Jim’s Biography and Personal Thoughts about Writing

I have always loved to read. I was that grammar school kid who read books under the covers with a flashlight after “lights out”.  As a young reader, I feasted on a steady diet of biographies, sports books, science fiction, fantasy and mysteries. The science fiction and fantasy novels I read over the years “fed” my imagination, which I believe was helpful in writing my Nick Drummond novels.

   I was fortunate to travel to Mexico and Europe as a child. That ignited my life-long interest in travel, especially to developing countries. The bigger the contrast between the foreign country’s culture and the United States’,  the better I liked it. Since college, I have traveled to over sixty countries, most of them located in Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and the Mideast. Almost all of the domestic and international locations in my novels are based on my travels. I documented all my trips by writing a diary and taking thousands of photographs. I am still an avid photographer and often bring three cameras with me on my National Park wildlife, photography adventures.

I also have 35 years of legal experience. I spent five years in a general practice, civil firm before starting my government career. I worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a Deputy District Attorney in two counties, and a California Deputy Attorney General. My 25 years as a State Attorney General exposed me to a broad range of assignments. I was Chief of the State’s Money Laundering Program, testified before the United States Congress several times about money laundering and financial investigations, wrote money laundering and financial investigation legislation for the State of California, and wrote numerous articles and manuals on these subjects. Two of my murder trials were the subject of three national television shows. Also, I argued numerous cases in the California Courts of Appeal and three cases in the California Supreme Court. Late in my Attorney General career, I was the San Diego Office representative for a human trafficking task force.

I pride myself in the authenticity of my novels which are derived from my legal and travel experiences. I also did extensive research in order to ensure the accuracy of my writing. I wanted to offer the reader a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system and adventure travel. 

Once I started writing my first novel, Path to Justice, I realized how much I enjoyed the creative writing process. Drama, dialogue, and wit flowed easily. I drew on the thousands of conversations I had with law enforcement, witnesses and victims. Writing about subjects I knew well made it relatively easy to put words on paper.

I believe aspiring authors should write about what they know and have a passion for. My main impetus for writing my legal thrillers was to leave a legacy for my two sons and the rest of my family. I believe I have revealed a lot about myself in my writing.


I have loved to travel since I was in grade school. After college, until now, I have traveled to over 60 countries. For the last ten years I have visited Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier National Parks every chance I could. Throughout all my travels, I have always kept a diary and brought a camera along to document the marvelous sights.
My varied legal experiences and travels inspired many of the plot lines in the Nick Drummond trilogy. Many of my photographs assisted me in scene descriptions. I have chosen a number of these photographs for my website and they can be accessed under  the separate book that they pertain to. 
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