Drive It Like You Stole It

When I was in college, I worked summers at National Car Rental—cleaning up cars, changing oil, whatever needed doing. It was a great job, and taught me to be handy with tools and such. And it also taught me that people are hard—really hard—on rental cars.
A friend of mine in those days told me that the car renter’s motto should be ‘drive it like you stole it’.

It’s true of rental cars, and—yep, you guessed it—it’s true of life too.

I’ve been on a bit of a tear lately . . . ‘lately’ being ‘the past six years’. In 2018, or maybe it was 2017, I started delving into the real history of the Gilded Age, reading old newspapers, diaries, and whatever other primary sources I could scrounge.

​The research was so captivating that it was difficult to make myself start to write. If I’d had the bankroll, I might have just researched the period forever. When I did begin to write, the words came slowly at first, but then more and more fluently—and before I knew it, in February 2023 (only a little more than a year ago), my first book (The Unsealing) appeared.

​My publisher thought I might be good for a couple more, depending (naturally) on whether the books would sell. Well, sell they did, and so I kept on motoring ahead. In April 2023, A Murder in Ashwood appeared, and then in October my first off-series book, The Buffalo Butcher.

And now the third Avenging Angel Detective Agency™ Mystery, Current of Darkness, is out. Four books in thirteen months is keeping the wheels turning, folks. Almost half-a-million words are contained in those four volumes, and that doesn’t count all the stuff that didn’t make the cut. I can’t think about it too much, or I get dizzy . . .

​Sometimes my wife will tell me—lovingly, and with earnest concern—to slow down, take a break, rest. And while I do genuinely like to do the things she requests, that is the one thing I cannot do. I guess I want to use up every available moment of my time on Earth, because the only thing I know for certain about it is that it will end—years from now, or before I finish writing this line.


Just kidding. But all kidding aside, I simply want to say that it has brought me tremendous joy to work so hard for you—my readers. What a gift it is to write stories that so many of you have found entertaining, thought-provoking, even enlightening.

So . . . while I don’t know when this thing called life will end, I promise you that I consider it a rental, and I plan to drive it like I stole it!