In 2013, I started this blog because I'd retired from law enforcement to write full time. "Full time" lasted only a few months (one of which I spent in Italy...trip of a lifetime!) as my good friend Dave Mather recruited me to teach leadership in policing.
It was a good gig, teaching for a prestigious non-profit in places all over the US and Canada, staying in nice hotels, getting paid consultant fees, and most importantly of all, having an impact on the profession of law enforcement. It was good for the soul.
I was also teaching Police Report Writing for the local community college and several different criminal justice courses for one of the universities. Again, very rewarding.
But my writing suffered.
Mostly, it suffered in terms of quantity, though I suspect that whenever you're not at your craft, you're probably not getting better at your craft. No matter how you cut it, though, the years 2014 through 2016 were fairly meager in terms of Frank Zafiro publications. Much of my work came in the form of collaborations, all of which I'm proud of (and some of which are ongoing partnerships). That worked well when I was teaching, because my part came in bursts, rather than requiring a steady output.
As 2016 neared its end, I realized that my journey in the teaching and consulting field had reached its end. Some of it was because the work had fulfilled its purpose on a personal level, and I felt ready to move on. And some of it had to do with my desire to ramp up my writing career.
So I put in my notices, said my thank yous and farewells, and by the toll of the New Year, with the exception of a couple of small obligations left to fill, I was completely retired from my brief second career as a teacher/consultant. 2017 looks to be a big year for Frank Zafiro work. It looks to be my year!
Actually, I got a head start on that, as my last week on the road was in early December. I took a little time to catch my breath, and then got after it. As of today, I'm juggling four different works, with the goal of finishing at least three of the four by the end of January.
They are (working titles, all):
WILD, WILD LIST, the third Cam and Bricks Job, with Eric Beetner, in which our heroes flee the ruin of their lives on the East Coast, heading west to Seattle...but they run into trouble along the way.
FALLEN CITY, my second novel with Lawrence Kelter. Set in the late 1980s (scary, but this technically makes the book a period piece!) in New York during the crack cocaine wars, this book follows a ruthless Dominican gang and the task force set up to stop them.
IN THE CUT, a standalone novel set in Spokane against the backdrop of an outlaw motorcycle gang.
UNTITLED SHORT STORY for the Down & Out Books anthology, BLACK CAR BUSINESS, due out next January. I've got this one mapped out in my head, but I'll need some of my dad's mechanical knowledge to complete it.
Of the four, I think the short story has the highest likelihood of not being finished, but who knows? Maybe I'll go four for four.
It's going to my year, after all.