Picture an ornery, redheaded little tomboy back when boys seemed to have all the fun--a kid who was always the one to make up the stories the neighborhood kids would "play," and you have the start of Justine Davis's writing career.
For those who came of age in the computer-game era, Justine explains, this kind of play is something that was done usually in the backyard, by any number of summer-bored children, with props where appropriate. She recalls that "a 55-gallon drum tied to a picnic bench makes a very cool horse...." It wasn't until much later that this tomboy realized two things: a) not everyone made up stories in his or her head all the time, and b) in real life, the boys still seemed to be having all the fun, and doing most of the winning.
Justine was born during a snowstorm. Make that a blizzard. Possibly in response to that blizzard, she has been a West Coaster since before age one, and says she intends to stay. She has a history of staying.
Justine started her first full-time job right out of school (minus a very brief sojourn at a place where they made, among other things, burial vaults, but Justine says she prefers not to recall that one...) and stayed for 21 years. She's been married to the same wonderful guy for going on two decades now. They lived in their last house for 17 years. "I won't even mention how many Dumpsters we filled moving after that long," she says.
When asked, as she often is, about her first career, Justine says, "My time in law enforcement was many things--exciting, nerve-racking, and sometimes irritating, but most important, never, ever boring. It was fascinating enough that I didn't think about writing seriously forseveral years.
"I kept a journal, and wrote long letters, collected quotes, mentally rewrote movies, and still made up those stories in my head, but never dreamed of actually writing for publication. I was having fun helping to catch bad guys, and being continually amazed at the situations people got themselves into.
"Eventually I walked away with a wealth of background and story ideas, and knowing some truly great people who work very hard to keep all of us safe. I'm proud to have been one of them, and I'm very aware that I have had the great good fortune of having had two jobs in my life that I love. Many people don't get even one."
And now that she is in what she calls the delicious position of being able to make a living telling those stories in her head, she promises her readers two things: "a) I'm staying--I'll keep writing as long as you keep reading, and b) in my stories, the girl--tomboy or not--always wins!"