Mike Roche is an adjunct instructor of Criminal Justice and retired from the U.S. Secret Service. He is the author of Face 2 Face – Observation, Interviewing and Rapport Building, Mass Killers: How You Can Identify Workplace, School, or Public Killers Before They Strike, and three works of fiction, The Blue Monster, Coins of Death and Karma!

What else have you written?

I am an eclectic writer. I have written two police procedurals with a hardboiled female detective, The Blue Monster and Coins of Death, one YA mystery/romance that explores the trauma of bullying called Karma! Oh yeah, I have also written a nonfiction rapport building and observation techniques based on my experience with the Secret Service, called Face 2 Face. I am working on a historical fiction along with several other works in progress.


What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?

That we are not “real writers.” Yes, there are a number of people that are hobbyists or should not have been published, but that is up to the readers to decide. With the contraction of the publishing industry, the opportunity to become traditionally published is becoming more daunting. Many of the New York Times best sellers can hold up countless rejection letters from agents and publishers. In today’s market, how many of those same authors would have chosen the Indie path? All of the Indie authors I have known are dedicated to their profession and craft. Guy Kawasaki, termed us as artisan author/publisher/entrepreneurs (APE’s).


Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?

I have a general sense of where the book will end, but it is fluid. I enjoy escaping with my fictional friends and letting them make the final decision. In The Blue Monster, I initially had Frank Duffy as a minor figure, but he weaseled into almost a co-starring role with Kate Alexander. As I came towards the end, I decided to add an unexpected twist. In Coins of Death, the final scene was added after my wife’s input from reading the manuscript. Aside from Coins of Death, each of my works has had a number of title changes.


Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?

I have a blog on my website at in which I provide relationship advice. I have a Facebook page and LinkedIn, but I really do not promote those platforms. I spend most of my time on Twitter. As I told you and wrote a post on this, I was like the teenager making their way into the cool surf of the Jersey Shore. As I became more acclimated, I have made many online friends. It is a beautiful community, where most everyone is accepted. Just like at Thanksgiving, stay away from religion and politics. There is a considerable time commitment to engage in the community, but it is invigorating when you interact with friends, fans and other writers. I am always impressed by those that are gracious and humble. Many of those on Twitter are willing to share and help promote others. Like the pioneer days when they would have a barn-raising in which the community collected together to help a neighbor. Being Irish, Twitter reminds me of the pub mentality, where everyone drops in and huddles around the bar sharing gossip and stories.

How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?

Despite spending a career in law enforcement, I still have to fact check and I have a considerable library of reference books. Technology is always changing. In Face 2 Face, my bibliography was eleven pages. I am working on an historical fiction on Irish immigration and there was considerable research involved. I recently visited the Five Points section of New York and the West of Ireland last year for more perspective.



Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?

I typically do not allow anyone to read until the first draft is complete. There are too many dream stealers that dampen the synergy. I did share Karma! I wanted to gauge the interest of the young adult target audience. At the 8,000 word mark I shared the beginning with my daughter. She was in her late teens, so I continued when she gave me the thumbs up.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

Most authors I speak with are hurt personally by negative reviews. Most everyone is stung from rejection. We have invested a great deal of time and money in the project. Due to the anonymity of the internet, some reviews can be very caustic and some have an agenda. I use my wife as a filter. She reads the good ones and if there is a negative one with valid criticism, she will paraphrase for me. I look at Stephen King, Michael Connelly and Lee Childs all have one-star reviews for their best selling books.

We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?

Professor Nalini Ambady’s research has demonstrated that a first impression is completed in less than two seconds. Author Joe Konrath has beat the gavel on this issue as well. My first cover artist went missing. In a panic, I went looking for a replacement. I found an author’s covers that popped off the screen and I contacted him. His cover artist is Lynn Hansen, and she has been fun to work with. A good cover is well worth the investment. Do it yourself covers, often have that appearance. Don’t judge yourself; allow others to provide input.

How would you define your style of writing?

My writing is based upon an amalgam of experiences and characters that I met in my 33 years in law enforcement. I enjoy writing complex plots, and hosting an eclectic group of characters thrown into a caldron. I am heavy on dialogue and let the characters tell the story as they expose their personality.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?

