Live at the Scene

At its heart, Live at the Scene weaves together three investigations. Embattled TV reporter Cadence and her new cameraman Drew are following the story of two boys kidnapped on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Police in the small town of Mapleton are investigating not only the kidnapping, but an arson. And the mysterious criminal “Manfred” is probing how far he has to go to win media coverage of an issue that has driven him to the brink. 

While Live at the Scene is driven by themes of innocence and guilt, access and accountability, there are lighter elements too and a dash of romance. This book was originally inspired by a real-life kidnapping in Tracy, California. I was a young broadcast news writer at the time, haunted by how reporters could spend all day soaking in the details of this grisly case and then go on camera calm and collected. Today, I still work as a TV news writer and producer. At a time when the news industry is under the microscope and under fire, I have a front row seat to the best of broadcast news and the very worst. Underneath the plot lines of Live at the Scene are subtle questions for us all to consider as the news industry sinks deeper into the quicksand of infotainment, misinformation, sensationalism and click bait.

I have a master’s degree in creative writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. My first book, Breaking Cadence: One Woman’s War Against the War (Ooligan Press, 2019) won the NYC Big Book Award for memoir in 2020. My shorter work has appeared in Cutbank, Grain, CALYX, River Teeth, the Los Angeles Review, Mission at Tenth and Umbrella FactoryLive at the Scene runs 120,000 words and I would love to share the full, polished manuscript with you.