The title of this blog is part of my author brand. It took me two weeks to come up with those four words. Some things are worth waiting for. That little catch phrase is perfect for describing my writing and me.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, I was a Los Angeles Police Officer…for twenty-one years. While a police officer, I experienced a lot of things that most people can’t even imagine. But I’ve found there are many people who are interested in those events. They just don’t want to put their lives on the line to experience similar occurrences themselves. I totally get that and understand it.
That’s why I was so careful with the ‘tag line’ of my brand. I wanted to be able to stand behind it and know it was true. It’s my promise to the reader that while the situations and characters I put in my books may be fictional, the atmosphere and the possibility of those circumstances being true are dead on.
But being authentic is a delicate balance in several ways. First, there is a saying in police work that the job is 95% sheer boredom and 5% sheer terror. That statement is pretty darn accurate. So, as a writer, if I were to tell you all the boring things that go on in police work you wouldn’t want to read my book. The trick is to show you those boring things about the job, and yet, still make them interesting.
It’s like pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz. You might be disappointed that your preconceived idea about how powerful the Wizard is turns out to be false. But it’s pretty darn cool how he’s able to turn a wheel at his command center and get fire to leap 25 feet into the sky.
It’s the same way with police work. You probably have predetermined ideas how cops live their lives – much of your knowledge based on what you see on TV and in the movies. I’m here to tell you it isn’t all about pursuits and shoot-outs. Oh, those things can and do happen, but the normal behind the scenes stuff is interesting too. And that’s what I authentically deliver in my stories.
But being realistic can have its drawbacks too. In my book, A Deadly Blessing there are story lines and language that are true to life. And those situations occur every day in this country. I didn’t use those story lines for shock value. I used them because cops all over the country face those circumstances, or worse, on a daily basis. That’s what cops sign up for – and handling those types of problems is what they do.
The cop is bound by duty and integrity to face those challenges, while a reader of one of my books can feel all the emotions and the excitement of being a cop from the safety of their recliner…which, I think, is a pretty good balance.
And that is what I’ve promised you with my brand…Authentic Crime resulting in Arresting Stories.