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,...

Behind the Book: KJ Howe’s THE FREEDOM BROKER Apr14

Behind the Book: KJ Howe’s THE FREEDOM BROKE...

Have you ever heard the term response consultant? If you aren’t familiar with this term, you’re not alone. There are about twenty-five to thirty people in the world who do this job—although the number of responders is growing because kidnapping has become an international crisis, especially in certain hot zones. Response consultants work for private companies in the kidnapping and ransom field, and they provide support and guidance to hostages and their families. These experts risk their own lives to help others, and my character Thea Paris is one of these elite consultants. Her personal story is featured in the first book of the series,...

Confessions of an Old School Private Eye

Following a thirty-year career working as an investigator for criminal defense attorneys I wrote a book called Not Just Evil.  The book describes the arrest and trial of William Edward Hickman for the kidnap and murder of Marion Parker.  Hickman abducted Parker from her school in Los Angeles on December 15th 1927 in what the L.A. Times described as “the most horrible crime of the 1920’s.” Within a week after picking up the ransom and delivering the mutilated body of the victim, Hickman was arrested by Echo Oregon Chief of Police Tom Gurdane and Oregon State Highway Patrol Lieutenant Buck Lieuallen.  The day after his arrest the suspect made...

Behind The Book by Chris Formant Sep12

Behind The Book by Chris Formant

One evening, I was walking through my rock memorabilia gallery, with The Doors music in the background, and I stopped to study my latest addition: a two-page article in the Record Mirror from 1964 announcing a hot new band: The Rolling Stones. What struck me the most was how young they were. Before me was a fresh-faced Keith Richards, a teenaged Mick Jagger, and Brian Jones, the founder of the Stones. Hanging beside them were articles about Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison and The Doors. Besides being the soundtrack of my youth, there was something else that connected them. Jones, Hendrix and Morrison all died at the age 27 under cloudy...

The One person I’ve Ever Imagined Killing Jul02

The One person I’ve Ever Imagined Killing

There’s only one person I’ve ever imagined killing. I’d lay awake fantasizing about stalking his jogging route, hiding in a dark alley in my beat-up Chevy Vega, then running him over. Of course, I wasn’t ever seriously considering murder, even if he’d made my life hell for four years. That was decades ago, when I was one of the very few women graduate students in philosophy. All of my professors were men, and most of them thought women had no place in philosophy. My dissertation director was no exception. The things these guys did to sabotage me were so extreme that if I wrote about them in my novels, no one would believe them. After...