George R. Hopkins

Collateral Consequences

“In my writing, I have tried to show how we are responsive to each other, how we each face our own 'demons,' and how our individual actions affect others - both positively and negatively.”      -- George R. Hopkins


Rarely does a cloak and dagger tale take on a nuanced study of the human psyche of two seemingly opposite characters—one a Jesuit priest and the other a New York detective—in a single easy-to-read yet riveting page-turner. Equally rare is the feat of turning out an award-winning sequel after a publicly successful novel based on the same intriguing characters. This is exactly what George Hopkins has accomplished with his novel Collateral Consequences.

Flushed from his debut success, this New York native penned a sequel that won him second place in the Fiction category of the 2009 the Premiere Book Awards. The award recognizes meritorious works by writers who self-published or had their books published by a small press or independent book publishers. Besides this accomplishment, he is more proud of being a father of four and a grandfather of eight, which makes him feel like the luckiest person in the world. 

Indeed, the public’s responses to his works seem very upbeat. As the author himself shares, “Readers like it! The chapters are short and the tension and mystery develop quickly. The characters face personal conflicts as they endeavor to stop the 'Maple Syrup' Murderer and as another murderer pursues the homicide detective and his half-brother, a Jesuit priest, from the streets of Brooklyn and Staten Island to Havana, Cuba. My readers found the book a quick, exciting read with mystery, intriguing facts, and humor sprinkled in along the way.” 

“My first novel, Blood Brothers, was received very favorably by its readers and many asked me to write a sequel. Blood Brothers ended with the possibility of a sequel, so I did a lot of research, built on my experience with Blood Brothers, developed my characters more fully, and wrote Collateral Consequences.” 

It certainly helps that George was already an accomplished English teacher when he wrote his first novel. He has served as chairman of a high school English department, an adjunct English teacher in colleges, an exchange teacher, and a leader of writing workshops. George further holds a master’s degree in English literature from City College of New York, has written over sixty personal essays in local newspapers, has been published in educational journals, and has won awards for his poetry. 

Asked about the creative influences that helped shape his works, George Hopkins counted several known mystery-fictionists such as Michael Connelly and James Patterson as creative inspirations. He also drew inspiration from the experience of many relatives who led active careers in the police force and from his own experience as a sergeant in the Marine Corps himself. 

His passion for writing further served as impetus for his entrepreneurial venture into self-publishing his novels. “I always liked to write. I wrote a number of articles in our local newspaper and people like my writing style. They said it was easy to read and grabbed them. I believe we each have a lot to give to each other and that, as John Donne said, 'no man is an island.' In my writing, I have tried to show how we are responsive to each other, how we each face our own 'demons,' and how our individual actions affect others - both positively and negatively." 

On future plans about developing his mystery novel franchise, George Hopkins shares, “I have been planning a sequel to Collateral Consequences. Readers have come to like the priest and the detective. The sequel will develop their past more fully and supply a number of surprises for them and the reader as they become involved in a series of murders in a high school. I plan to speak about Collateral Consequences and the writing process at a number of schools and senior centers. I have already had some successful and personally rewarding book signings in Staten Island, Manhattan, and Yonkers, New York.” 

In taking the self-publishing route, George shares this bit of advice, “I think you should consider the company's reputation, its ability to work with the writer, the quality of its publications, and its cost effectiveness. I did a lot of research on self-publishing companies and chose Xlibris. I am happy I did.” Finally, to all aspiring writers George offers this proverbial advice straight from a favorite children’s book, “If you have the desire, do it. Nothing but frustration comes from putting off what you think you can do. You learn an awful lot about writing and about yourself if you try it. I like to think of the Little Blue Train - if you think you can, you can.” 

Alexander Flint – March 6, 2012

New York City Detective Thomas Cavanaugh comes through again. Filled with exciting scenes amid a suspense filled atmosphere this sequel to Blood Brothers lives up to all my expectations. Author George Hopkins had better search for a good Hollywood agent because this is a movie waiting to be made. I can't wait to see it!

Read more reviews of George's Books


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