This crime beat reporter at the Grand River Journal operates on a different schedule than most of the world. I work nights. That’s when all the good crime happens. I usually get up when most people are having lunch. My breakfast is typically a cream-filled long john from Donna’s Doughnuts.
While I’m eating, I’m usually chatting up a bunch of cops having their lunch to get the scoop on what is going on. After I finish my coffee, I’m ready to tackle the office for a quick trip in to let them know I’m on the beat. From there I go to the cop shop (usually with a baker’s dozen to grease the wheels) and see what was dispatched while I was catching a few Zs. I look for unique tidbits that people will remember or clues to big happenings for one of my exclusives. Also, any type of dead body gets big play in the Grand River Journal.
I’m still working on getting the highest honor In Journalism—the Pulitzer Prize. I’ve been nominated three times but have never gotten the top prize. I’m hoping for my latest submission, A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS, I will garner the honor. In the fourth book in the “Mitch Malone” Mysteries an explosion in a real estate office leads to city hall, a place where I don’t have many sources. Sorry, I get carried away when I talk about the Pulitzer. You wanted to know about my day.
After seeing what is out there for potential stories, I spend a few hours following them up to see what nitty, gritty details I can coerce out of cops to make the stories come alive for my readers. When I’ve gotten all I can, I head back to the newsroom to write of my daily finds. It is after dinner time for normal people but is my lunch. I usually will grab a bag of fast food.
After a couple hours creating magic at my keyboard and dealing with editors who always want more information or a clarification so a two-year-old can understand it and therefore justify their job, I head back out into the city to work on one of my projects. I may be talking to hookers for a series. (A hooker was really helpful in A CASE OF ACCIDENTAL INTERSECTION.)
I take coffee breaks with uniformed officers pounding a beat. I’ve also shared a beer or two and a couple of slices of pizza with cops coming off duty on the second shift. They have the greatest stories that I can still get into the late edition. It might be about how stupid a criminal is like not realizing a bag of Cheetos is dropping a bread crumb trail leading right to where they stashed the other stolen goods or how a gang banger forgot to disable the GPS on a high end stolen car leading the cops right to the chop shop.
Some nights are a bust but my best stories that people remember come from these late night rounds. I usually crawl back to my apartment just after last call at the drinking establishments and the paper is on the press.
Then my day starts all over again in another six to seven hours later, seven days a week.
You can read more about Mitch in A Case Of Volatile Deeds, the fourth book in the “Mitch Malone” mystery series. The first book in the series is A Case of Infatuation.
Meet the author
Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman’s golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn’t adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won’t let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS, her fourth in the Mitch series will be out this February. Visit W.S. at www.wsgager.com.
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