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"I couldn't read police stories because when someone got something wrong in a book, it was hard for me to continue. In my police career I never 'twisted a gun out of a maniac's hand' or 'saw fear in someone's eyes'. I lived in a world where I was worried about losing a tooth in a fight, and getting home to my family at night."

--Author James O. Born

Photo courtesy of Sigvision

James O. Born is a Special Agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He has worked in a variety of areas of law enforcement, which has given him a wide range of experience to draw on for his crime fiction.

Born began working with legendary crime fiction writer Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty, The Hot Kid) as a technical advisor before becoming a writer in his own right.

When it comes to crime fiction, Born has some strong opinions. "As a working cop I like to see accurate detail, not something a writer learned from watching Law & Order or CSI. A good story is more important than perfect detail, but little things can add up to turn off a realism junkie," writes Born in his article "Writer Cops" (Web Mystery Magazine, Spring 2005).

"Cops who have super abilities make me smile. On the TV show Joe Forester in the 70s, he would throw his nightstick and trip fleeing criminals. I always thought that was cool. One night I ended up in a foot chase in Miami and threw my nightstick at the guy, hoping for the same effect. It shot between his legs without touching him," recalls Born in an interview with Mystery Ink, "I put lessons like that in my books. It may not be pretty or flashy, but my characters act like people I know. Some people are dumbasses, so some of my characters do stupid things."

Born’s latest novel, Field of Fire, continues to follow the work of Alex Duarte, investigator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


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