PSWA Member, Sarah Cortez

Sarah Cortez is a member of PSWA and I've had the pleasure of meeting her several times at the PSWA conventions, and having dinner with her and her husband.

Here is our interview.

Sarah: Hi, Marilyn, you’ve asked about my background.

I had fourteen years in the corporate world as a public accountant and employee benefits consultant with a stint beforehand teaching high school.

My policing career began about seventeen years ago and I’ve served in patrol, civil, court protection, undercover ops, special ops, and as a patrol FTO.

My writing career began in the late ‘80s with publications in international fiction anthologies. In 1992, I began writing literary poetry and my first book published in 2000 (“How to Undress A Cop”) is a book of poetry.

Since then, I’ve been published in all genres – poetry, fiction, and essay (including memoir). I also write academic articles, prayers, book proposals, magazine articles, etc. You name it; I write it.

The most recent area of expertise I’ve developed is in crime fiction. I’ve been asked to edit three books of crime fiction. The third one under contract is due this July.

The most recent books I’ve edited are “Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery” which is the first volume of fiction by Latino authors to be published and the book that has just been released by Akashic Books (Brooklyn) entitled “Indian Country Noir.”

As you probably know, Akashic Books has been credited with almost single-handedly resurrecting the short story marketin crime fiction in America.

Marilyn: I asked Sarah about the famous authors who wrote stores for "Indian Country Noir."

Sarah: In terms of your question about how I persuaded some of the famous names in these two anthologies to write an original story for the project….I simply asked them. Typically, if an editor has an exciting project and a quality publisher, then the authors are thrilled to be asked to contribute. In both these cases, I proposed a winning project that had never been done before, with excellent publishers who have sterling reputations.

Marilyn: Both books sound fascinating. Where can people find these books?

Sarah: If you’d like to purchase either of these books – and have them autographed – please go to my web site at You can use PayPal for purchasing the books, and I’ll autograph them before mailing them.

Marilyn: What’s next on the horizon?

Sarah: Well, along with editing books for independent publishers, I have a thriving business as a freelance editor working with individuals to fashion their writing into the most marketable and highest quality product possible. There’s a stack of manuscripts on my desk right now.

Marilyn: Thank you so much, Sarah.

Sarah Cortez: Thanks for the time, Marilyn!


Holli said…
I had the pleasure of meeting Sara last year at the PSWA conference in Vegas, as well as had the opportunity to see her again when she came to New Orleans for my book launch party. Not only does she wear many hats, and does an excellent job at every single one, but she's also a lovely person, and I am glad to consider her a friend. If you pick up something she's worked on, you'll see how good she is at what she does.

Holli Castillo
Mike Orenduff said…
Sarah Cortez is a great writer. The books I read leave little time for reading poetry, but hers is special. I also have to say that there's something sexy about a good-looking woman with a gun.
M.M. Gornell said…
I agree with Holli, Sarah is a lovely person, and her poetry is absolutely wonderful!
WS Gager said…
I met Sarah in Vegas and she is passionate about her projects. I purchased and read was "Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery” It was great. I haven't yet tackled any poetry but it is in my TBR stack. Great interview Marilyn and Sarah!
R J Haig said…
Writing is new to me, but I love it. Sarah Cortez did an editing job on my latest novel.It is incredible how much I learned from Sarah. She showed me new techniques, and the proper use of commas. I highly recommend Sarah if you need a high quality editor.

R.J. Haig

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