Chris Birdy is an award-winning author who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, she did a four year stint in the Middle East. When she returned to the States, Chris settled down in the Boston area and became a true Bostonian by collecting college degrees while raising a family.
For more than twenty years, Chris has been a member of the legal community performing investigative work for Boston law firms.
Chris lives outside of Boston and in Palm Beach, Florida with her husband.
What inspired you to write this book?
A few years ago, while sitting in a courtroom with a client, I watched as a police officer was lambasted by an attorney. The attorney was defending a woman who crashed her car into two other vehicles before she passed out drunk at the wheel. The other drivers were seriously hurt and the cop, a former EMT, tried to assist the injured while waiting for ambulances to arrive. The attorney questioned the cop’s every move, shredded his testimony and made him seem inept. Embarrassed, the cop returned to his seat beside me and muttered, “Everybody lies. The judges lie, the lawyers lie, the witnesses lie…” I wanted to tell him not to worry that in about five years he’d be just as good a liar as they were. That day I realized that many of those who are entrusted with upholding and enforcing the law have the least regard for it. The seeds for the “The Girl in White Pajamas” were planted in that courtroom.
What topics in your book or background do you think book clubs would find interesting?
Since I worked in and for small law firms in Boston, I have firsthand knowledge of the mechanism that drives the legal profession, law enforcement and investigators in the Boston area. In one of the chapters the lawyer has a gun stuck to her head by the defendant’s friend. This actually happened to me pre-9/11 when there were no weapons searches in district courts.
Tell us about your career outside of writing and how it influenced your writing.
As an avid mystery reader, I found my niche in writing mysteries. After working in the legal profession for twenty-five years, I felt comfortable using the judicial system and law enforcement as a backdrop. Although I majored in chemistry in college, I stumbled into the legal world as a tax paralegal for a large corporate firm. I went on to do investigative work for small firms and conducted business in rough housing projects and crack house neighborhoods. I met with clients in every jail in the area even the now defunct Charles Street Jail and Deer Island House of Corrections. On good days, I got to take the .25 caliber handgun out of my pocket and the 9mm out of my purse and go to court. Then the real show began!
Describe your style of writing.
I write from my heart. When I write, I imagine I’m telling the reader a story. Since I want to be entertained when I read, I try to entertain the reader.
Which authors have inspired you?
Robert Parker, John Sandford, Lawrence Block, Ed McBain and Frank McCourt