My Evolution into a Domestic Thriller Writer

Years ago, I was the proud author of a procedural series about a federal prosecutor in New York. I loved writing those books, and they came pretty naturally to me, given that I’d actually been a federal prosecutor in New York. Write what you know, the old adage goes, and I definitely knew about narcotics and gangs and murder investigations. But there were a lot of other things I knew that didn’t fit into the neat format of the procedural, which demanded so much space for –well, procedure. I hankered to write about those things, too. When I think about the classics of crime fiction that I find most compelling as a reader, I have to confess...

Behind the Book: Researching BLOOD FOR WINE

Ordinarily, research is the bane of my writing life. Doing the grunt work, then deciding what to leave in and what to leave out, is simply not as satisfying as writing the prose that will eventually be my next book. Good research takes time, too, and time is always in short supply. I’d rather be crafting dialogue or honing a descriptive passage than chasing down whether a Glock 17 has a safety or if DNA can be extracted from a human hair. However, the research I did for BLOOD FOR WINE—the latest Cal Claxton Oregon Mystery—was a labor of love rather than a necessary evil. The story centers on Cal’s good friend and neighbor, Jim Kavanaugh,...