Author Archives: James L'Etoile

Top 10 Angry Editing Songs

I’ve run across several blogs and articles talking about the music writers like to have playing in the background while they work. Some refuse to listen to anything with lyrics because it’s distracting, while others need to have a specific musical artist speaking for the characters in the novel under construction. Music in the background […]

Crazy California Laws

You often hear the line, “We are a nation of laws,” and it’s usually associated with someone breaking one of those laws. But what is a law, really? I mean, sure, we know they are the boundary lines for living in a civilized society. Rules like, hey, don’t murder people, or don’t take shit that […]

Private Prisons in Crime Fiction

Build it and they shall come… Private prisons have been a popular recurring theme in crime fiction and television drama. Most of the stories I’ve come across involve some smoky backroom deal between a corrupt judge and a private prison operator. Newly sentenced offenders, often kids, are portrayed as victims who wouldn’t have come to […]

When Social Media Isn’t Very Social

Social media drives me nuts. Those who know me might argue that it’s a very short trip to that particular destination. Still, the wild and woolly web is a place that brings out the worst in people. And social media magnifies it to Hubble telescope proportions. Occasionally, I’ll post about an Old Guy’s Guide to […]

Hostage Negotiation & Customer Service

I was an FBI trained hostage negotiator working in the state prison system. Every day inside the “big house” and perhaps even more so, later in my career, in the halls of the state captiol, I put these skills to the test. I convinced hard core felons to give up their weapons and surrender, let […]

All The Justice You Can Buy

I had a bit of a “Get Off My Lawn” moment this week. When we last circled around the campfire, we talked about the tale of convicted drug trafficker, Alice Johnson and a push for clemency on her behalf by the Queen of the Selfie, Kim Kardashian. There’s the link, if you want to check […]

Celebrity Prison Reform

This week, in the bizzaro world of celebrity political influence, Kim Kardashian had a meeting in the White House to discuss prison reform. Yes, you read that right, the Queen of vapid, self-absorbed empty brands, met to discuss of all things–prison reform. Not that we don’t have a national system that is overdue for a […]

The Sweet Spot In Between

It’s been a while since I posted about writing related stuff. Mostly, because I’ve been busy doing the words rather than writing about doing the words. I’ve hit that sweet spot in between manuscripts and I have a moment to come up out of the cult bunker┬átake an inventory of what’s what. The past ten […]

Adventures in Allergy Season

Ah, it’s that glorious time of year–the flowers bloom, trees leaf out, and the hillsides are awash in fresh green grass. All of these chamber of commerce postcard moments brought out the doomsday prepper in me over the past few weeks. They saw fresh flowers–I saw pollen. Townsfolk posted Facebook photos of newly leafed trees–I […]

DNA and the Search for Justice in the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer Case

A little over a week ago, DNA evidence was used to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr. for a laundry list of crimes that occurred from the early 1970’s through 1986. The series of rapes and murders were savage, and captured the imagination and fear of Californians. When would the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer strike […]