love Flynn too--write like the wind Julia!!!!

Karen in Ohio said...

I agree with Joan, Kevin has developed into such an engaging character. Very much looking forward to this next installment, Julia!

And may I say: Sam Heughan. Sigh. Thank you for helping make my day just that wee bit better.

Pat D said...

I like how Kevin has grown and matured since the first book. And thanks for the bonus picture. I loves dat man.

Denise Ann said...

Intriguing! I often wonder how "under cover" really works. Don't the police who are doing it run into people they know? Isn't is difficult to keep the "cover"?

Julia said...


In this case, Kevin was recruited from Millers Kill, which (were it real) is almost three hours away from Syracuse. We find out later - not a spoiler, just background - that he was recruited specifically because he's young enough to blend in with the University crowd.

Penny said...

Miller's Kill is so small that "under cover" isn't even a theory! Didn't Kevin stay at a B&B with Haley and her kids during a snow storm? I remember thinking, "my, my how he's grown...". (The 4th Ginger is the I saw Kevin in the aforementioned B&B scene.)

Deborah Crombie said...

Julia, such fun! I love the way Kevin has grown up. And I never get enough of red-headed hotties:-)

Which one of this batch looks most like Kevin in your imagination?

storytellermary said...

Oh, I love it . . . but the suspense is difficult. I was so bummed when he walked out, but clearly it's aiding the plot line. Thanks for sharing a taste.

Marlyn Beebe said...

I'm so looking forward to this book!

Kathy Reel said...

I love Kevin! Thanks for this great tidbit and the yummy pictures, Julia.

Anonymous said...

I miss your books. Any guesstimates as to a publication date for "Hid from our Eyes?"

Anonymous said...

What about Russ and Clare and the baby? I want to know about them!

Anonymous said...

What about Russ and Clare and the baby? I want to know about them!

Krazy Kat Kid said...

I still hope Kevin will go back to MIllers Kill, that the police department there will be re-instated and that he and Hadley will get back together. She made a stupid mistake but she's put it behind her. I'm a hopeless romantic. And I can't wait to find out whether Russ and Clare's baby will be a boy or girl. I hope it will be born in this upcoming book. I'm hoping for a girl so they can name her after Clare's sister.