Hi all! Cynthia D’Alba here (again!) with a very good friend. Best-Selling Author Donnell Ann Bell and I hooked up a few years ago on a goals yahoo loop. I love her sense of humor and her incredible brain! When I’m stuck on my book, she is the first person I call. Within ten minutes, she’s got me back on track (or off on a totally new and much better track.) She writes mystery/suspense and has met great success via reviews and sales. She write cops and she does her homework to get it right. So without further ado, take it away, Donnell!
UPDATED: 6/13/13 >>Who knew when I wrote this blog on Monday, that two new fires would break out that same day One near Canon City, home of the Royal Gorge, (south) and another in Black Forest, Colorado, (North) each approximately 40 miles from my home. Currently, 92 homes have been lost, 12,000 acres destroyed and mandatory evacuations are in progress. 500 Firefighters from all over Colorado are fighting these blazes, and more resources are needed. Last year, we adopted the theme, “You can’t burn Community.” Despite our drought-infested state, that theme still applies.
How many times have you turned on your favorite television show to see the lead character in conflict with someone from a parallel or more powerful agency?
In the television series, Law and Order, the FBI intervenes, Immigration and government intrude on the investigation. In NCIS, we see Gibbs, not only at odds with Navy Intelligence, the FBI and the American government, he’s often at odds with foreign intelligence. These episodes make for great conflict; what’s more viewers eat it up. And who knows, the higher you go up the ladder, maybe agencies do step on other agencies’ proverbial toes?
All I know is that in most cases local law enforcement invites and/or requests the FBI’s involvement in on their hard-to-solve cases; the FBI doesn’t burst in and take over a case.
I write cop stories. I write with the theme Too Close to Home in mind. As such, I’ve participated in Citizen’s Academies, volunteered for law enforcement and went on ride-alongs, so that I could witness up-close and personal what these people do for our cities and counties. I have never been disappointed.
I learned that with every ride-along, in emergency situations, the police and firefighters work hand in hand. There is no, “this is my turf.” Each agency recognizes their symbiotic relationship to one another, and that without intense cooperation, they can’t do their jobs.
Case in point, in June 2012, the area in which I live, which includes Colorado Springs, Teller County, Woodland Park, Crystola, Chipita Park, Green Mountain Falls, Manitou Springs—even the U.S. Air Force Academy were evacuated due to the Waldo Canyon Fire. 346 homes were destroyed, and two deaths occurred as a result of a forest fire that wiped out 18,247 acres or 28 square miles and forced the evacuation of 32,000 residents, virtually wiping out the west-side neighborhood of Mountain Shadows.
The cooperation between the Federal and local agencies was nothing short of incredible. Homing in on the most active participants, (firefighters and police) while firefighters fought this devil, police and sheriff personnel were in charge of evacuating, traffic re-routing, and securing the scene from people trying to get back into their homes, or worse, the unscrupulous individuals wanting to loot or take advantage of devastated homeowners.
A whole lot of agencies cooperated to put out this blaze, whose origin is still suspect.
In the books I write, I concentrate on characters, mystery and romance, the theme of good conquering evil, and I’m proud to say the happily ever after.
In-fighting among agencies may make terrific conflict for our viewing and reading pleasure. In reality, in-fighting puts people at risk. From everything I’ve learned about police and firefighters, they’re more concerned with saving lives than taking them.
Donnell Ann Bell is the author of The Past Came Hunting and newly released Deadly Recall from Bell Bridge Books. Both books were nominated for the prestigious Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America®. The Past Came Hunting climbed as high as #6 and Deadly Recall reached #1 on Amazon Kindle’s paid list. Her third release from Bell Bridge Books will be in November, 2013.
To learn more about Donnell, visit her website is www.donnellannbell.com