I live in Tampa and I love it. If I were compelled to relocate, I would chose either Denver or New York. I have always enjoyed the abstract of Denver’s architecture and terrain. It is a great walking city as is New York. I enjoy the diversity of the entertainment and dining experiences in large cities. Dublin and London would also be high on my list since I sunburn easily.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?

I enjoy creating culinary delights in my kitchen, but I still fall back on NY Pizza. My least favorite is anything that swims. I cook it, but I will not eat seafood.

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

Loyalty, integrity and dependability. I love someone that feels comfortable enough to ask for a favor and one that will offer a favor without being asked.

What music soothes your soul?

I have a very eclectic music collection. For soothing, I enjoy light classical or smooth jazz.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Rude, arrogant and egotistical people. Does that count as one or three peeves?

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

Slow down and listen.

Demonstrate genuine respect for others.

Look for random acts of kindness that you can deliver to improve someone’s day.





Mass Killers: How You Can Identify Workplace, School, or Public Killers Before They Strike





  1. I loved this interview (one of my favorites ever!). Mike sounds like a down to earth, sensible, creative, fascinating person… from the Secret Service to advice giver? So multi-faceted. I think what I loved most were his attitudes about indie authors being “real writers,” how he has his wife filter his reviews (great idea, and as a soon to be indie author, I think I’ll have my husband do the same), but especially this about not sharing until first draft: “There are too many dream stealers that dampen the synergy.” I think that’s true of so many parts of the writing process, but I have lost so many potential great ideas by deciding to share at the same time.

    I am definitely picking up at least one of your books, Mike. I’m a fan already!!

    • Julia,

      What a lovely comment. I am so glad you enjoyed the interview and found some points to ponder. It is a challenge to keep the positive energy. Good luck with your writing and keep banging the keys. Cheers, Mike

  2. Hey there! Thanks for the interesting read. Mike seems to have had a very interesting life so far. WOW! How cool is it to be able to change direction and be able to use what you have learned previously in the next chapter of your life. I love that.

    I think you are spot on regarding the cover of your books. Especially online where the little thumbnail image is suppose to grab your attention among the thousands. I’ve seen and touched book covers that are spectacular but online just disappear. I wander if it is worth having two different covers. One for the online thumbnail image and another for the bookstores. I don’t know really but it is vital to grab those first two seconds 🙂

    Best of luck with your books. Wonderful!

    • Lisa,

      I have been blessed with a wonderful wife who has always encouraged me to follow my passions. The covers are so important. You are right that the thumbnail image must grab you. We had considered two covers on one of the books, but decided against the idea with cost and continuity. Thanks so much for stopping by with Lisette and me. Cheers, Mike

  3. Hello Mike & Lisette:

    I would like to congratulate you both on a fascinating and highly entertaining interview. You have led an amazing life Mike, and you undeniably have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon and share with your readers. I wish you great success with your current and future projects.

    Thank you, 🙂

    • Stuart,

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your kind remarks. We all are special in some way and add value to the community. Just like your campaign for awareness of epilepsy. A noble cause. Thank you for your kind wishes. Cheers, Mike

  4. Mike & Lisette,
    What a great interview! Really enjoyed Mike’s perspective on writing, down to earth and positive attitude, and interesting background.
    Wishing nothing but success for this fine author.

    • Hi Peggy,

      Thank you for your kind remarks. Especially, coming from an accomplished author. I appreciate your friendship and encouragement. Cheers, Mike

  5. Thank you. I found this interview down to earth and very encouraging. Th writer seems completely unhardened by his experience in law enforcement. And his pet peeves mirror mine, i.e. rude and arrogant people.

    • Ed,

      I think my family kept me in line and never let me get too full of myself. I was brought up in a family that was humble and generous of their praise. My career was challenging at times, but I was always amazed at the good that I could find. Even at Ground Zero, I felt comfort in bringing closure to the victim’s families, but I was more humbled by the generosity of the community and charities. Thank you for joining the chat. Cheers, Mike

  6. A very nice interview! I have read three of Mike’s books so far and they are incredible. I think “a real page turner”
    Is greatly over used… However, I can’t think of a better way to describe Mike’s books. In Blue Monster and Coins of Death, the characters come off the page and become people you feel you know.
    Keep them coming Mike.
    Oh, and PS, you were right about Frank Duffy. I love that guy!

    • Patti,

      Thank you for your kind comments. I am humbled by your praise. I draw on my experience to enrich the characters and I try to make them three dimensional. Cheers, Mike