Was Chaser Investigative News Services.
And it was a wild ride to say the least.
It was not your usual news site, and it wasn't meant to be.
It had its own rhythm and melody, and did what other media outlets didn't do: show audiences behind the scenes of news-gathering, showing all of my cards.
It got media coverage, however. Not a lot, but it did.
It even had rogue advertising all around the city that I did not sanction.
Not too many news outlets can actually say they had an underground audience.
A youthful audience.
I wasn't even a WikiLeaks.
But I used a lot of psychology to get to the truth of a story.
And those stories were highly unusual, such as art crimes.
I wrote about a missing woman who vanished and showed up during a rally when a photographer unknowingly snapped her picture.
I revisited old stories I covered as a reporter. It was an experiment, and I was very dedicated.
But it wasn't enough. I had my third book published during that era, a collection of short stories told in an epistolary style.
I was experimenting with my fiction and my journalism.
I could not get enough publicity, despite having a lot of hits and regular readers.
That was an absolute shame.
But I learned from Chaser.
I cracked open the codes for both fictional storytelling and nonfictional work.
Would I count Chaser as a failure? It would be the same as taking in a kitten that needed some very specific dietary requirements that you had to access to getting for it -- no matter how hard you tried to love it and nurture it, the critical element was not obtainable no matter how hard you push, and in your heart you know this is something you love and dote over, but it is not going to make it.
If that is a failure, then it is what it is.
I knew I didn't have that one critical ingredient. There was no way I could get it without losing focus on the product. There was only one of me doing it.
But what if the next cat you find has the same problem?
If you know going in what the trouble is, you can be better prepared. You can overcome it because you have the knowledge about what you absolutely need to get what you absolutely want.
That little life you rooted for always stays in your heart no matter what, but the new life doesn't play second banana or serve as a stand in. You love it for its own merits, but you have threads you begin to weave representing each little life you took under your wing.
And that is what I have been doing. Very slowly. Very methodically.
Chaser came a couple of years after my first two books and during my third.
F.R.E.E.D. comes during the release of my fourth book.
But it also comes as a cumulation of all my previous work.
I had time to sit and to think with reflection. Chaser was a reaction of everything I came off after researching journalism by being a journalist for years.
It still has the elements that worked best with Chaser. It has elements from A Dangerous Woman.
But it also has elements the other two lacked.
So it all comes together.
And it begins to grow...