During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.
SNAP: All That Jazz, Book Eight of The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was published June 30, 2014. The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles paranormal romance series include SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, DANUBE: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After? SNAP: White Night and SNAP: All That Jazz. SNAP: I, Vampire, Book Ten in the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles is scheduled for publication early 2015.
She also writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries, Edited for Death and Labeled for Death. A third book, Delta for Death, is coming in 2014.
That would be so cool...except I’m old enough that my knees wouldn’t hold up on a dig and I’m sure I’d lose my reading glasses at least once.
But I refuse to give up my love of research, of digging through information until I find those facts that answer questions, like “why?”
Mysteries, whether murder or otherwise, are the ultimate quest for “why,” as well as “who,” “when,” and “how,” and in my years as a journalist, I asked those plenty of times.
Now, writing mysteries, I still ask them, but my plots hang on them AND I have to know the answer before I write.
In my mysteries, my protagonist, Amy Hobbes, the managing editor of a daily newspaper works with her cops reporter, Clarice Stamms, to peel the onion back and find the kernel of “why.”
Having been close to crime and murders for much of my career, I discovered that an awful lot of murders are similar...and that there are usually only two motives: sex and money. Unfortunately most murders today have some connection to drug and/or human trafficking. There are millions—maybe billions—of dollars at stake and the murder rate escalates as the value if the commodity rises.
To answer the “why,” mysteries are set against a larger issue. In Edited for Death, the issue was the theft of looted Nazi art works by a young GI. In Labeled for Death, it was the lure of substituting high-priced grapes with cheap varieties in some of
fine wines. California
And Delta for Death is set against California’s water woes...an exceptional drought and a proposal to build tunnels under the Delta and ship northern California’s abundant water to central and southern California. There’s an old saying in
, “Whiskey is for drinking and
water is for war.” California
Even though I thought I knew some of the water history of the Delta, research—time in the California collection at a couple of libraries, online archives of the local newspapers,and lunch with one of the deputy directors of the California Department of Water Resources—gave me both more information and more research paths to follow.
I’m pretty sure that my days as a beginning archeologist are long gone. At least, though, I can do this research and digging without leaving town.
That’s bittersweet. I’m never going to discover a lost city like Troy in California’s Central Valley, but when I lose my glasses, I know they’re somewhere in the house.
What do you want to be when you grow up?