Authors and Presenters — Part One
Author Lisa Black
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black spent the happiest five years of her life in a morgue. Strange, perhaps, but true. After ten years as a secretary, she went back to school to get a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Cleveland State University. In her job as a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence, as well as crime scenes.
She had her life sorted out just the way she liked it until her husband got fed up with Cleveland snow and moved them to Florida, 1400 miles away from her family and her career. Not that she’s bitter or anything. Now she works as a latent print examiner for the city of Cape Coral, Florida, police department, working mostly with fingerprints and crime scenes.
Lisa has lectured at writer’s conventions and appeared on panels. In her life as a writer she’s a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. In her life as a forensic specialist she’s a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, the International Association for Identification, the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts and is a Certified Latent Print Examiner. She has had over 930 hours of instruction in forensic topics and has testified in over 65 trials.
Author James O. Born
James O. Born is a former U.S. Drug agent and State Law Enforcement agent. Each of his novels is based on some aspect of his career. His third novel, Escape Clause, won the inaugural Florida Book Award for Best Novel.
In 2009 Born published the first in a series of science fiction novels under the name James O’Neal. The novels are police stories set in the near future.
Currently, Born is coauthoring novels with TV commentator Lou Dobbs and his newest novel, Scent of Murder, about a specialized K-9 unit, came out April 7.
Born is a graduate of Florida State University and received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Psychology.
Born started his career in police work as a US Drug Agent (DEA) and was part of the late 1990’s Miami drug war. He then moved on to become a Special Agent with the elite Florida Department of Law Enforcement, working undercover and spending eleven years on the agency’s Special Operation’s Team (also called SWAT). Born has taken his career in law enforcement and love of writing and blended it into a new life as a novelist. After advising numerous writers and TV shows on realism, Born spent years working on a novel of his own.
In 2004, Putnam published his first novel, Walking Money. Of all the attention garnered by the novel, Born is most proud that one of his literary heroes, W.E.B. Griffin, picked Walking Money as one of his all-time favorite beach books.
Born’s second novel, Shock Wave was released in 2005. This is the second installment of the darkly comic series focusing on Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Bill Tasker. The series continued with Escape Clause, which won the gold medal in the inaugural Florida Book Award in 2007. The award was presented to Born by Governor Charlie Crist.
In 2009, he won the Barry Award for short fiction at the International Mystery Writer’s Conference in Indianapolis.
Also in 2009, Born published the first of several thrillers set in the vastly changed landscape of Florida in the future under the pseudonym James O’Neal.
The series features a police detective investigating crime and coping with the pressures of life more than twenty years from now. The first novel, titled The Human Disguise and the sequel, The Double Human received critical praise with Publisher’s Weekly calling them, “Wildly entertaining.” Each novel strives to bring realism and entertainment together for fans of crime fiction. Born has delivered talks to a number professional writing organizations as well as taught writing at conferences across the country.
In 2009, he was chosen as one of Florida’s 21 most intriguing people by Florida Monthly Magazine. Born has also received a proclamation from the Senate of South Carolina for his efforts to advance literacy. In the same year, Born received the Life Saving Medal directly from the Governor after rescuing a family from a SUV, which had plunged into a canal.
During his law enforcement career, Born has received the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the US Attorney’s Office, the Silver Medal of Valor, The Distinguished Service Award and numerous awards for merit in investigations.
Born is active in a number of hobbies. He has finished the New York and London marathons, competed in swimming and holds two separate black belts in karate. He is a scuba diver, wind surfer, mountain biker and avid sailor.
A native Floridian, Born currently lives on the east coast with his wife, Donna and has two children, John and Emily.