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Published:September 27th, 2006 15:17 EST
Judyth Piazza Interviews James Grady, Author of Mad Dogs on The AP

Judyth Piazza Interviews James Grady, Author of Mad Dogs on The AP

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

I was born April 30, 1949, in Shelby, Montana, a tough oil field, railroad and farming town clinging to the prairie 60 miles East of the Rocky Mountains, a half hour drive south of Canada, and a million miles from everywhere else. For most of my youth, my father managed movie theaters and my mother was a county librarian. I was a bookish, movie-going kid who survived playing high school football.

I went to public schools and worked: I was a grave digger, farm tractor jockey, rock picker, hay bucker, janitor, motion picture projectionist, and city road crew laborer " all before I graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in journalism.

Writing captured me early: I dictated stories to my mother when I was 5, and wrote my high school Senior Class play. I collected enough rejection slips from magazines for my short stories and poems to build a fire.

In 1971, I lucked into a job as a staff aide for the Constitutional Convention that rewrote Montana`s core document. I subsequently worked as a juvenile delinquency analyst before leaving "the real world" to write fiction, a career move that scared the Hell out of everyone but me. At 24, while living in a converted garage in Missoula, I sold SIX DAYS OF THE CONDOR. That same summer, I won a Fellowship to spend a year on the great Sen. Lee Metcalf (D-Mont.)`s staff in Washington, where I knew I would witness the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

Nixon left D.C., I stayed, seizing an opportunity to work as an investigative reporter for syndicated columnist Jack Anderson for a little more than four years. I covered politics, crime, drug trafficking, espionage"any story I could get. I left Jack`s employment to concentrate on my fiction and movie work.

Work which luckily led me to my amazing wife, Bonnie Goldstein, who`s been a private detective, Senate aide, network TV producer, and a writer. We have two children: Rachel, a documentary filmmaker, and Nathan, a teenager. My sister Jane is a health care and educational executive in Chicago. We live in a quiet suburb of Washington, D.C. " I`ve been lucky enough to be an American Edgar nominee, while France awarded me the Grand Prix Du Roman Noir (2001) and Italy gave me the Raymond Chandler award (2003)." Unless I`m working on a Hollywood project, I work out of our house, study T`ai-chi, listen to progressive rock `n` roll, read, go to movies, and do my best to obey the voices screaming inside me to write their stories.

Read Dream Reachers Featuring Judyth Piazza