In the Beginning…
A simple newspaper article of fewer than one-hundred words started my heart racing, fired my imagination, and steeled my determination that Detective John St. John’s story of capturing serial killers was the book I wanted to write. But why him and why me? What was there in that story about a homicide detective who’d just received a medal that I wouldn’t let go?
None of this scenario made sense. I had no previous experience in law enforcement and was never interested in writing crime stories. I had no publication history, no contacts or friends in police departments, not one contact with law enforcement other than the time my car was stolen. I was never interested in the FBI, CIA, Los Angeles Police Department, or Sheriff’s Department career. I never dreamed of law school so I could become a prosecuting attorney.
For Pete’s sake, I wanted to write a sportsbook for kids. Instead, I read an article about a detective who’d solved a major serial murder case, and in the craziest and most spontaneous moment of my life, I picked up the phone and called him.
It was the moment that changed my life and his.
How did that moment happen? Why did it happen? Why didn’t I put the article down and head to the tennis court where my doubles partner waited? And why, after his partner told me he was on vacation, didn’t I breathe a huge sigh of relief and put that insane notion out of my head? Why did the persona of Detective John “Jigsaw” St. John get so stuck in my brain that I didn’t think about anything else but calling him the next day?
I called him the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that – seven calls in total. He finally gave in saying he’d meet me if I promised never to call him again.
Going back to why that phone call changed my life. I knew a truth resided in a deep and honest part of me, that if I didn’t meet John St. John the life I desperately wanted, the writer I wanted to become and the journey I needed to be on wouldn’t happen unless I met him.
And I was right.
I rode shotgun with Badge Number One for thirteen years. He changed me, and I changed him. That’s what we both wanted.
Preview the first two chapters of the manuscript
Best Man in a Bow Tie
The detective who worked with John on the Bradford case – a hard-working, diligent, bachelor –finally found the girl of his dreams, decided to get married and needed a best man. Who else but John St. John? John didn’t do tuxes or shined shoes, bow ties, or cuff links....
Last Days in Florence
The night before Jim and I departed Florence, I reminisced about our two-week adventure by reviewing photos wondering why my heart beat a little faster with some and why I wasted camera space with others. Why did I dig into my purse for photos of a construction site and only one of two monks conversing in Santa Maria Novella?
From a Turtle Poem to True Crime: A Writer’s Journey
My love affair with books began before I could walk. The best part of the day was when my father would read to me. He’d help me turn the pages of a cloth book with buttons to button, shoelaces to tie and fuzzy creatures to touch. I was always more interested in my father’s questions than manipulating what was on the pages
Enough Pizza, Music and Dominique. Meeting Francesca.
On our fifth day in Florence, the sun shone bright and hot. Jim wanted to find a bench and read. I wanted to prowl and photograph. Across the street, half a block away I saw a walkway that led to a door, slightly open. I’ve never been able to resist an open door and peek inside. This time I went in.
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