When Real Life Becomes Grist for the Mill

Long before I dreamed of being a writer – let alone having the thrill of a lifetime by getting my novel published by a strong publishing house, The Wild Rose Press, I was living the life that would become grist for my novel-writing career.  Nobody knows how cops work in quite the way that cops themselves do. You can watch all the TV cop shows, read all the police procedural crime novels you can get your hands on, but it still is nothing compared to the fifteen years I wore the badge, back in California.  That experience helped me – a lot! – with writing my just published novel, Cold But Not Forgotten, along with my forthcoming prequel, Gone But Not Forgotten.

That wasn’t all, though. I worked as a PI – a private detective – as well as working casino security.  I got a great deal of insight into human nature when I became a detective with the state workers comp agency. It was my job to investigate recipients to see if they were truly injury-limited … a remarkable number of them were faking it. I documented their hard manual labor on film and video, and I got a remarkable degree of satisfaction exposing frauds and proving their deceptions.  I saved the state, and employers, millions of dollars by proving that hundreds of someones, assigned to workers comp with “soft-tissue back injury” – i.e., one that is real, but doesn’t show up on X-Rays – were actually able to re-roof a house, or jack up and work under a king-cab pickup truck, or schlep around 50-pound bags of concrete or compost.  The videos were as funny as they were damning – I got a lot of pleasure out of foiling these frauds.

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