When I was 10, I wrote my first mystery story called “Under the Rose Garden.” It was about a man who cut up his wife and buried her in the backyard. Afterward, some roses started to grow over her grave that were so uncommonly beautiful, a neighbor just had to have one. So, in the middle of the night, she snuck over to clip one off. But as she cut the stem, it started to ooze bright red blood.
It was very “Tell-Tale Heart.” And kind of gory for a pre-teen. I should have guessed with such a sinister imagination I would end up working as a newspaper reporter.
After more than 15 years as a journalist, I won the Hillerman Prize for my first novel, The Replacement Child. Now, I concentrate on writing a mystery series set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well as non-fiction books about linguistics and how to survive being kidnapped by a serial killer.
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When I was in the Amazon, we found this frog on our boat. The guide said he thought it was a new species. I named him Fred.