I loved police shows growing up. I remember sitting glued every week to Adam-12 and how my heart would skip a bit when the dispatcher would announce, “All units on all frequencies standby. One-Adam-12 is in pursuit.” I sat enamored when Steve McGarrett of Hawaii-Five-O would ask Chin Ho or Danno to run a partial license plate. Remember every once in a while they’d flip to a shot of punched computer cards running along a conveyor belt? It would take days before they’d get anything back. Little did I know then that one day I would be in the midst of the world of law enforcement and that it would take me down some unusual career paths…
I feel like I’ve been at the PD forever, but it’s actually been a little over a decade. I had no idea when I joined the department as a civilian IT Manager that I’d be exposed to so much, get involved at the case level or be responsible for so many different things. When I write THE BLACK WIDOW AGENCY series, I try to keep it real. Fun, because the Black Widows are fun gals, but real as far as how they interact with the police and each other, and how they use technology to fight crime. All those years in law enforcement had better be good for something, right?
Early on in my career, I was asked to assist the FBI in a child pedophile case. It was one of the more memorable cases I’ve been involved in because of the nasty content. This was years before the advent of digital photography and digital camcorders. This particular predator used a VHS camera to videotape the assaults on his victims. Because of the poor image quality, the FBI was having a tough time trying to identify the victims. I happen to have some expertise in this area, thus I was able to digitally enhance the photos of these young victims by correctly colorizing them and clearing up some blurriness. It was nasty stuff that I’ll probably never forget but when you sign on to work in law enforcement, no matter what job you have, you’d better have a pretty strong backbone and stomach. One of the first things we always ask in an interview, especially with a potential civilian employee who might not realize what they’re going to be exposed to, is “Can you handle reading the detailed interview of a child who has been sexually molested? Can you handle seeing pictures of dead bodies?” I can’t recall how many mangled bodies I’ve seen after all these years, but you get used to it. You have to.
After the FBI case, I was asked to try and recover files from a computer that was suspected of being stolen from a local restaurant. The thieves had not only deleted all the files, but completely reformatted the hard drive. If you have read THE BLACK WIDOW AGENCY or SPUN TALES, you’ll know I always make a point of saying that deleted files are rarely deleted. I was quickly able to recover not only the restaurant’s menus, but their customer and supplier lists.
So began my infatuation with Cyber Crime. Since then, I’ve been called to testify as an “expert” witness in Court, provided technical assistance to our specialized Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, worked beside our undercover on-line investigator as she trolls the Internet posing as a young teen, stayed on top of all cyber crime cases, conducted years of research on every form of cyber crime out there; and done whatever I could in the private sector to keep my skills sharpened. I could write a book. Perhaps I will. In the meantime, I’ll let my Black Widows tell their stories of using technology to combat the bad guy and fight for all women who have been wronged — all while mixing up their unique blend of technology, humor, hot flashes, chocolate and of course…women’s intuition. Stay safe!
Bio: Felicia (pronounced Fa-lish-a) developed an early reputation for telling tales, particularly about her three older siblings. She apologizes profusely for any harmful intent this may have caused and was subsequently encouraged by her mother, a freelance writer, to put her overly active imagination to better use.
Felicia began writing stories and poems early on and completed her first novel by the time she graduated from high school. She subsequently joined her college paper and won the prestigious Scripps-Howard Foundation Journalism Scholarship based on her writing submissions. After obtaining a Bachelor’s in English Education, Felicia went on to become a teacher and in her educational career, was published numerous times for professional articles, but always felt compelled to return to the joy of writing fiction.
In 1998, Felicia left teaching to join a New England-based Police Department where she was first introduced to the fascinating world of computer forensics. She is a member of the New Hampshire Police Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Sisters In Crime, Scarlett Letters (Sisters in Crime – New England), Mystery Writers of America, and the International Association of Crime Writers.
Her love of writing never waned. Felicia was fortunate to obtain representation from the Jill Grosjean Literary Agency which resulted in a publishing contract for The Black Widow Agency Series with Midnight Ink Books. She has recently completed the second novel in The Black Widow Agency Series and is currently working on the third in addition to several other works. Felicia resides in New Hampshire with her two children and three dogs. She has a deep affection for her family, her friends, fine chocolates and well-spun tales.