IR– What inspired the idea for your book?
James– The inspiration for Dead Drop didn’t come from a single source. I worked in the California prison system for nearly thirty years. I met up with a few colorful characters—characters who have inspired some of my crime fiction work. There were thousands of men in prison with what we called “Immigration Holds,” which meant when they were done with the prison sentence for their state crimes, they would face deportation back to their home country.
Before they committed their crimes, most of them crossed the border in search of a new life, free from the crime, drugs, and corruption they faced back home. Many of the men I encountered turned to crime out of desperation, or were extorted by criminal organizations like the Mexican Mafia or the Cartels.
I took this background and put together a story where the influences behind the border violence and corruption don’t come from the usual sources.
It’s all about character! Many thanks to The Book Diva Reads for allowing me to return to the blog. This time around, I wanted to focus on one element of writing that can make or break a story–character. I recently had a chance to teach a session on character development at the Gold Country Writers […]
When Left Coast Crime in San Diego was abruptly cancelled after a single day in March 2020, many of the attendees left wondering when and if we’d be able to gather again. We learned more than we ever wanted to know about Zoom, remote working, vaccines, and quarantine workarounds. When we had a dip in […]
Book Release! Coming out of the lockdown and COVID restrictions makes me feel a little like a groundhog squirming out of its burrow. What to do with all the left over masks and hand sanitizer? Not to mention all the toilet paper some folks hoarded early on in the pandemic that’s now turning into dust. […]
Bouchercon is the annual gathering of the world’s mystery writers and serves as the high point of the year for many of us in the writing community. I was especially excited when the 2020 edition of Bouchercon was slated for Sacramento, California, a place I lived and worked for many years. Not to mention the […]
Extended lockdowns like the six-month slog we’re going through can take a toll if you’re not prepared. As we talked about in March when the COVID lockdown orders were popping off across the country, a little prison wisdom can help ease the pain of long-term confinement. In prison, when the place comes off lockdown, it’s […]
So, here we are, a month into our shelter-at-home exile from society. The virus, or more accurately, the response to it, has been difficult for some folks to wrap their heads around. One particular group seems to have coped exceptionally well during this isolation and quarantine — the convict. Shelter-in-place orders and doing time have […]
Serial killers are creatures of habit. It’s part of what often keeps them undetected for years. That same habit, often turns into a pattern, and patterns are a serial killer hunter’s best friend. Patterns helped to unmask the Golden State KiIler, Joseph DeAngelo, Jr, and the Toolbox Killers, Bittiker and Norris. These killers sought specific […]
With winter starting to slowly fade away, it means one thing. It’s book convention time again! The first gathering up is Left Coast Crime (LCC), the annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors. LCC is held during the first quarter of the year in Western North America. Last year was in Vancouver, […]
This week gave me another example of the death of customer service in our society. And it came with a connection to fiction, specifically, Rob Hart’s latest work, The Warehouse. I’m a home DIYer with enough experience to get by in a pinch. This time, my furnace was acting up and not heating when the […]