Arizona to Alaska
Born in Phoenix, Lisa lived in numerous Arizona towns as a child and later spent several years in California. By young adulthood, she was in Alaska and started mountain climbing. She climbed in South America on different expeditions, seeking summits in Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. She also traveled solo through Europe and Asia.
From Fire to Shield to Evergreen
Climbing left her wanting strong first-aid skills. She signed-up for an Emergency Medical Technician course. The class included ride-alongs on the Fire Department’s Advanced Life Support ambulances, which exposed her to the rewards of helping people in crisis. She moved to Oregon for training and was soon back in Alaska, pulling 24-hour shifts as a paramedic.
“Paramedicine is physical and autonomous and demanding and technical. I loved it.”
After a number of years, she transferred to the Police Department. Her second career started with the position of street officer and she still claims it is the most demanding job in law enforcement. In time, she became a detective, working in the Vice unit and later in Crimes Against Children, with a special assignment as a Hostage Negotiator. She went back to the street as a sergeant, and eventually returned to investigations, supervising Internal Affairs.
“All of those years in emergency services made the city a map of memories, many of them very sad. I wanted to move . . . a couple of thousand miles.”
Riding, Writing and Running
Lisa and her husband relocated to the Evergreen State and adopted two former racehorses from a rescue facility. She turned to writing, working on both contemporary and crime fiction. She also began competing in the obscure sport of Ride and Tie, a back country trail race that combines running and riding, covering distances of 20-35 miles.
“Writing is such a sedentary pursuit, it would be dreadful without the promise of hours on trails.”
Miles alone on the million acres that is Washington’s Olympic Peninsula left Lisa wanting protective company. She found a German Shepherd at a pet rescue site and taught him tracking, as she had with her previous dogs.
“My last shepherd earned the FH title twice. This was before the existence of the FHII and VST titles. He also earned the Schutzhund III with decent scores, but we never V-scored”. (The FH, or FährtenHund, is a German sport tracking degree. A V-score is a judge’s rating at or above 96%.)
She resurrected the training journal she had created and used when teaching her previous trackers. Her rescue dog V-scored at his first trial and she offered the log book to a publisher. Contracts for more books on animal care and training followed. Lisa’s articles and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies.
Her first novel, the book club thriller Orchids and Stone, debuted in 2016. Her suspense novel, The Measure of the Moon, was released in 2017. The Clincher (2018) debuted her new mystery series featuring Rainy Dale, a young woman horseshoer, followed by Dead Blow (2019), and Forging Fire in 2020.