Crime fiction is a strange place. Crime writing takes advantage of a basic human flaw–the willingness to see the victimization of others as a spectator sport. It seems that it’s been part of human nature since we “civilized people” would gather together for a rousing session of Christians Versus Lions–The Ultimate Cage Match. Fast forward […]

A title. One simple fricken title. That’s all I’m looking for. I’m searching for a better title for the second book in the Penley Mystery Series. I want something to grab the reader’s attention and imagination. In the search for the name, I’ve staged my own mini-protest and all that’s missing is a #All Titles Matter […]

I need your vote! This week I discovered that my Novel AT WHAT COST (Crooked Lane Books) is up for Best Thriller in the annual Killer Nashville Silver Falchion – Reader’s Choice Awards. The ballot went out this week and what’s cool about it is that you don’t have to register for the conference to vote. If […]

Wherever there are seedy gatherings, crime will inevitably find its way in. Wander down the garish circus alleyways filled with overstuffed clowns, who bark and beg at those with pockets filled with cash, and you’ll find greed and corruption. Sideshows offering a peek at the naked lady or the promise of a fortune told are […]

Sacramento Crime Sacramento as a setting for crime fiction? The sleepy state capitol town doesn’t get a great deal of attention from the hardcore crime community. Crime fiction relies on–well, crime. Naturally, the first places you think of are New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Newark, Detoit, Baltimore–You get the idea, places where crime is […]

They are everywhere Watching, waiting, anticipating. Spending most of my adult life dealing with the darker edges of society–prison, probation and jails–I’ve seen how low humanity can sink. If there is a weakness, or vulnerability present, I can count on a predator to hide in the shadows, ready to pounce. These soulless opportunists strike when […]

In the late 1980’s, the discovery of a bizarre serial murder caught the Sacramento area by storm. Nine deaths were attributed to the killer. It wasn’t the kind of murder that made people lock their doors at night fearing the return of the Night Stalker, or the East Area Rapist. This one was different and […]

Location, location, location… I’m often asked why I chose to set my crime fiction in Sacramento, California, instead of one of the more well known west coast crime magnets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Fresno. Michael Connelly and Robert Crais have L.A. locked down with their Harry Bosch and Joe Pike series. But, Sacramento is an […]

The universe of social media is a vast, strange veneer of tweets, likes, pins and hearts over a current of swift weirdness. Likes I like you and you may or may not like me. Simple as that. It doesn’t have to get strange. If you’ve spent more than five minutes scrolling through your feed, you’ve probably […]

Lord of the Flies The social aspects of what goes on behind prison walls are really kind of fascinating. For those who worked there, we recognize the yard dynamics are something out of William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies. In the 1954 novel, a group of boys are stranded on an island and quickly devolve into savage […]