Behind the Scenes: Gail Koger

Deputy Gemma Stone Book 1

I’ve been a Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy for four years. Most folks don’t have a clue about what a cop deals with every day. Like a pack of attack chihuahuas, a monkey with a bad case of diarrhea, a hungry python, a Brahma bull named Bodacious and a six-foot iguana.

And that is just the critters. Now let me tell you about the two-legged varmints. Such as a three-hundred-pound biker who got a bit irate when I zapped him with a stun gun, or a murderous nun, and let’s not forget the senior citizens having an orgy. Ugh.

My personal life isn’t much better. Off duty I’m a ballroom dancer which everyone makes fun of. I love competitive dancing; I get to meet a lot of people who aren’t trying to kill me. Ok, there was one incident, but hey, shit happens. At a dance competition Detective Sergeant Dante Delgado waltzed into my life. My girly parts yelled Yee-haw, he’s the one. Now, if I can only get him to do the tango with me.

Law enforcement isn’t for the fainthearted. Are you brave enough to enter my world?

Author’s note: I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for way too many years and this novella contains some of the wilder incidents that occurred.

Behind the Scenes


How did I come up with my story? Being psychotic helps. I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for way too long. All those years of wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior, and outrageous demands have left me with a permanent twitch and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate. Don’t get me wrong. Working as a 9-1-1 dispatcher can be very rewarding. BUT –
some days I felt like the entire world was nuts. I mean, c’mon, who in their right mind calls 9-1-1 for the winning lottery numbers? To keep from going totally bonkers, or killing someone, I took up writing. So far there are no dead bodies buried in the backyard.

All those crazy calls I dealt with are the basis for Stilettos and Sniper Rifles. Yep, the attack chihuahuas, a monkey with a bad case of diarrhea, a hungry python, and an alligator in a
swimming pool was situations my officers handled.

Writing Process

I listen to country Western music to stimulate my creative juices. Of course, when you have two dogs sometimes things can get a little out of hand. Like yesterday, when I was sitting at my computer working on SWAT for Dummies and suddenly heard, cheep, cheep, cheep. What the…?

I looked down and there sat Sammy, my Australian shepherd, with a mouth full of feathers. So, silly me, I asked, “What’s in your mouth?”

Sammy wagged his tail and played dumb.

The poor bird squawked desperately. In my best mean mother voice I commanded,

“Spit!” Sammy did and the chicken, wings flapping madly, took off like the Devil himself was after it.

Sammy (the Devil in disguise) thinks this was great fun and chased the poor chicken into my kinda messy kitchen. Where I had left a bowl of hot sauce on the counter, and you guessed it SPLAT! That stupid bird dove headfirst into the sauce, wings still flapping like crazy, splattering the stuff all over the walls, the ceiling, the floor, and me. Arrrgh!

Okay, I lost it, and started screaming blue bloody murder at the crazy chicken and my hyperactive pooch. Off they went, spreading mayhem and sauce all over the living room. Mad as hell, I grabbed my broom and managed to chase the dang chicken out the back door. It took me three hours to clean up Sammy and the mess. Me? I looked like a refugee from a slasher movie.

Character Development

Deputy Sheriff Gemma Stone is a combination of the female police officers I’ve worked with. I’m proud to say Glendale Police Department was the first in the state to have a female
bomb tech.

I wanted to give Gemma something fun and unusual to do during her off-duty time. Not only does Gemma play Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter, in a Wild West Show, she also loves the competitive nature of ballroom dancing. She enjoys meeting people who aren’t trying to kill her.

Ok, there was one incident, but hey, her homicidal, former dance partner is now locked up for eighteen counts of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and several counts of attempted murder.

During all this chaos, Detective Sergeant Dante Delgado waltzed into her life. It’s a mutual attraction and they dance divinely together, but their work life is another matter.

Closing Thoughts

My goal is to make people laugh, to forget about the real world for a couple of hours.

With that in mind, here’s one of the crazy calls I took:
A hysterical woman yelled, “My bird is in a tree!”

Sometimes I really can’t help myself, so I said, “Birds have a tendency to do that, ma’am.”

The woman screeched, “No! You don’t understand. My pet parakeet is in the tree. I’ve just got to get him down.”

“I’m sorry ma’am, but we don’t get birds out of trees.”

The woman then cried, “But… What about my husband? He’s up there, too!”

Made you laugh, didn’t I?

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