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Stories about crimes have always resonated with me, whether it was "Crime and Punishment" or "The Quiet American." Maybe it’s because I started my career as a police reporter, or because I worked for a time as a teacher in the county jail.
More than a decade ago, when I decided to finally get serious about writing, I started with short stories based on real misdeeds I’d witnessed. I wrote one about my next door neighbor, who’d been murdered by a friend, another about an ambitious bike racer who decides to take out the competition, and a bunch of others based on characters I met in jail.
Over time these got picked up by various magazines online and in print. More than a dozen now exist, with most of the latest in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Big Pulp.
For my debut novel, "They Tell Me You Are Wicked," I drew inspiration from the most infamous event in the history of my hometown: the real life killing of a political candidate’s daughter (though I made up all the details). Now I am at work on a second volume in the series, set two years later, after my hero, Duncan Cochrane, has become governor. He’s haunted by the family secret that got him elected, and fighting a sniper who’s targeting children in Chicago.