Finally Writing What I Know

When I wrote my first novel, the advice I heard the most was, “Write what you know.”

I grew up outside of Silver Creek, Nebraska. Population 500. My high school graduating class was twenty-three. I went to college on an art scholarship. Oh and by the way, that college was a Catholic all-women’s college. I went on to a career in graphic design, public relations and advertising. Over the last fifteen novels I’ve been writing about murder. I can safely tell you that I am not writing what I know.

Because I don’t have a background in forensics or law enforcement I’ve had to rely on research and the experts I’ve met along the way. Experts who have generously offered their time and shared their experiences. Their real-life details have breathed life into my Maggie O’Dell series, and their friendships have enriched my personal as well as my professional life. Through these experts I’ve been able to write what I did not know.

Over the years the experts and my research have taken me through a variety of topics like: Ebola (Exposed), Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy (At the Stroke of Madness), domestic terrorism (Black Friday), the underground trafficking of body parts (Damaged), and food contamination in our school lunch programs (Hotwire). It was one of these experts who told me about cadaver dogs and their amazing capabilities. I’ve been fascinated ever since and chomping at the bit to include a cadaver dog in one of my novels. You see, dogs are something that I know.

I’ve been passionate about dogs my whole life. One my earliest memories is the day I followed our farm dogs everywhere they went, until suddenly I looked back and saw our house was a tiny speck in the distance. I think I was three or four years old. What I remember from that experience was pure joy, until of course, my frantic mother found me.

My entire life I’ve surrounded myself with dogs, some of which have been rescues. I’ve had as many as six in my pack at one time. Each and every one of them has been a special member of my family – their entrance, a celebration; their exit a deep and profound sadness.

With my new series (Stranded, Breaking Creed and Silent Creed) I am finally writing something that I know. Dogs! And with Ryder Creed I’ve found a kindred soul – both of us happy to live quite simply in the company of dogs.
20 likes ·   •  8 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on August 03, 2015 15:20 Tags: crime-novels, dog-lovers, mysteries, thrillers
Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Very nice!


message 2: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Just finished "Silent Creed"...I loved it ! I love Maggie O'Dell,too!


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Kava Michael wrote: "Very nice!"

Thanks, Michael.


message 4: by Alex (new)

Alex Kava Charlene wrote: "Just finished "Silent Creed"...I loved it ! I love Maggie O'Dell,too!"

So glad you enjoyed it, Charlene!


message 5: by Glenda (new)

Glenda I love the Maggie O'Dell series and love this new series (read both in two days and waiting for the next one) also but.... I'm always worried one of the dogs will be hurt or killed. I also have rescue dogs and while not trained to save lives they have saved mine. Thanks for writing great stories.


 Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader Hi Alex,
I just read my first book by you, Breaking Creed, and I loved it! Read it in one sitting! If I had to describe it in one word..... Riveting! I'm now on to Silent Creed, followed by Reckless Creed immediately after that, I'm sure. I'm sure to read your first series about Maggie O'Dell, too.
I do have one question, though. Why did you choose to have Maggie as a BSU agent, rather than a BAU agent? Am I correct in understanding that the BSU name was changed to the BAU? Just curious. =o)


message 7: by Alex (new)

Alex Kava I've stayed with BSU mostly for consistency. I figured creative license allowed me some leeway there. LOL! I'm glad you're enjoying the Creed series. Take care, Alex


message 8: by Cass ☘ (new)

Cass ☘ I am a huge new fan and have been telling everyone about Maggie O'Dell. As a survivor of childhood abuse, i particularly love A Perfect Evil and Necessary Evil. Now I'm looking forward to starting Ryder Creed!


back to top