Local writer and law enforcement officer Billy “BJ” Bourg has recently published a brand new mystery novel titled James 516.
The story is centered on protagonists Police Sniper London Carter and Lieutenant Bethany Riggs. The pair are tasked with the apprehension of a mysterious rogue sniper whom has been murdering high-ranking police officers and leaving a strange message in the crime scenes, James 516. The novel poses a question, “What happens when those sworn to protect are attacked and need protection themselves?”
“I didn’t think that there were enough sniper books out there so I wanted to kind of fill that gap,” said Bourg.
He emphasizes the use of strong characters in his writing and the characters Carter and Riggs are no exception. He describes London Carter as an officer with a tortured past who is in it for the good of the community not for the glory. Carter also embodies the novel’s overall message of honesty and integrity in that he is willing to do whatever the job takes, but within the law. Bourg believes it is important for police officers to hold up these values. He also places similar strong characteristics in the character Bethany Riggs.
“A lot of the female detectives I’ve met over the years have been extremely intelligent and are very good at their jobs. They don’t get enough recognition so I wanted to portray Bethany Riggs as a strong female police officer who is intelligent,” Bourg said.
Bourg first joined the Lafourche Parish police force when he was 19. Since then, his law enforcement career has been the main inspiration for his writing. He has served as both a detective with a 100 percent arrest and conviction rate on all murder cases and was a member of the police sniper team.
Today he works as the Chief Investigator for the Lafourche Parish District Attorney’s Office.
“If I had not been a cop/sniper I wouldn’t be able to write about these stories. I’ve solved cases in real life so I can solve them in my fiction,” Bourg said.
Bourg however remains humble in his accomplishments and attributes much of his success to being able to keep an open mind when following the evidence.
His work as a police sniper was particularly crucial in the writing of James 516. Ironically, when Bourg first began writing he wanted to write westerns, but understood the importance of “writing what you know.”
“If I wouldn’t have been a sniper I wouldn’t know what it feels like to crawl around on a hot roof in the summertime with the sun beating down on you and to have to block out all of the discomfort. What the stock feels like against your cheek. You can research and ask about it all you want but it’s not the same,” said Bourg.
James 516 is now available through Amber Quill Press, Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books, and Amazon as an e-book or on paperback at Amazon. Bourg’s first book ever written, Hollow Crib, has recently been acquired by Five Star Publishing and will be released in 2016. His many short stories and articles can be seen at his website at bjbourg.com.
Posted on Mon, February 16, 2015
by Ulysses Gisclair, Contributing Writer