Carole frequents the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland where she fell in love with the Bard. Twisted Vines is the first in her Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series and takes place in Livermore, CA.
Carole is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area in the middle of wine country.
My Life as a Police Volunteer and Mystery Writer by Carole Price
When our daughter moved to Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, my husband and I attended many performances. I fell in love with the Bard and the theater, and after a behind-the-scene tour and later a sit-down with someone from the festival, I was hooked. Why not write a mystery about Shakespeare in Livermore wine country?
I still belong to a critique group, but I signed up for Livermore’s Citizens’ Police Academy and became a volunteer with the Livermore Police Department—after their daunting clearance process of fingerprinting, drug testing, and even a polygraph test. Fortunately, I passed the tests or I would have been denied access to the station. My Top Secret clearance at Sandia Labs may have hurried the process along a bit.
I work a lot of events: the wine festival, rodeo, and role-play with the SWAT team. I’ve been shot at with rubber bullets and paint guns, handcuffed, and tossed to the ground. Who said research wasn’t fun?
Last year, Five Star Publishing offered me a contract for Twisted Vines, the first in my Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series. It takes place in Livermore, with a couple of scenes in an interview room inside the Livermore Police station (just talk, no murders). Five Star has specific rules when using an authentic town or city. A real name, as part of a scene where there’s action, requires written permission. Consequently, after I consulted with Livermore’s police chief, he contacted the City attorney and asked him to address a letter to my publisher granting me permission to use one of their rooms in my book, as long as I didn’t say anything that would portray the police department or Livermore in a negative light.
Here’s a short synopsis about Twisted Vines:
Crime Analyst Caitlyn Tilson Pepper inherits a vineyard and two Shakespearean theaters in a northern Californian town from a mysterious aunt and becomes a target for murder. Twisted Vines unveils deceit, betrayal, and cold-blooded murder. Cait’s investigation into the life and death of her aunt, a famous Shakespearean actress, forces her down an ever-darkening road paved with familial lies, devastating secrets, and multiple murders.
Twisted Vines will be released August 15, 2012. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon.com and also Barnes and Noble.
Patricia, thank you for giving me this opportunity to blog on your website. I hope it provides some insight into how volunteering for the LPD has given me a better understanding of police procedures.
Thank you for being here, Carole. Some of my writer friends in Colorado have participated in their community Citizens’ Police Academies and highly recommend the experience.
You can learn more about Carole and the Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series at her website. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.