I have practiced criminal law both as a prosecutor and defense lawyer for over 30 years and have some wonderful, crazy, touching, terrible stories to tell. I write mysteries/suspense that put people in large conflicts: against religious intolerance, terrorists, menacing government agencies, dangerous criminal clients, and personal challenges.
For the benefit of my readers, I have three series of books started. Two involve crime and courtrooms---the Zehra Henning series and the Ted Rohrbacher series. I have also started a new series with Pete Chandler who travels to exotic places in the world to solve mysteries---usually places I've been to and have done a ton of research.
I add true things that I'm curious about and will interest readers. And, I always try to make my stories "page turners" that I hope you can't put down!
What first got you interested in mysteries and suspense stories?
When I was ten years old, I often used to spend Christmas vacation with my grandmother. She lived alone in a small apartment in St. Paul that was near a huge railroad switching station. (Do these even exist anymore?) At night in the winter I could hear the trains clanking and the brakes squealing as I went to bed. My grandmother gave me a copy of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" about Sherlock Homes. With the sound of the lonely trains,I read the book in two nights and was hooked forever on mysteries and suspense stories. It all started with her generosity.
What is your writing process?
Since I write mystery/suspense stories, I have to know about how the story will end. Then I work back to the beginning to plant clues, create suspense, and twist the plot---several times. So, I have to do some planning about the plot before I began writing. Equally important is the creation of the characters. Luckily, I write series so my hero remains the same person. But I must create several villains for the hero to struggle against. I try to discover almost as many aspects of these characters as I do the main character. That's because a strong villain makes a strong hero.
Pete Chandler is an investigator for the US Export/Import Bank, which does business all over the world. He solves mysteries and problems for the bank in dangerous and exotic locations. When called to Myanmar, a country closed to the world for 50 years, Pete travels into the heart of darkness to find a missing woman.
Ted Rohrbacher is a defense lawyer who takes on only the impossible to win cases. He's experienced, tough, and good in a courtroom. In order to win his cases, Ted has to solve the mystery about his client's crimes and fight uphill to convince prosecutors and juries that he's right.
International investigator, Pete Chandler, is on assignment in South Africa when his daughter, traveling with him, is almost killed. His investigation leads him into an international illegal ivory trafficking network. As Pete digs deeper, powerful forces converge on him. He refuses to give-up. The criminals will do anything to eliminate Pete and his daughter.
When investigator Pete Chandler gets a call for help from an old friend who also works in South America, Pete drops everything to go. Before he can get there, his friend dies in a freak accident. Investigating his death in Ecuador, Pete discovers the friend has led a double life that involves South American law enforcement and Chinese gangster who all come after Pete for the answers.
A series of fatal fires unnerves the city. Law enforcement races to apprehend the serial arsonist. Facing political pressure and public hysteria, prosecutor, Zehra Henning, charges a suspect with arson and murder. But she questions the rush to judgement, especially when the fires continue and her investigation reveals other suspects---and someone who is intent on killing Zehra to stop the case.
When prosecutor, Zehra Henning, investigates her latest case, she stumbles on a secret plot by an normal-seeming neighbor who is actually a fanatic with a group of true believers prepared to do the unthinkable---mass murder. Zehra sounds the alarm, but no one believes her until she is threatened and must stop the terrorists before people are annihilated.
What if terrorists used American children as weapons of mass destruction? It has already started! Several Somali boys have disappeared from Minneapolis, until one returns and is murdered. Lawyer, Zehra Henning, defends the accused killer. As Zehra investigates the case, she discovers a plot that threatens the entire community and she races to solve the mystery before the terrorists can act.
A collection of crime short stories about ordinary people who want to do the right thing. They are tempted to commit crimes in order to accomplish what they want. See what happens to them when they do.
Ted Rorhbacher is a defense lawyer that takes on only the impossible to win cases. Written by Colin Nelson, who has worked for over 30 years as both a prosecutor and a Public Defender, the suspense story is grounded in real life experience. Ted's client suffers from an unusual mental condition: the amygdala hijack. Can it save his client from a conviction and prison?
When an American woman working in Myanmar vanishes without a trace, investigator, Pete Chandler, must travel there to find and rescue her. He encounters an exotic world of mystery and danger. Reading this suspenseful story will take you to the country with all its smells, sights, sounds, and beautiful people.