Dr. Shari Markham on getting in over her head

Here’s a post that’s written in the character of Dr. Shari Markham, protagonist of Angel Killer:AngelKillerfront

I can’t be sure if it’s more like jumping off a high cliff or drowning in the middle of the ocean, but I was definitely in over my head.

It all seemed so simple. I was tired of my job at CPS. Of seeing so many cases never closed and so many kids with so many needs never met. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer out of the blue, everything seemed to happen so fast. Four months later, he was gone. My oldest son was married and my youngest just started medical school. Ken had enough life insurance that I was taken care of. Our house was paid for. But life as I knew it was over.

For years I’d said if I could, I’d go back to school and get my PhD in psychology and go to work for a law enforcement agency where maybe I could actually make a difference. The more I thought about it, and talked to the boys, the better it sounded and soon I was enrolled in Sam Houston State. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The study of abnormal and criminal psychology was fascinating. After graduation, one of my professors was kind enough to put in a good word for me when I applied for a newly created position with the Dallas Police Department in their Crimes against Persons division.

Everything seemed like it was going exactly the way I wanted it to. Then came the wakeup call. Sergeant Brian Grant seemed none too pleased to have to clean out the storage room to make an office for me, and the rest of the officers in the division followed his lead. Oh, they were polite, most of the time, but I was definitely the outsider. I pretty much stayed in my office unless I absolutely had to leave, and I did the requisite evaluations and paperwork, but it was hard. There was a sinking feeling in my stomach that followed me home in the evening and I started wondering how it could be so different than I thought it would be.

I guess I seemed pretty down. Gradually, Sgt. Grant started asking me to go with him more often when he went into the field. I found that I really liked being able to visit the crime scenes and be present when they interviewed witnesses. Sometimes I even noticed things in the witness’s body language or facial expressions that the officers didn’t notice and was able to help them interpret information that was important to solving the case. Finally, a reason to be there!

There’s still so much that I don’t know, but over the last year, I’ve become acquainted with most of the guys and we’re friendly. Each new case is eye-opening and I still get that butterfly feeling in my stomach when the tension rises. I know that each decision can be life-threatening or life-saving. That’s a lot of pressure. But I’m up for it. I’ll be the best criminal psychologist I can be.

“Listen up! We’ve got a DB out on I-20. Shari, you coming?”

Would you like to know more about Shari and her new job? Angel Killer is just the beginning…

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Experimenting

So, since I’ve heard so much from friends and clients about making good use of KDP Select and free days, I thought I’d step out and try it and see what happened. Wow!

I offered Shadow in the Pines free October 3 – 4 and posted it on about 20 sites that let you advertise free books, then I did the same for Private Spies on October 10 – 11. Shadow in the Pines had a total of 254 free downloads and sold 1 copy the day they went back to the original $2.99 price. Not a huge response and seemed in keeping with so much of what I’ve heard indicating the KDP free ride is pretty much over.

But hold on. I didn’t check the numbers of Private Spies the first day, but checked the morning of October 11 and was stunned to find that more than 2500 people had downloaded a free copy. Shocking! I checked in the afternoon to find that the number was now over 6000! The morning of October 12 after the price had gone back to $2.99, I found a total of over 9500 free books were downloaded and 52 had been purchased at regular price. Of course 52 is a long way from my target of selling 1000 or more copies a month, but hey, it’s nothing to sneeze at!

We’ll see how things go over the next few days. Meanwhile I’m busy writing a few guest blog articles I’ve promised to folks for November, doing first edits for the next Shari Markham mystery (any beta readers out there?) and about half way through with Jesse Morgan’s next adventure. I love what I do and am almost giddy with the idea that there are readers out there who love these characters like I do! Let me hear from you!