James O. Born
I was always interested in writing and even took a shot as an undergrad at Florida State but aside from one article on street construction in Tallahassee I was unsuccessful. I moved on to police work. When I was new to police work, as an agent with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, I had an unrealistic view of what my job would be like. On television, DEA agents are in shoot-outs and get the chicks but in real life they follow suspected drug violators around until they can make a case. If you're a new guy, no one in the DEA much cares about family life or other interests, you just drive. I read a lot of Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin because I liked the idea of learning something about the military. I would read the occasional police book but felt the books didn't reflect my experience as a cop. I was not a CIA trained assassin. I could not rip a shotgun out of someone's hands without suffering a catastrophic injury. I didn't crawl out of crushed police cars and shake off the injury. Neither did any cop I knew. So I wrote a book based on real police work with a ficitonal plot. The most exciting part of being an author is that my editor, Neil Nyren, is also the editor of my two favorite military writers, Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin. The third book in the series, Escape Clause, was released in February, 2006. The story follows the main character to a prison to investigate an in custody death that isn't what it appears. By chance, I was assigned to investigate a death at South Bay correctional, the area I had used as a model for the town and prison in my book. Talk about life imitating art. Then, once at the prison, a Department of Corrections Inspector asked me if I was the guy who wrote the books. I gave him a post card for Escape Clause and watched his face as he realized I had written about the Department of Corrections.