Behcet Kaya is the author of five novels. His first literary fiction novel, Voice of Conscience, follows, to some extent, his own life experiences. His second novel, Murder on the Naval Base is a fast-paced who-done-it and his recently published third novel, Road to Siran, Erin’s Story is the eagerly awaited sequel to Voice of Conscience.
Born in northeastern Turkey, Behcet grew up in a very small village with long held traditions. His rebellious nature emerged at an early age and by time he was ten, he had read, in secret, all the Turkish translated stories of Mike Hammer. In addition, he read several of Dale Carnage’s works, and all of Yashar Kemal’s novels. His world burst out beyond that of his small village and he yearned for a more western way of life.
Defying his father, Behcet left home at fourteen and travelled first to Istanbul and then on to London. His obsession was to complete his high school education and then a college degree in engineering. He supported himself by working full-time and earning scholarships from Inner London Education Authority. His creative side began emerging when his drama and literature teacher cast him in a play in which his performance awed the audience. His insatiable appetite for literature widened to include the classics of Dickens, D.H. Laurence, and the Russian masters.
While at Hatfield Polytechnic, Behcet made his first visit to the US as an exchange student with the British Universities North American Club. He made the move to the US in 1976 and became a US citizen in 1985. While living in Atlanta, Georgia he followed his creative yearnings and attended the Alliance Theatre School and studied at the SAG Conservatory of Georgia, which earned him his Screen Actors Guild card. In 1994, Kaya and his wife moved to Los Angeles, where he continued his studies at the Roby Theatre Company and the Shakespeare, A Noise Within, Theatre Workshop.
In the soon to be released movie, “Being American” starring Lorenzo Lamas, Behcet plays the part of a Turkish Defense Minister.
Along with acting, writing became a natural outlet. In addition to his three novels, Voice of Conscience, Murder on the Naval Base, and Road to Siran, Erin’s Story and Treacherous Estate. Behcet has published numerous short stories and is currently working on his fifth novel, Body in the Woods. Behcet Kaya graduated from California State University Channel Island with BA Political Science in 2017
Murder on the Naval Base by Behcet KayaCrime Fiction Thrillers Suspense Mysteries
Body in the Woods: A Jack Ludefance Novelby Behcet KayaPublish: Sep 19, 2019Crime Fiction Thrillers Suspense Mysteries
Road to Siran: Erin's Storyby Behcet KayaContemporary Romance
Voice of Conscience by Behcet KayaLiterary Fiction
Treacherous Estateby Behcet KayaPublish: Jul 21, 2018Thrillers Suspense Mysteries
Poor, shy, hungry, cold, child labor. Long held traditions in my family were: Father knows best and respect my elders.You have moved to several different places in order to continue your studies and follow your creative yearnings. What are some of your favorite travel memories?
My most unforgettable travel memory was traveling by train from Belgium to London with two Australian girls; I was a mere 14-years-old and they were in their 20’s. Another travel adventure I will never forget was when my wife and I drove cross-country from Atlanta to Los Angeles to make our move to the West coast. This trip was incredibly exciting and fearful at the same time as it was the two of us with all our life savings and belongings packed into a small U-Haul.What is one thing you wish you could change about your past and why?
I refer to the poem by Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken.” Most people are mistaken what the meaning of the poem actually is. Frost wrote this poem especially for an English friend. Would have, should have, could have… So what would I do differently? Nothing. I like the way it all has happened. I would not change a thing.
I don’t have any regrets. This question has come up before and I have thought about for a very long time, but really there is nothing I would change. The question boils down to: I did not have ambitions to be a politician and aspire to occupy the highest office. I enjoy and like my life, although I did have many difficulties and insecurities about money when I was younger. Back then I did worry about how to pay my rent during my school years in London.You supported yourself by working full-time and earning scholarships from Inner London Education Authority. What were some full-time jobs that you had? Which one was your favorite?
During the time of my student years in London, from 1965 to 1976, I was a waiter at the “London Steak House.” It was located on the very spot on Kensington High Street that now houses a McDonald’s. I was quite happy about my earnings. I rented a room on Gunterstone Road in West Kensington, and also stayed in one of the dormitories at Hatfield Polytechnic, which is now the University of Hertfordshire. I would work three months during the summer, and along with my grants from Inner London Authority, it would suffice to pay the tuition and my housing. During my high school years, I was working both days and nights and going to school to do my “O” levels and “A” levels. I was lending money to the Turkish students who were sent to London by different firms to study. I had no other occupations other than waiter.Why do you write crime fiction? What first introduced you to the thrillers/mysteries genre?
