Early in my writing career, I was asked to write a short story in an anthology with debut thriller writers, edited by Lee Child. Of course I said yes! But writing short isn’t easy … especially for someone like me who finds it hard to keep my novellas under 25,000 words and my books under 100,000 words. (DEAD HEAT, the book I just revised and turned in, clocked in at 107,000 words.)
But I did it, because I love a challenge. “Killing Justice” was originally published in Killer Year in 2008, and again in a 3-story anthology by the same title that’s currently available in ebook for Kindle, Nook and Kobo.
For this story, I wanted to take a slice of my life. I went back to my past, when I worked in the California State Capitol, and used a variation of real child predator legislation as the backdrop of the story. A similar bill was really killed in the public safety committee, and shenanigans like swapping out committee members to ensure specific vote results has long been practiced in the California Legislature. It’s things like this that made me politically very cynical.
So I created State Senator Matt Elliott to be someone I’d want fighting for what’s right and just.
I liked Matt so much, I wrote him into several of my books. Though he’s a State Senator here, he later became the Sacramento County District Attorney and appears in Playing Dead and Sudden Death; he’s the brother of FBI Agent Megan Elliott who’s married to the Jack Kincaid. Matt has had a very interesting life, and I have a story idea for him. In fact, I’ve already started writing it …