George Cramer has a wonderful blog where he introduces writers and their works in a variety of genres. I first came across his blog when he interviewed Robert Dugoni for his novel "The World Played Chess" which is now one of my all-time favorite books!
Later, George wrote about several writers conferences that he had attended in the preceeding year. And when he described the Public Safety Writers Convention, it sounded so interesting that I immediately joined and registered for the one this past year. In addition to his wealth of experience in law enforcement and teaching, George has a great sense of humor. I enjoyed our meeting at the past conference and look forward to the one this year. Here, George will introduce himself!
I am a proud enrolled descendant of the Karuk Tribe of California who enjoyed four decades in an investigative career in law enforcement and private and corporate investigations. Later attending the Institute of American Indian Arts, earning my MFA-Creative Writing.
I conducted thousands of investigations throughout the Americas and Asia. In retirement, I kept my investigative skills honed by volunteering as a cold case and missing person investigator at a Bay Area Police Department. Never in the first sixty-eight years of my life did I consider I might one day be a published author. After being laid off from a job I loved, I had no interest in playing golf. I wasn't ready to retire, so I began looking for a new job. I learned a great deal about age discrimination.
Formerly a Parks & Recreation Commissioner, I read the department's quarterly magazine. I saw a notice about a writing class and thought I might learn something to improve my resume. Oops, it was a fiction writing class. And I fell in love with the literary art form—I was hooked.
I figured I could turn my life's work into the most remarkable novel ever written. Boy, was I mistaken. After twenty thousand words, I was bored with my own story. At about the same time, my instructor passed out random pictures in class. The assignment was to describe the scene in fifteen minutes. My photo was of two young girls looking at the Mona Lisa. I was thunderstruck and inspired to write notes as fast as I could about what was to be my debut novel, The Mona Lisa Sisters. These notes started an eight-year odyssey, which included time out for open heart surgery and a liver transplant.
I returned to school at the local community college, where I majored in English and was exposed to Joy Harjo, an internationally renowned performer, writer, and member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She served three terms as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States. And when I learned she was going to read at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe the following semester. I got my Karuk Tribe of California ID Card and a letter from the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding my blood quantum and enrolled in the institute's MFA program. Not only did I get to listen to Joy, but a mutual friend introduced us, and we shared a table for a cafeteria dinner. Wow, I was so star-struck.
The Mona Lisa Sisters became my master's thesis, a historical fiction with a female protagonist. After it was released, I rushed to complete Robbers and Cops, a stand-alone spanning forty years.
Once that project was finished and published, I created Hector Miguel Navarro. Hector was going to be the star of what became New Liberty. I began it as a stand-alone, but within the first few thousand words, I knew Hector was to be the star of his own series. Book II should be out within a few months. I hope to have Book III out by the end of the year. I'll give you a teaser. Hector will become deeply involved in the issue of MMIW, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
While chatting, our host asked if I had a favorite among my works. My first response was yes. But that answer wasn't true. Each of my novels is a favorite.
In conclusion, I would like to add that my novels would never have been completed without the supporting cast of authors and beta readers.
The following groups also played an essential role in getting me over the finish line:
Sisters in Crime
Public Safety Writers Association
Crime Writers of Color
Mystery Writers of America
How can our visitors find you and your work?
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Thanks, George! To Everyone out there, I can say--having read and enjoyed George's first three books--that you will find each one has a different flavor, with the last Hector Miguel Navarro one being particularly action-packed!