So, while Sam McRae and Portia Maddox sit on the proverbial back-burner, I’ve been working on my next novel about an unlicensed private eye. Or novella. Or long book of crime fiction. Crime fiction with chapters. Whatever. 🙂

Anyway, Erica Jensen, a former Marine with PTSD and an opioid addiction works as an unlicensed investigator. She works primarily in asset recovery for debt collectors, lawyers, and insurance agencies (to the extent she’s able to get such clients), plus whoever else might want to find something, but might not be able to pay the rates of a licensed investigator. Most of her work is done by computer, which is—let’s face it—where most investigating is done these days.

Now, here’s a discovery I made while researching the character. Did you know that one is disqualified from getting a private eye license in Maryland if they’re a narcotics addict? So, now you know why Erica is struggling with that problem. Not only is it a genuine problem with veterans who have PTSD (and other forms of trauma), but it serves her character development and the plot so well.

Did you also know that this disqualification applies to habitual drunkards, too? This is why sometimes you can’t make your characters too real or authentic. I mean, what’s a hard-boiled private eye without that bottle of bourbon in their bottom drawer? 🙂

PS: Here’s a really cool review of The Big Sleep! 🙂

Who says hard-boiled mystery readers are all senior citizens? 🙂

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