Today I (Gwen Mayo) am welcoming Detective James Peckman and asking him to tell us a little about his extraordinary career. I first met Mr. Peckman when he shared one of his cases with us in Undead of Winter, a case he refers to as “Under the Hood of Winter.” Alex Azar, his biographer, is sharing that story, along with several cases he finds memorable in a new book titled Nightmare Noir.
Welcome, sir. I know you don't usually go in for interviews, but our readers would like to know a little more about you. For instance, I noticed that Mr. Azar chose stories from very different stages of your career. What are your feelings about having only a small sampling of your cases included in the book?
You're right, this is only a small sampling of the various cases I've had over the years, but if I'm being honest my memory isn't what it used to be, and these are just the first stories I was able to recall for Alex. If demand calls for it, I'm sure he could fill more volumes to fill in some of the blanks I left out.
There is nothing in the book about your years as a police officer. Could you tell us a little about why you chose law enforcement as a career?
Looking back at it now, I'm fairly confident I didn't have a choice. My father was a detective for the NYPD, as was his father before him. I was bred for this, at least it seemed like I was until I lost my family.
You mention the deaths of your wife and daughter as driving forces behind leaving law enforcement. Can you explain why that made you choose to be a private detective, rather than having the force of the police behind your work?
I would have loved to have the Newark Police Department aiding me. Unfortunately soon after Talia and Sophia's deaths, I learned if I was going to avenge them, I had to work in shadows the police couldn't follow. Becoming a private paranormal detective afforded me the resources I lacked when I first entered that world.
Can you tell me a little about the “old world values” you hold dear? For instance, are they cultural, ethnic, or religious in nature? How did they influence your work?
Most readers may be surprised that religion played a large part of who I was when I was on the job, both as a detective for the police, and in the private sector. I don't have many memories, in general at this point, heh, but of my grandmother in particular. The one thing that really stood out about her, was her devotion to her religion. Seeing the comfort it gave her in the most trying of times actually relaxed me, even at a young age. So it was something I grew up with, then I entered this world of alien gods, and vampires, and I just knew there had to be force looking out for us. That's why, to this day, I keep my rosary beads handy.
Next: Part II.
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