Torrington author explores ‘Dark Vengence’ in first crime mystery novel

TORRINGTON — Jamie Lynn Boothe has a passion for writing.

Since he arrived in Torrington in 2010, he has worked at a number of care facilities and now works at a group home for behaviorally disabled. But he never stopped perfecting his craft from him.

Using his pen name, JL Boothe, he has now published his first crime novel, “Dark Vengeance: A Nash Peterson Novel” available on Amazon, in Kindle and print.

To celebrate the book, which he self-published on Amazon, the Virginia native will read from “Dark Vengeance” and talk about his work at Howard’s Bookstore on Main Street April 3, at 3:30 pm He admitted he’s a little nervous about the talk.

“I’m pretty laid back, but I guess anybody would be,” he said. “What I plan to do is let people know about me, tell them about my journey and then talk about the book, then the one I’m writing now, and open the floor to questions, if anyone has any.”

In “Dark Vengeance,” main character Nash Peterson is a troubled detective who has just been allowed to return to work after a leave of absence. “But, when he arrives at a crime scene to find his name written in blood, he wonders if he came back too soon,” according to the description on Amazon.

“When I write, I always put a little bit of myself in the main character. He had a rough life too, and he’s had experiences with drinking and homelessness, just like I did. He gets his life together after a freak accident, and meets the love of his life from him. But because of a previous drug raid, there are people after him,” Boothe said. “I really don’t want to give up too much more of the story.”

Boothe said he found solace and healing in his writing, which began when he wrote poetry as a child.

“I had a very abusive childhood, and ended up being placed in a foster home, which was a real blessing for me,” he said. “They were incredible people. I started writing poetry, and I really wanted to write a novel, but I didn’t believe in myself, so it didn’t happen. I got mixed up in drugs and alcohol, and it took me a very long time to get out of that.”

He started writing in 2012 when he was in a superb house.

“I was living with nine other men, and there was a laptop on the table at the house,” he said. “One day, I was pacing around, and I thought, I might as well get started, so I sat down and just started writing.”

At the time, the news was filled with headlines about violence against transgender people, he recalled. He wrote “Nightmares and Dreams,” about a lesbian who was abducted, and had to find a way to escape, or be killed.

“That was my first book — it wasn’t published,” he said. “I’ve written three Christian romance novels, which I didn’t publish, and two novellas about addiction, ‘Never Lose Faith’ and ‘The Journey,’ and I self-published those. But I’ve always loved mysteries, so this is my first one.”

“Dark Vengeance” took Boothe about six months to complete.

“I did it fast because I was passionate about it, and it was before COVID-19, so it wasn’t as stressful a time as it became (during the pandemic) for me,” he said. “I revised it and revised it, and had a few people read it and give me feedback. Then I got a literary agent.”

He tried to find a publisher and was rejected more than 200 times, he said.

“I had two that were very interested in the book, but then they chose not to use me, so I self-published on Amazon,” he said. “Self-publishing is an important way to grow as a writer. It really helped me.”

Boothe is already working on the second Nash Peterson novel: “Brutal Retribution.”

To those who want to write a book, but wonder how to do it, he has plenty of advice.

“Just sit down and write, if you’ve never written and want to,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad — you’re taking action, and if that’s who you are and what you want, just sit down and get started. From that point, you need to read the genre you’re writing in; take notes, write down ideas. Take advice from other writers. Go on social media, reach out and grow your name, if you’re serious about it.”

His favorite authors are David Baldacci, Stephen King, James Patterson and Dean Koontz. Suspense, mystery and crime thrillers are his favorite stories.

“I see those as my main genre, but I’ve also wanted to write historical fiction, because I love history,” Boothe said. “I’d like to do something about the time around World War II, or during the Wild West days.”

He’s looking forward to continuing his writing. “I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, and it’s a huge step toward my goals.”

To reach Howard’s for information about Boothe’s book talk, call 860-618-2925.

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