Since the 1960s, the genre of choice for entertainment television has been police dramas
Beginning with the show Dragnet starring Jack Webb, people have been enthralled with the mystique of what law enforcement actually does. The badge number assigned to Webb was actually retired by the Los Angeles Police Department, an honor reserved for officers who are killed in the line of duty. Out of necessity, these shows are filled with action and shooting to keep the interest of the viewer. The reality is that over ninety percent of law enforcement officers will fire their weapon at a live target.
In response to a request from Author’s Lounge, this article explains the origin and story of my first of six novels, The New Recruit. The story is fictional, although it is based upon the reality of being a cop in an urban city. Set in Cincinnati, Ohio, it tells the evolution of a twenty-three year old immature college graduate who has never had a real job in his life into a well-rounded young man who actually makes a different.
His parents paid all of his expenses because they wanted him to focus on his education. He majored in criminal justice because he was told it was the easiest degree program. After graduation, he goes home and tells his parents that he wants to continue his education toward a Masters degree. His parents tell him he needs to get a job. He goes to the internet and sees that New York City,
Atlanta and Cincinnati are hiring
He flies into Cincinnati to complete the testing process and witnesses a murder while there. When he returns home to await the result, Cincinnati investigates the homicide. He gets hired and moves to Cincinnati to attend the police academy. After graduation from the police academy, he is assigned to a Field Training Officer, whose job is to evaluate his performance in the real world.
After sixteen weeks he works the streets alone. He is involved in a shooting where he kills a suspect. He is charged with a federal violation of civil rights that potentially carries the death penalty. While on suspension, he returns to college and gets his law degree. He marries a cop he attended the academy with, and she gets pregnant. He ultimately is cleared of the criminal charge and returns to work as a street cop.
The writing is based on the style of Joseph Wambaugh, who penned seventeen novels. Ten of those were made into movies. Wambaugh was a working Sergeant with LAPD for the first three and his movies starred actors like Stacey Keach, William Holden, George Kennedy James Woods, and James Garner
This novel was written with three goals in mind.
It needed to be easy to read, fast paced and informative. The reader will learn the standards by which police must be measured in the use of force. They are written in larger print to be easier on the eyes of the reader. They depict the officers moving from one action event to another, even though the reality is that most police work is boring. And, they provide easy to understand explanation of the court standards by which officers must be judged.
All authors hope that someday their work will be made into a movie. The best story comes from Stephen King, whose first novel was thrown into the trash and not published for five years. He sold that novel for millions of dollars. It is called CARRIE! His wife actually removed the manuscript from the garbage can.
The most difficult part of being an author is getting recognition for their work and getting people to write reader reviews is the best example of recognition. Having sold over one thousand books (all inclusive of the six novels), I have a total of fifteen reviews.
I write one novel per year to allow time to get the attention of traditional publishers and screenwriters.