Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Guest Post: Alison Naomi Holt

Guest Post for Alison N. Holt - Blog Tour

Do I love to kayak? Absolutely. Ride horses? Yup. Train dogs? Passionately. Write? With unadulterated joy. There's no question about it, I love to write, and, I love to write what I know. Luckily I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things.

One area where I have a certain amount of expertise is as a police officer. I rose through the ranks of the Tucson Police Department over a period of twenty years.

As a writer, at least with The Alex Wolfe Mystery Series, it's my goal to transfer my experiences, my joys, and at times, my devastation, onto paper so that my readers can vicariously know what it's like to be a cop. I had fun as an officer, and I hope my writing reflects that fun. How many people can say they've searched for a rapist at night from a helicopter and watched with infrared goggles while a K9 unit ran down and captured the suspect? What a fantastic experience, and, now that I think about it, what wonderful color to put into my next book!

I've always been someone who loves to sit and watch the world go by. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent at airports or cafe's sitting and studying the people around me. This tendency was amplified a hundred times over as an officer, and a thousand times as a writer. It's this tendency toward excessive observation that brings fullness to the characters in my books. Each person I create is a compilation of the many different people I've run into over the years.

For example, in the first Alex Wolfe Mystery, Credo's Hope, the book opens with a prostitute who's been shot. The woman, Bibi O'Dell, is a composite of the many, many hookers I've met over the years. They're not all evil or dirty or stupid, and every one of them is someone's daughter or mother or believe it or not, grandmother. I believe it's important to put that humanity into all of my characters and along those lines, I'd like to take a minute to introduce you to Bibi in all of her wonderful, multi-faceted splendor...

Blood smeared the mattress where Bibi O'Dell had fallen after she'd been shot. Given her occupation, hooker, and her drug of choice, meth, I wasn't surprised when she told me to go stuff myself after I asked who'd pulled the trigger.

"C'mon Bibi, can you at least give me a hint?" I watched as the paramedics struggled to lift her from the mattress to their gurney. She was a hefty woman, weighing in at close to three hundred and fifty pounds of unhelpful dead weight.

Bibi slapped one of the men on the hand. "You watch where you're puttin' those hands or I'm gonna charge you for my services."

I've known Bibi for almost five years, and I've arrested her more times than I'd care to count. I reached in, grabbed one enormous leg, and hefted it onto the gurney. Unfortunately, not much of the rest of her made it that far. "Why can't you be a skeleton like all the rest of the meth users?"
Bibi paused mid-complaint and fixed her bulging fish eyes on me. "You callin' me fat, Detective Wolfe?"

"Not at all. I'm saying if you were a competent meth user, your leg wouldn't weigh more than I do."

Bibi shifted her gaze to one of the paramedics. "She callin' me fat."

I moved to her midsection and wiggled my gloved hands under her until they were smashed beneath her butt. "All right everybody, on three." All six of us heaved her onto the gurney, and I quickly retrieved my hands.

Bibi held out her hand, palm up. "That'll be fifteen dollars."

I put my hands on my hips. "Excuse me?"

"Fifteen dollars for services rendered. You can't put your hands on my butt and not expect to pay for my services. I'll sue your ass for lack of payment. Me'n your captain are on a first-name basis, you know. Just let me call him, then see what happens, uh huh."

I looked around at my sergeant, Kate Brannigan, who raised her hands and grinned. "Don't get me in the middle of this; it's your problem, not mine."
Unfortunately, my captain probably was on a first name basis with Bibi. I slid my thumb under the cuff of my glove to peel it off, then reached into my pocket and pulled out two crumpled bills, a ten and a five. Bibi would be out of commission for a while and I really couldn't begrudge her the money. I grinned as I handed her the bills, then pulled off the second glove.

Kate laughed as she peeled off her own gloves and took one last look around the room making sure we'd collected all the evidence we might need if the case ever went to court.

I followed the gurney out into the living room and threw the gloves onto a pile of overstuffed black trash bags. Nearby, a cat lay sprawled on a sofa, his green eyes lazily tracking my movement.

"What'd you see, fellah?" I walked over and ran my fingers through his fur while he rolled onto his side and batted me with his paw. Kate's cell phone rang and I watched as she slid it out of her pocket and stepped outside. The cat batted my hand one last time, then flipped off the sofa and hit all four living room walls before racing full tilt into the kitchen. He did a few circuits around the countertops and finally landed next to a sink loaded with plates full of rotting food.

When I followed him in, he sprang from the counter onto the refrigerator, then disappeared back into the living room. I walked to the refrigerator and opened the door. Putrid air spilled out and I held my breath long enough to look inside. A carton of curdled milk, some old carrots, stale bread, and an open can of beans were the only items on the otherwise bare shelves. I quickly shut the door and followed the cat, holding my breath until I was out of the kitchen and back in the living room.

Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops here:

8/22 author guest post @ Reader Girls
8/23 author guest post @ Jagged Edge Reviews
8/23 author guest post & giveaway @ Workaday Reads
8/23 author guest post & giveaway @ The Write To Make A Living
8/24 author guest post @ Books Glorious Books
8/26 excerpt @ Reader Girls
8/27 author guest post @ Backseat Nightmares
8/28 excerpt @ Romance In The Backseat
8/29 excerpt @ Fade Into Fantasy
8/31 excerpt @ Books Glorious Books
8/31 author guest post @ Getting Naughty Between The Stacks
9/2 excerpt @ Jagged Edge Reviews
9/3 review & giveaway @ Reviews By Molly

1 comment:

DandyAndy said...

I had the pleasure of reading this book and its sequel a few months ago and I fell in love with the characters. I stumbled on this post as I was trying to find more books by this very funny author. I highly recommend her and can't wait for the next in this series.