I've been hit by lightning, held at knifepoint while killers debated cutting my throat and stuffing me in an outhouse hole, and once stuck a wire in an outlet just to see what would happen. By all rights I should be dead.

Fortunately, I am not. So I write about death instead.

And about the cops who avenge it.

Who are very very very very very cool people.

I'm Shane Gericke. I was named after the cowboy movie--that's the Shane part. Gericke is pronounced YER-key. Go figure. I was a newspaper editor and writer for 25 years, primarily at the Chicago Sun-Times, before turning to Shane Noir. (That's a combination of strong cops who love each other, and extreme baddies who try to kill them. The latter do not love each other.) The first two books I ever wrote went nowhere. I did collect more than 100 rejections from agents and editors, though. That was fun.

My third try, Blown Away, became part of a two-book deal with Kensington. It became a national bestseller three weeks after launch, was translated into Chinese, Slovak and Turkish, and was named best debut mystery of 2006 by Romantic Times.

That was funner.

The sequel, Cut to the Bone, comes out worldwide in June. It promises to be the funnest yet.

My favorite color is forest green. My favorite dog is beagle. My favorite wife is Jerrle. My favorite tree is maple cause I love the syrup. My favorite gun is Glock 17. I write about the latter for national firearms magazines, when I'm not blowing up things in Naperville. In my books, that is. Lots of things get blown up in my books. Other things get electrocuted, knifed and run over.

Though not animals. I despite people who hurt animals. They get blown up in my books. And electrocuted, knifed and run over.

I cut my own grass, sew my own buttons, and age my own Scotch, which is my drink of choice. The last batch has been in the barrel seven years. Another two or three, and it will be ready for sipping. Can't wait to bottle it. Some I drink, most I give away.

I love hanging out with writers, painters, sculptors, gunsmiths and other creatives. They're the most interesting people in the world, and I learn so much from them. Plus they tell cool stories, are vital and passionate and good-looking, and understand what it's like to lay yourself open to flaying by every person on earth who sees your work. Not that I've had much of that. Readers and critics have been uniformly marvelous to me. Which I appreciate no end.

It's a true honor to meet all of you on this board. Thanks for having me.

Shane Gericke
Naperville, Illinois

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Can't say I've had the pleasure, Patrick. But I did smack my knee into cactus once. Probably feels the same way!
I think it's great. All that kind of stuff--if you survive it--makes for great laughs thirty years later!

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