What Lies Beneath

Former journalist, politician, television executive and radio talk show host J. Alexander Greenwood has always been drawn to what lies just beneath the surface of places and people.

When his career in public relations took him to Peru, Nebraska, a place he affectionately calls “the smallest town in the world,” he found the inspiration for a series of mystery novels.

Alex has been interviewed numerous time on television, radio and online. Here is a recent interview he gave to Amused Now:


Series Cover Design

Cover artist David Terrill designed book covers for the first three books.

"David's covers remind me of Alfred Hitchcock film posters," Greenwood said. "There's a lot going on in his concepts. Each cover really elicits the book's themes of isolation, danger and mystery."

"Scarlett Rugers came on board for my next book, Pilate's Blood," he added. "She brought an entirely different, fresh aesthetic to the series."

The cover for the special book of short stories, Pilate's 7 and the latest novel, Pilate's Rose, was designed by author and cover artist Jason McIntyre.

"I have to say that Jason, by virtue of being an author, possesses a unique understanding of the best ways to capture the essence of a story on the cover and satisfy the advertising requirements of a competitive market," Alex said. "He is hands down the best collaborator I have ever worked with."

The Pilate's Cross Book Trailer

The cinematic structure of Pilate's Cross made it an ideal project for a book trailer by celebrated digital media design company T2 + Back Alley Films of Kansas City.

"T2 is simply the best in the business. I'm over the moon at T2's interpretation of the book," Greenwood said. "The trailer really transports you right into the world of Cross Township--like a movie."

T2's concept and screen execution was teamed with Wheeler Audio of Kansas City to record actors and mix sound for the trailer. Greenwood wrote the dialog and voiced two of the characters.

"The trailer was truly a collaborative effort," Greenwood said. "I just hope that the book lives up to the high expectations set by the trailer."

The Pilate's Key Book Trailer

A trailer for book two, Pilate's Key, was produced by another firm:


About J. Alexander Greenwood

The grandson of the late, award-winning historical fiction novelist Robert E. Trevathan (Ballanger, Red River Angel), independent author J. Alexander Greenwood's writing experience includes feature articles, news and crime stories syndicated throughout the nation in numerous publications.

J. Alexander Greenwood is author of the award-nominated John Pilate Mystery Series; including Pilate's Cross, Pilate's Key, Pilate's Ghost, Pilate's Blood, Pilate's 7 and Pilate's Rose.

Pilate's Cross follows newly transplanted college instructor John Pilate, his sardonic imaginary pal Simon and new friend Kate as they investigate the unsolved mystery of a murdered president of Cross College. In too deep to wash his hands of the mystery, he risks his life to get to the truth of what really happened in 1963 and why it's just as deadly more than 40 years later.

The sequel, Pilate's Key, was published January 2012. The book garnered positive reviews and was named a Kindle Book Award Semi-Finalist for Best Mystery/Thriller. 

Pilate's Key follows John Pilate to the sands of Key West, Florida. On the mend from a near-death experience in the snowy Midwest, John Pilate is taking it easy on the sun-soaked beaches of Key West. Umbrella drink in hand, Pilate is writing a book and getting some much-needed therapy to deal with his imaginary friend Simon. He's also pondering the future with his new love, Kate. Life is looking up for John Pilate...until he is drawn into a world of murder, pirates, conch fritters and smart aleck remarks from invisible men.

One reviewer stated that "The book has an even better cast of characters than Greenwood's last book, Pilate's Cross. Pilate befriends a quirky, local character, Taters, who joins up on his exploits. Taters adds humor and a nice balance to Pilate's neurotic charm. Of course, Simon (the voice in Pilate's head) continues to have a starring role in this book."

A third book in the series, Pilate's Ghost, was released on Halloween 2012. It was named a 2013 Kindle Book Award Semi-Finalist for Best Mystery/Thriller.

From the book jacket:

When a shadowy enemy seemingly rises from the dead, and the heavy hand of a guilty past begins weighing on his marriage, John Pilate must master his own fear and marshal all his resources to defend his family and his life. But he discovers that he isn't the only one fighting a desperate battle, and that not all of the ghosts from his past are hostile... 

Book four, Pilate's Blood rejoins John Pilate as he reluctantly returns to tiny Cross Township...a place resembling a mutated Mayberry packed with guns, a serious lack of anti-depression meds, a rampaging crime boss and an imaginary friend who won't shut the hell up. 

Once a hero, now Pilate is broke, bored and forced to take a job imbued with more authority than the dogcatcher but far less respect. What's worse is there's criminality afoot and nobody to deal with it but Pilate. Sure, things could work out just fine...then again, it may come down to spilling Pilate's Blood...Thicker Than Water, Twice As Deadly. 

Book five, Pilate's 7, represents a departure for the John Pilate Mystery Series. Instead of a full-length novel, it is a compilation of seven short stories spotlighting characters in the world of the series. In this unique installment John Pilate isn't the center of attention, but his presence is keenly felt in stories featuring his friends, family and even a few enemies. Pilate's 7 promises bite-sized new insights, backstory and even a few "Easter eggs" for the John Pilate Mystery fan.

Book six, Pilate's Rose, returns to a John Pilate beset with issues with his past. Awash in insecurity, restlessness, and booze, Pilate is ripped from his quiet home life by a voice he never expected to hear again. Dark figures from his past want payback, and Pilate's own indiscretions are catching up to him, threatening to destroy his marriage and blow his world apart.  

Notable Awards:

2011 Global Ebook Award Nominee ("Pilate's Cross")

2011 Shelf Unbound Short Story Award: Best Story ("Obsidian")

2012 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist for Best Mystery/Thriller ("Pilate's Key")

2013 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist for Best Mystery/Thriller ("Pilate's Ghost")

2013, 2014, 2015 Shelf Unbound Magazine Page Turner/Notable Book Awards for John Pilate Series

2015 Books Go Social Finalist for Best Book ("Pilate's Blood")

"Greenwood offers a fresh take on the mystery thriller with his John Pilate Series. His novels are populated with flawed and neurotic--yet instantly-likable--characters who find themselves thrown into maddeningly entertaining situations. Greenwood writes fun, accessible fiction that leaves readers asking for more."

- Jason McIntyre, author of On The Gathering Storm and Thalo Blue

He also wrote the nonfiction bestseller, "Kickstarter Success Secrets." 

Greenwood won the 2011 Shelf Unbound short story award for his thriller Obsidian in 2011. To read the story in the magazine, click here and go to page 53.

He owns AGPR and Caroline Street Press, LLC. Greenwood is also a noted speaker. In 2012 he released his bestselling nonfiction ebook Kickstarter Success Secrets.

Greenwood is an affiliate member of the Association of Independent Authors.

He resides in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife and daughter.