I grew up in South Florida where I spent twenty-four years as a Police Officer. I’ve seen things in the big cities I wish I could forget. So, I moved far away to a small town where I can relax and write about the things that bounce around in my head.
My writing roots
I have always been an avid reader. As a kid driving up the Florida Turnpike, my parents stopped at one of the rest plazas and I bought my first book, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.
I was hooked and I read everything he wrote. I moved on to other authors and other genres; horror, fantasy, mystery, literally anything that took me to another place where I escape reality.
Write what you know many of my friends tell me. “Write a crime novel.”
But that didn’t interest at the time. For years I wrote police reports, from vandalism to homicides. Just the facts Ma’am.
You can get stuck in a rut writing like that and I think it was what stopped me from wanting to write a crime novel.
The years of writing in a simple narrative format, devoid of emotion and drama was difficult to overcome. I did try and add a little creativity to some of my reports and ended up in the captain’s office when the Miami Herald printed one of them.
“Brevity is the soul of wit,” the captain said.
Creative writing would have to wait till I retired.
And I did retire.
Not long after I left law enforcement, my father wrote a seventeen-page letter, a short autobiography of his life growing up during the great depression, his years in school and his service during WWII. What I read was breathtaking, and I knew I wanted to write something similar for my kids who were young then. That idea became Who I Am: The Man Behind the Badge.
I quickly learned that I had no idea in how to write anything someone would want to read.
So, I learned. I went to seminars, writer’s conferences, book signings, joined author groups, spoke with editors, and researched all I could on-line. Slowly, I felt confident to show some of what I wrote to people who became my mentors and with their help, I published the memoir in April of 2020, as the pandemic took hold of the country.