Only once was my life touched by murder and that was back when I was a kid, and one of my mother's church ladies killed her husband with an ax to the head while he slept. I don't remember either of them. What I do remember, is another of my mom's friends saying, "He was so boring, if I'd been married to him I'd probably have done the same."
Because in both my mystery series my main characters are in law enforcement, I'm often asked if that is my background. The answer is a simple, "No." However, growing up my uncle was an L.A. police officer as was a neighbor--I babysat his kids. I had a son-in-law who was a cop and then a deputy, who shared his stories with me, and now I have a grandson who is a police officer and a grandson-in-law who is a deputy.
I belong to the Public Safety Writers of America and I'm friends with many men and women who are or were in all different kinds of law enforcement, so I have many people to ask questions.
As for people who do terrible things--I've known a few--no murderers, but those who haven't made the right choices in far too many ways. However, I've never totally based a villain totally on a real person, but rather drawn on bits and pieces from this one and that one, molding a fictional character into someone who will, under the right circumstances, do something horribly wrong. And the most fun is to create someone who is just down right evil.
My own life, though certainly not boring, is more what you'd expect a grandmother (and now a great-great) to live. Hubby and I are surrounded by family of all ages, and we truly enjoy it. We don't do much traveling anymore--but once we did. I still do book festivals and attend Sisters in Crime meetings in Fresno and over on the Central Coast. Love to give talks to writers and service groups.
One of the best things about being a writer is you can still write about everything, whether or not you can still do them.
In my latest book, there is intrigue, murder, a huge forest fire like California is experiencing in many places now (we had one right up the highway in the mountains only a few days ago)--and I have a friend who works on these fires who helped me. And as with all of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree books, there is a bit of Indian mysticism. (And that seems to just pop out of my imagination.)
From the publisher in all different formats:
And of course available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.