Wednesday, September 16, 2020

AN INTERVIEW WITH PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR AND AUTHOR, SALLY JO PITTS

BY PATRICIA BRADLEY


Today I'm excited to welcome Sally Jo Pitts to The Suspense S
isters! She is a licensed private investigator, and guess what? That's the type of story she writes! And she's giving away a copy of Autumn Vindication (US address only)!

Here's the back cover copy:

A private investigator and amateur sleuth make an unexpected autumn discovery.
Autumn Vindication
Private Investigator Robert Grey, a former state agent with a tarnished reputation, and his intern Jane Carson arrive in Pine Bluff, Alabama. Initially working a voter fraud case, they find themselves in the middle of a homicide and their client, the local sheriff, is the prime suspect.

Challenged with finding a murderer and grappling with career doubts of their own, the PIs are pitted against Robert’s nemesis.

With a man’s life at stake, can this unlikely duo find vindication while untangling the mysterious maze of suspects and motives hidden within the colored cloak of autumn?
                                                 ~
 Sally Jo, you’re a private detective in real life. How do that help you with your books.

Knowing the kinds of issues a private investigator is called on to work, and how to go about investigating and reporting a case helps me add realism to dialogue and scene situations. The voter fraud case featured in Autumn Vindication is based on a real case my husband and I worked in a north Florida county sheriff’s race.
                                              
                                               ~

Would you be willing to give a few tips on how PI’s work?

Sure.

These are tips I learned from my husband who was in law enforcement 35 years before opening his private investigations agency. He taught me and I worked for him. Initially, I was a teacher by day and PI by night for many years until I retired and became a PI full time.

Tip #1- Identify the issue and determine if what a person requests is appropriate for a PI rather than wasting a client’s money.

We might get a call to watch someone suspected of making harassing calls. This should be reported to police to take a report. It is not something to hire a PI for. We might receive a call wanting us to watch a spouse to prove they were unfaithful. If it was a divorce situation, then obtaining specifics needed by the attorney was advised rather than wasting the client’s money spending hours collecting data that was of no use.

Tip#2- For surveillance, we gathered not only photos and description of the subject but as much information as possible about the person’s likes, dislikes, habits, favorite places to eat, where they normally parked their car, etc.

Tip# 3- If surveillance, scout the area where subject is to be observed and plan strategy on how to carry it out. A person living on an isolated, deadend street presents a challenge!

                                             ~

Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.

I was campaign manager for my husband when he ran for sheriff. (I was a complete novice, checked out two books from the library on running a political campaign and he won in spite of me.)

I taught Success in Day-to-Day Living seminars with two other teacher friends when our children were still in elementary school. We learned that the time spent planning and teaching was keeping us from success in day-to-day living!

I am a licensed lie detection examiner.

                                             ~
What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
I first wrote the Autumn Vindication mystery that just came out, as a husband and wife detective story eight years ago. (It has morphed into a younger single guy and girl coworkers team.) But I put it on the back burner to learn more about craft. I attended conferences, learned from My Book Therapy and Deep Thinkers with Susan May Warren. My first published books were romance and I’ve tried my hand at romantic suspense.

Deep Thinkers is where I met you! What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Tough Criticism- That my protagonists were too old. My team consisted of husband and wife who were in their 60s/70s.
Best Compliment- My romance books should be Hallmark movies.
    
                                             ~

What is the most important thing you’d like readers to take away from your books? 

Sally Jo: That everyone has a purpose.

                                             ~
 
Would you want to be a private detective? Leave a comment with your contact information to be entered in a drawing for Autumn Vindication!  


Here's Sally Jo's bio: 
Sally Jo Pitts has had a career in private investigation, high school guidance counseling, and taught in the field of marriage and family living for over twenty years. Now, she brings her experience in affairs of the heart to the fiction page. 
Writing what she likes to read—faith-based stories—her desire is to inspire and encourage the reader. She is the author of the Hamilton Harbor Legacy romance series and Autumn Vindication is book one in a four-book Seasons of Mystery series. Visit her at www.sallyjopitts.com.


34 comments:

  1. I'm mixed. On one hand it seems like it could be rewarding to help clients, on the other hand, it's so dangerous out there now, it would be nerve wracking. Thanks for sharing, your life definitely isn't boring! ;) rw620 AT aol DOT com

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    1. I really have enjoyed Sally Jo's friendship in the years since we me, Robin, and find her PI experience very interesting!

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  2. I always wanted to work as a private investigator. When I
    was younger we use to play Nancy Drew but then my
    parents had a friend who was a PI and I realized the danger
    involved when he got shot so I became an armchair PI by
    reading. Thanks for sharing your life.
    Carol Smith. penelope223(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Carol, I so get that! I think that's why I write romantic suspense...I get the excitement without the danger. lol

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  3. I don't think I could do that job but I love reading and watching detective stories.

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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  4. I don't think I would be a very good P.I. But I do like to read books about them. Thank you for this chance to win. 1cow0993(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I actually think I'd make a pretty good PI, Carol. :-)

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  5. nope
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  6. I think it would be a very interesting job. I like trying to figure things out. I enjoyed the interview, and your book sounds great!!

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  7. Being a PI sounds interesting but I don't think I'd want to do myself.
    duellonlysisataoldotcom

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    1. I think some of it is probably boring, too, Beverly.

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  8. As a kid, I would've wanted wanted to be a PI, but not so much now.

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  9. Wow! I've never "met" a real private eye before! Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself and what PI's do! Badawson16 at aol dot com

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    1. Barb, that's exactly what I thought when I met Sally Jo!

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  10. It would be interesting but I’m to much of a chicken. Hahahahaha

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  11. Hi, yes, I would love to be a private detective, I think it would be very interesting! This book sounds intriguing, Thank you for sharing about it and about the author. Thank you for the chance. Have a Great rest of the week and stay safe.

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  12. It would be interesting to be a private detective
    pj4824(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  13. I think it sounds exciting in books but would be much different in real life. I’d rather read about it �� cwhallon12@gmail.com

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  14. I love doing research so I think it would be very interesting.
    smincer10 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Susanne, research is one my favorite things about writing, so I think I'd enjoy being a PI!

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  15. Don't think I could be a P.I. but love to read and watch shows about them.

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  16. Sounds like you have an intriguing job! I would like to be a PI at times and other times on those tougher cases you read about, not so much. But glad someone is doing it. I am currently listening to audiobooks on the way to work with a PI. It's the Chet & Bernie mystery series. I am loving them. It's about a guy whose a PI and his dog who is his partner. Great series! Thanks for a chance to win. paralegal7 at hotmail dot com.

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  17. I'm nosey enough to want to be a private investigator, but I would be lousy at it....thanks for the chance to win! hendryx.connieatgmaildotcom

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  18. I love this post so much! :-) Learning more about a PI is fascinating. I really enjoy these type of shows on TV (Think Magnum P.I., lol) but I know what they portray on TV isn't the same as the real thing. I learned a lot from this!

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for the giveaway chance to win a copy of "Autumn Vindication".

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    1. I forgot this, oops!

      teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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