LSL police chief’s book may head to TV
By: Michael R. Smith
Most cities have a police force but in Lake Saint Louis Force is the chief, he’s a bestselling novelist, and as a literary force his book may be headed for television.
Police Chief Mike Force and his assistant chief, Captain Chris DiGuiseppi, penned The Light Bringer, a novel published last year by Health Communication Inc.—the publishers of the inspirational Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Since the book published it has popped on and off local bestseller lists, spawned a charity to reward good works, and is being considered for a TV series.
“There’s a screenplay written,” Force said. The next step, he explained, is to find funding to produce pilot episodes, which would be used to sell potential TV programmers. Force and DiGuiseppi are not involved in the TV activities beyond writing the books, but the chief said that he’s heard “there will be networks interested.”
The Light Bringer is the first in a trilogy of suspense books. The second book, The Fallen, will be published by HCI in February 2013. The books draw from real-life police cases though names and some details have been obscured.
Force and DiGuiseppi have worked together for about 20 years. When they decided to write the book together, DiGuiseppi said it was never difficult working with the chief. He said because the two share common values and outlooks, “We’ve always been on the same page. There’s never been an impasse” on a topic.
The Light Bringer is a collection of stories — police cases — within a story as a police officer works through trying to make sense of 16 deaths. The apparent senselessness of the tragedies factors heavily into why the LSL officers wrote the book.
Both officers are devout Catholics. Force said, “We all have a walk we’re going to have to take when we leave this life. (The book) gets people thinking about that.”
The other reason for the novel, Force said, is to help people move past tragedies — especially when they may have played a role. “We don’t forgive ourselves. We carry that as a burden. There’s a real need for hope. People need to know they’re going to be all right.”
He added that writing the book “was therapeutic to us.” Officers may say that they leave the tragedies of their jobs at the office but Force said, “that’s baloney.” He said officers are often very involved after tragedies yet still wish they could do more to help.
He said readers have contacted him afterwards to tell him how the book helped them forgive themselves and move on from a difficult period in their lives.
Hearing readers’ positive reactions to the book’s message made the officers want to do more, so this past summer they established a nonprofit — The Light Bringer Foundation. Its purpose is to “recognize and celebrate people doing good things,” Force said, because he believes society more often focuses on the bad in people.
Information on how to nominate individuals deserving the nonprofit’s recognition is on its Web site: www.tlbf-inc.com.