A Distant Mountain

  I’ve come to face the startling idea that my entire life may have been outlined by a movie back in 1963, and I’m not kidding. My Old Man didn’t go to the movies very often when we were kids, because he usually didn’t like the subject or actors, but he was a fan of drive-ins on occasion. That was especially true when one of his “players” appeared in the film. While Mom was away with Little Brother, visiting my maternal grandparents in Lamar County Continue reading →

Judging a Book by its Cover

A or B. Which of these two covers below best addresses the question, “What does an old stuffed bunny have to do with a missing three-year-old and a religious cult?” If your answer is “A” you agree with everyone I asked last Sunday while signing at the L.A. Times Festival of Books at USC. “A” is the fantastic new Suspense Publishing cover for Last Writes, which was the fourth book in my forensic handwriting series (2010). The first four books were published by Penguin, who Continue reading →

Everyday Hero: Benny Adkins

April 1, 2016 I have read and I have seen acts of heroism and gallantry that have always amazed me. But every once in a while an individual seems to break the definition of “Hero” in such a way as to make the word insufficient to describe what he has done. Bennie Adkins is just that sort of individual. After fifty years, Adkins was finally recognized for his service in Vietnam; service that will go down in history as not just heroic, but also almost Continue reading →


I once had a successful full-time job before retirement, one full of fun, and tension. Following an extremely stressful event in 1992, I realized it was time to pursue a very old dream in earnest. That decision was sparked by a very common event. The Late Winter track of John Denver’s Season Suite was playing on a high end sound system behind my desk. His wonderful music was always my tranquilizer of choice and that day it put me in a good place. When it Continue reading →