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Duarte nodded silently, involuntarily checking his pistol. He preferred to use his hands or feet in a fight, but only an idiot tried to punch someone with a gun. He watched as the two men continued to talk, then walk to the side of the Jaguar. The target leaned in and motioned for Félix to look, too.

Then Duarte saw Felix jump. It looked like a whole body twitch, then the DEA man jumped away from the car and shouted at Gastlin. The pot dealer looked like he was trying to explain something when Félix shoved him. Duarte sat up in the Expedition. “Chuck, something’s up. Get ready.”

-From the opening of Burn Zone by James O. Born

  1. What do you love about being a writer?
    I love having projects ahead of me and ideas to write about.  I like thinking that I have a lot to do.  After years of not being published it’s a kick to realize people want to read what I write.

  2. What is your biggest challenge as a writer?
    One of the biggest challenges for any writer is getting out the word that he has a book out.  There are just so many competing news stories and information out there that books sometimes don’t seem important in the big scheme of things.

  3. If you were not a writer, what other profession would you want to pursue?
    I still have my job as a police officer here in Florida.  I love my job.  Now if I wasn’t a cop and a writer I’d like to a famous, big-time actor or football star.  Or a computer I.T. guy.  Either way.

  4. In your opinion, what is the most influential crime novel of the last 100 years?
    The New Centurions by Joseph Wambaugh.  He brought real police work to a new audience and showed the real drama and excitement as well as the boredom of a LAPD officer.  He is still one of the most influential writers of crime fiction and fact.

  5. Which fictional hero do you admire or despise the most?
    I love Harry Bosch, the hero of the series by Michael Connelly.  He’s so down to earth and solid and decent. Connelly puts a lot of thought and reflection into everything Bosch does.

  6. After writing, how do you spend the rest of your time?
    I have more hobbies than any human should.  I’m a runner, I swim a couple of times a week, play tennis, practice karate, Kayak and windsurf.  The bulk of time is family-oriented, raising two kids and running from my wife.

  7. What city or location has the most impact on your writing?
    Miami did in the first two books.  It’s an unusual, international city with a mix of people more diverse than any where in the world.  My next novel, Field Of Fire takes place in a number of U.S. cities including L.A.  I liked writing about places that I don’t live.

  8. Do your books have a message?
    A simple message.  In general, if you do the right thing, things work out.  It’s basic Karma.

  9. What are you currently reading?
    A Glorious Cause by Jeffery Sharaa.  I’m a huge history buff and this tale of the American Revolution is compelling.  I just finished an advanced copy of Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber.  It’s a great, sweeping SF epic.

  10. If you could meet any person (living or dead), who would that be?
    Harry Truman fascinates me.  He made tough decisions and never seemed to lose his common touch.  That’s without a lot of thought and not trying to copy everyone who says Jesus or da Vinci.

  11. What is your greatest vice?
    Sweets and chocolate.

  12. What is your greatest extravagance?
    Sweets and chocolate.

  13. What is your idea of misery?
    No sweets or chocolate.  I live in Florida, misery is rarely on the menu.

  14. What is your idea of happiness?
    Naked women serving sweets and chocolate.  In addition, I’d have to say that I don’t know how I could be happier right now.  I have healthy, happy kids.  Time to pursue my dreams.  I’m healthy.  It’s hard to imagine something better.  It sounds corny but that accurately reflects how I feel.

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