I remember the first long story I ever wrote. I was in the third grade and my teacher, Miss Steere, asked us each to write a story about something in history.
I chose to write about the Donner party and the tragedies that befell them as they tried to make it to the Wild West.
I went on and on. I was having so much fun and making up stories about the people and conversations between them. It was like a game to me. It didn't occur to me that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I wasn't even old enough to understand what it meant to be grown up.
Throughout school, whenever I had to write something, I always had a lot of fun with assignments. I remember writing about the Salem Witches when I was in high school and how exciting it was to make up "real" people who lived then and, unfortunately, also died.
So what did I do when I was finally an adult? I worked as an accountant, secretary, draftsman of pre-fab metal buildings, I studied Criminal Justice and worked at the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department for a time. I ended up with a career as a paralegal.
Well, that wasn't too bad. It encompassed a lot of research and writing and, in the meantime, I had actually written short stories, poetry, and two unpublished novels. I did have one non-fiction piece published in a magazine in the 80s. Yippee!
When I lived in Hawaii, I even helped a famous Chef publish two cook books.
Finally, I said "enough", quit everything, took early retirement, and moved to Morocco.
Now, I am a writer. I love my life, and I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them. I have a lot of fun with my characters and stories. To me, they are real people and my joy is sharing them with you and the rest of the world.
on Oct. 19, 2013 :
Just finished "Damage Control" by Renee Benzaim and enjoyed it as much, if not more than "Cause of Death", the first in her series about Det. Annie Avants and her very diverse colleagues who work in Kern County, California. Both books were equally exciting and held my interest to the end. I look forward to the third book in the series, "Southern Secrets". An interesting addition to the great stories are the favorite recipes of the various characters which are added at the end of each book. You will also want to check out Ms Benzaim's other books, a very interesting collection! I highly recommend any one or all of them. She is a very versatile writer. Isabelle Montero, San Francisco, CA
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Oct. 15, 2013 :
This is the second multiple murder investigation/mystery staring Detective Annie Avants and her partner Tom Weston. The legal profession, specifically at one firm, is under attack by a killer.
While this can be read as a stand alone novel, I would not recommend it. To get the full enjoyment, as well as understanding of the characters and references to previous events, reading the prior novel helps. It also shows a fuller development of the characters and the relationships with each other and their society/reality.
The narrative is heavily researched and detailed while not being obtuse, heavy, or boring. Even when told from multiple points of view, it flows seamlessly with the twists and turns the mystery demands. There was only one instance which caused me some pause.
Characters are more fully developed in this second installment than in the first, but perhaps that is because of my familiarity with them. New and interesting characters are also introduced.
Overall, an exciting read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)