Quintin Peterson, A Man of Many Pursuits
Marilyn: Though I've met most of the people I've interviewed so far, my guest today is a PSWA member I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting. So, Quintin, first off, tell me something about yourself and your background.
Quintin: I have been a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC for more than 28 years and am currently assigned to its Public Information Office as a media liaison officer. I write news releases and media advisories and address inquiries from members of the news media regarding breaking police-related incidents, as well as coordinate the release of information when multiple District and/or federal agencies are involved. Additionally, I assist crime novelists such as James Patterson and George Pelecanos, and other creative writers. (I am an Active Member of Mystery Writers of America so they seek me out.) I am also a liaison between the department and members of the motion picture and television industries, acting as a script consultant and technical advisor. Acting in this capacity, I've assisted writers, costumers, and prop masters for The X-Files, The District, Bones, Lie to Me, Jericho, The Wire and Season 6 of 24, as well as a number of major motion pictures, including No Way Out, Suspect, Timecop, The Pelican Brief, In the Line of Fire, Absolute Power, Kiss the Girls, Along Came a Spider, Deep Impact, The Jackal, Minority Report, Murder at 1600, True Lies, Dave, Dick, The Distinguished Gentleman, Enemy of the State, National Treasure, X-Men III, The Visiting (formerly Invasion), Breach, National Treasure II, and Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard.
Marilyn: How did you first hear about PSWA?
Quintin: By surfing the Net. I was looking for police writers’ organizations to join.
Marilyn: When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?
Quintin: When I was very young. I got my first copyright when I was 13. A science fiction story. Don’t ask me the title or what it was about. I can’t recall.
Marilyn: Tell me about that first book and what prompted you to write it.
Quintin: My novel SIN, an acronym for Special Investigations Network, took me a couple of years to write. I wanted to write a crime story bolder, more realistic, and grittier than any other. It took me two years to write it when I wasn’t working all those different shifts for the police department. I completed it in 1998.
Marilyn: What was the road to publication for that book?
Quintin: After two agents and no success, I self-published SIN in 2000 via 1st Books Library, which is now AuthorHouse. I published the sequel, The Wages of SIN, in 2002, also via AuthorHouse…and my book of poetry Nativity, too.
Marilyn: I'm interested in the fact that you are also a screenwriter and a short story writer. Tell me more.
Quintin: I started out as a playwright, so screenwriting was a natural transition…and it helps with fiction writing as well, especially short stories. That kind of writing helps you visualize your stories and tell them succinctly. My short story "Cold as Ice", which is featured in DC Noir, edited by George Pelecanos, easily can be turned into a screenplay or a teleplay.
Marilyn: Like me, you've entered the world of electronic publishing too. What do you think about it?
Quintin; It’s great. It helps you reach a broader audience. Readers who have enjoyed my Amazon Shorts seek out my other products. If you’re not familiar with Amazon Shorts, they are short stories delivered electronically for 49 cents per download, exclusively from Amazon.com.
Marilyn: Any promotion tips you'd like to share?
Quintin: Free publicity is the best. Local radio and TV stations and newspapers such as the Washington Post and the DC Examiner tend to feature me, you know, the DC cop who writes crime fiction. And there are police publications, like The Simulcast, which is published by the DC Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, and our in-house publication, The Dispatch. And this blog! Yes, there is nothing better than free publicity that reaches your target audience. Just give it a little thought and make some moves.
Marilyn: Your background is really impressive. I'd like to know what you do for fun.
Quintin: You mean other than police work? I enjoy playing chess. I like hiking. I’m a movie buff with an impressive collection of DVD’s who owns a big screen TV and a primo home theater system. I'm also a Jazz enthusiast. And I enjoy reading crime fiction as much as I enjoy writing it.
Marilyn: Is there anything else you'd like to tell me and my blog readers?
Quintin: I have to plug the new crime fiction anthology I’m a part of, which features several members of PSWA: Bad Cop, No Donut: Tales of Police Behaving Badly. It’s edited by John L. French and features Michael A. Black, Michael Berish, Austin S. Camacho, and James Grady, to name but a few. David Black, writer for CSI Miami and Law & Order, calls it, "A ride-around with some of the best cops and cop writing in the business!"
Bad Cop is due out this April and will be in bookstores everywhere. Pick up a copy. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.
Thanks for having me, Marilyn. It's been a pleasure.
Marilyn: Thank you, Quintin. All I can say is Wow!