Author Lisa Black addresses Friends of Pine Island Library
Approximately 35 people were at the Pine Island Elks Lodge last Wednesday to hear author Lisa Black speak at the Friends of the Pine Island Library meeting. Black is a latent fingerprint examiner for the Cape Coral Police Department. She also is the author of nine books.
“My name is Lisa Black and murder is my day job,” Black said, greeting the Friends of the Library group. “I am a forensic specialist for the Cape Coral Police Department and before that I worked at the Coroner’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio. All of those cool things you see ‘CSI’ do on TV, that’s what I do. I photograph and video crime scenes, collect blood, hairs, fibers and ID people by their fingerprints. These are the things my alter-ego, Theresa McLean, does in my books. Theresa is just like me only stronger, faster and smarter.
Black admitted that she has always been a writer.
“I have two careers, but as far back as I can remember I always wrote,” Black continued. “I only wrote mysteries but got sidetracked when I went to Washington, D.C., where I fell in love with the city. When I graduated I became a secretary for 10 years and sat in front of a word processor all day and thought I’d write a novel. I did write six of them and they are sitting in my attic probably where they should be. After the third book, I began looking for an agent and by the sixth novel I decided I needed a new day job. I decided to go back to school and get my biology degree. I managed to get a job with the coroner’s office in Cleveland.
“I worked there for five years when my husband and I got tired of the weather and decided to move to Southwest Florida,” she continued. “I started writing again and, of course, it made sense to write about the things I knew the most about murder.”
Thanks to the popularity of new crime scene investigation shows on TV, Black’s work was now getting noticed.
“Right at the same time a TV show started called ‘CSI’ and because publishers were looking for books with a CSI theme, my book got published. I managed to get an agent and now I have nine books out. One reached the New York Times best sellers list, one has been optioned for film and several have been translated into six languages. But I didn’t quit my day job”
Black then went on to describe her typical day working for the CCPD.
“Today in Cape Coral my day job consists of sitting in front of a computer,” she said. “I also process crime scenes, burglaries, robberies, sexual assaults, grow houses and, of course, homicides. I photograph fatal traffic accidents.
“Some of the things that are different from what you see on TV is real CSIs don’t become obsessed with a case. You finish one and start another. If you can’t do that, you find another line of work. Real CSIs don’t have nationwide or international databases to check for fingerprints in minutes. Neither do we have databases of every toothpaste or wall paint. Mainly because manufacturers may change their ingredients whenever they want to.”
Black’s latest novel is “Close to the Bone.”
“So far I’ve written nine books and my latest book is entitled ‘Close to the Bone’ released last October,” Black said. “The protagonist, and forensic scientist, Theresa MacLean stumbles across a murder rather too close for comfort when she returns to the Medical Examiner’s office following a late-night call to find one deskman missing and the other beaten to death. Written in blood above the dead man’s head is a single word: ‘Confess’. This is the first time a homicide has taken place actually within the ME’s office. Medical Examiner Stone works on how to spin the news while Theresa works the scene.
“When a second victim is discovered, Theresa uncovers a link to the death of another co-worker, records secretary Diane Allman, who was murdered in her own home 10 years before. As she painstakingly pieces the clues together, Theresa realizes that she has become an integral part of a ruthless killer’s murderous agenda. And if she is to survive, she must find out what really happened to Diane all those years ago.”
The book is available from Amazon in Hardcover for $24.79, Paperback for $16.82 and Kindle for $13.99.
Friends of the Pine Island Library’s mission is to provide services, supplies, materials to the library that they don’t receive from their budget. All of the money we raise is used here at the Pine Island Library. $5 annual dues for an individual to join.