Category writing

Story Surgery

There are times in my writing process I feel like a hired gun with a scalpel. A slice here, a nip and tuck there–gut the beast. Readers, editors, agents and publishers all shout (okay maybe not really shout–but it seem that way at times) for me to make a change in a POV, or my […]

The Corner Office

I’ve been pretty fortunate over the years to not only maintain gainful employment, but also to do that work in some pretty glamorous settings. As I sit at my desk and figure out which project is going to get my attention today, I think back to other desks, and other times, where I did have […]

Blurred Lines – the true crime connection

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 […]

Writing Sacramento Crime

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 […]

I’m Watching You

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 […]

F Street Boarding House Murders

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 […]

Is Sacramento A Serial Killer Friendly Place?

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 […]

Speaking of Mysteries Podcast

I recently had the opportunity to do an interview podcast with Nancie Clare, the host of Speaking of Mysteries. If you haven’t gotten around to her site yet, you really should. She and podcast interview partner, Leslie Klinger have put put together over one hundred author podcasts, including some of my favorite mystery writers; Michael Connelly, […]

The Season of Trolling

You know that insurance commercial with the fisherman who pops up with a dollar bill on the end of his line, taunting his clients to grab it? Then he jerks the cash bait away at the last moment, saying “You’ve got to be quicker than that.” Most times, I am that person, the one who […]

In Prison — Seeing Is Believing

What happens in prison usually stays in prison. Kinda like a bad Las Vegas honeymoon. Nobody wants to know the depths of the debauchery that goes on in either place. When I worked as a department of corrections administrator, we were often burnt at the stake when a criminal decided to do a bad thing. […]