I was born in Manhattan on September 21, 1947, five minutes after Steven King was born someplace in Maine. (I don't know what that means, but I'm hoping it means something.) I grew up in Manhattan and Queens and soon found myself to be the eldest of five children. I graduated from high school at age 16, a bad thing because I was too young to get a driver's license in New York and too stupid to realize that I had to go to college to get my ticket punched. Instead, I worked as a machinist and auto mechanic for a year before enlisting in the Marine Corps at age 17. A while later I found myself in Vietnam as a machine gunner with the 9th Marines, an outfit known as The Walking Dead. It was a very bad job, to say the least.
After getting discharged in one piece in 1968, I did as my father and grandfather had done before me and joined the NYPD. During the next twenty years I managed to get promoted regularly and served in various patrol and detective commands, mostly good jobs in mostly rotten places. I also took advantage of the VA Bill and finally went to college, attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice part time and graduating in 1977 as the class valedictorian with a BA in Romance Languages.
Also part time, I got a job as Yoko Ono's security chief after John Lennon was murdered. It turned out to be interesting work since, at the time, crazies were coming out of the woodwork to annoy and harass her. Yoko liked to travel and so did I, so one of the great benefits of the job was that I got to go to some very nice places in a very nice way.
Meanwhile, my brothers and sisters were also busy. My brother Eddie decided to call himself Eddie Money and he's been singing, doing shows, and selling records ever since. My sister Peggy became a psychologist and my two other sisters, Pat and Kathy, are both nurses.
By 1989 I had twenty years with the NYPD and it was time to retire since the chiefs had never been too happy about my high-profile, off-duty job, and I had learned by tough experience that unhappy chiefs make for miserable captains. My wife at the time had also had enough of me since, between police work, school, and working for Yoko, I hadn't been home much during our marriage, so she gave me my walking papers and a heavy-duty alimony and child-support bill.
After retiring, I began working as the director of investigations for the Holmes Detective Bureau, an old and well-regarded New York PI agency. I also got a literary agent and began working on my first book, Detective First Grade. My agent sold it to St. Martin's Press a week after I finished it and it was published in May, `93. The book got good reviews and sold well, so I had myself another good part-time career. I wrote another seven books in the next twelve years, a rate of one book every year and a half. All of them feature Detective Brian McKenna or Detective Cisco Sanchez as my protagonist, and although not New York Times best-sellers, they have all received good reviews and I have sold well enough that I now regularly make the USA Today Best Seller List. Detective First Grade, Edge of the City, Hyde, Once In, Never Out, Black and White, and The Two Chinatowns, and The Protectors are all still in print. My latest work, Justice, will be published in August 2003, along with the paperback version of The Protectors.
I now have a government job working for the Department
of Homeland Security, but that will have to end soon because I must get to work
on my next book. My hobbies are skiing, traveling, and hanging out with my pals
in pubs in town where we spend most of our time lying about our old cases. Our
motto is: "The older we get, the better we were."