My very first readings were the crime stories featuring the character Mike Hammer, written by Mickey Spillane. I read all of them in Turkish. I was also influenced by Yasar Kemal, one of Turkey’s literary giants. I have read his series of books, Ince Memet, all crime stories. Then, I started reading of Fyordor Dostoyevsky, including “Crime and Punishment,” “Brothers Karamasov,” and “The Idiot.” I have also read all of Tolstoy’s books, most of Dickens, D.H. Lawrence, all of Shakespeare, “La Miserable,” Alexander Dumas, and so many, many more. I believe I have read most all the classics. As you can see, crime stories, including classics were a part of my early and young adult life. I am currently writing a crime story about a character by the name of Jacques Ludefance that I first developed in my previous novel, “Treacherous Estate.” He is a Cajun man from New Orleans. I intend to write more about him in a series of books. But I also write tragedy, as in my very first novel, “Voice of Conscience,” which many of my reviewers considered a modern day Shakespearean tragedy.What was it that inspired the Murder on the Naval Base? Why did you choose to use flashbacks to tell the story of Lieutenant Anderson, his wife Bevin and Lieutenant Charles up to the murders?
This novel is my favorite. I wanted to write a book after seeing and being influenced by a British movie called, “Conduct Unbecoming.” There were many stars in that movie including Travis Howard, Richard Attenborough, Stacy Keach, Christopher Plummer, Michael York, and Susan Savannah. I originally wanted to write about a character in the navy who had reached the highest rank and then committed suicide because of some shame that had come to light. My wife influenced me by warning me that if I wrote another tragedy, then I would be known as a writer of tragedy. Second, if you notice just before the first chapter, there is a quote, “Where does a story begin? At the beginning, or the middle, or the end?” from my mother-in-law, Arlene Webster, who was also respected writer. I think her quote suited that novel perfectly. I wrote it in flashback because I wanted to capture the reader at the very first page. I think I accomplished that. And if you don’t do that, the reader is not likely continue reading. If I had tried tell the story in chronological order, that would have lost the reader’s interest. Sometimes a writer needs to shock the reader in the first chapter.How important is physical appearance to you when creating a character for a crime fiction book? If your characters were real, who do you think would be the most good looking?
I think all my characters I have developed are interesting and good-looking. For example, Anderson Garrett Belguzar is a good looking guy, but he is so ashamed that his mother was a prostitute. Ramzi Ozcomert was very proud and his entire life was consumed by wanting to take revenge, and, in the end, he destroyed himself. Jacques Ludefance is a rugged guy and good-looking, but has a scar on his face telling us that he is a tough character. So all the characters in my books are good looking but they also have their flaws.How difficult it was to create the character of a Turkish boy in "Voice of Conscience" whose family is murdered in his home whilst he is sleeping? How did you manage to balance the characters, settings, sounds and smells in the story?
It was not difficult for me to create such a character. The society of Turks are full of feuds. There are still communities in Turkey where there are “codes of conduct,” on how to behave in those communities. If one does not know the traditions and old rules, one cannot survive. The codes are instilled in boys from a very early age. The descriptions of the places in the first part of “Voice of Conscience,” were from my own village. I merely changed the name of the village. The boy, Ramzi, is based on myself. However the actual story is fiction.How was your experience of playing the part of a Turkish Defense Minister in the soon to be released movie, “Being American” starring Lorenzo Lamas?
That was not difficult. I have been training all my life to be a successful actor, but it did not materialize the way I wanted. The script had already been written in English, but the producer wanted to have my lines said in Turkish, and that is what I did."Road to Siran" portrays the character of Erin who returns to Istanbul only to discover more secrets from her father's past. Why did you choose this location? Do you plan to visit Istanbul again?
I used Istanbul because Erin’s father worked in Istanbul, and later in the novel, came back and murdered people. I have lived in Istanbul and every year I stop in Istanbul; so it is not unfamiliar to me. Also Erin had a half brother born in Istanbul.You have published several short stories. Which one is your personal favorite and what inspired you to write it?
Two favorite ones are “Autopsy,” and “Payback.” I wrote “Payback” based on a personal experience.What are some ways you try and support fellow authors? Do you have any author friends and if so, how do they help you?
I have a lot of author friends on Facebook, but I don’t think I get much help from them, nor do I help them. The few authors that I know on a personal basis? Yes, we do help one another. One particular author is Jocelyne Forget from Canada, and we converse a lot. She has written only one book, but it is a great book.How has becoming an actor and an author affected your day-to-day life? When can we expect the release of your next novel, Body in the Woods?
The question should be how did I juggle being an actor, author and hold down a full-time engineering job. While I was in school in England, I was studying acting as hobby. While I was working as a full-time engineer, I discovered my love for writing. “Body in the Woods” hopefully will be ready for publication in August of 2019.If you had to choose between either being able to write but never reading again or being able to read but never writing again, what would you choose and why?
I could not make that choice. It is equally important for me to read and to write. Without reading how does one write? One has to read furiously. In acting one plays a character to tell his story. One writes a novel to tell a story.
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by:Free with KU