A Beach Bum’s Journey to Becoming an Author by George Cramer

Until my late sixties, I never thought of writing fiction, let alone a novel.

In high school, I rarely did homework; with a few exceptions, I could score Cs on most tests. The exception was Latin. Mr. Jung inspired me to work on translations and understanding the dead language. I've forgotten it all. My English grades were not stellar in college, but I have an excuse. I was living in a beach house with three buddies from high school. Vietnam was going hot and heavy, and we were in school to postpone the draft. In two years, I never saw any of us doing homework.

The Navy snatched me up.

Two years, nine months, and two days later, I left the Navy and joined a police department. After the police, I was an investigator for three decades. I wrote formalized reports based on the facts. As the famous Sergeant Joe Friday said, "The facts, mam, nothing but the facts."

When I turned sixty-eight, I was laid off from a great job due to a corporate buyout. This is when I came to know a great deal about age discrimination. I took a writing class at my senior center to upgrade my resume. It turned out to be a fiction writing class. I fell in love with writing fictional stories.

Desiring additional skills, I joined a writers' group where my brother and sister writers shared much with me and helped improve my craft. Later I joined Sisters in Crime, where my siblings taught me even more as they welcomed me with open arms.

Needing to further improve my craft and clear my mind of crime reports, I enrolled in English classes at the local community college—becoming a straight-A student. An enrolled descendant of the Karuk Tribe of California, I took a break to earn an MFA-Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

As a corporate and private Investigator, I conducted thousands of investigations throughout the Americas and Asia. Before Covid, I kept my investigative skills honed by volunteering as a property and Missing Person investigator at a Bay Area Police Department.

My short stories and poems have been published in numerous anthologies. The Mona Lisa Sisters was indie published in 2020, Robbers and Cops in 2022, and New Liberty, Book 1 in the Hector Miguel Navarro detective series, was released in May of this year.

Membership in the following groups has been a force multiplier in improving my craft: Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Color, Mystery Writers of America, and the California Writers Club.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

 George Cramer, an enrolled descendant of the Karuk Tribe of California, began his forty-year investigative career in law enforcement and then moved into private and corporate investigations.

As a corporate and private Investigator, Mr. Cramer conducted thousands of investigations throughout the Americas and Asia. He kept his investigative skills honed by volunteering as a Missing Person investigator at a California Police Department.

Contact Links:

Website: https://gdcramer.com
Blog: https://gdcramer.com/george-cramer-blog/

54 thoughts on “A Beach Bum’s Journey to Becoming an Author by George Cramer”

  1. I’ll also mention what a good friend George is to other writers. He’s always generous with his offers to host us on his own blog, which many of us appreciate! Thanks, George and Debra!!

  2. Debra H. Goldstein

    Thank you for being my guest today. It’s always interesting to learn the “backstory” behind a writer.

  3. What a fascinating career— and I think you’re just getting started! I would like to add to what others have said. George is so generous and kind to his fellow writers.

  4. I’ve thought George Cramer was a stellar individual from the get-go. Generous to his fellow writers, he is a class act. Thanks for hosting him Debra! You put the pro in professional, George!

  5. I’ve had the pleasure of know George, although only virtually, for several years now. Along with being generous, he’s also a perfect example of how it’s never too late to pivot into a new career.

  6. Marilyn Meredith

    That was a great interview. Learned a lot about George. I’ve read all of his books so far and enjoyed them.

  7. Jonathan G Cramer

    Great job Mrs. Goldstein. Always happy when someone can pull new info out of my Dad. His passion for writing is inspiring to see.

    1. Jonathan,
      I didn’t have to pull. His career and journey is so interesting … and I was delighted when he “came clean.” He is the type of person, both in terms of his passion and the person he is, that other authors admire.

  8. Wow, missing persons investigations! What a rollercoaster ride of emotions that must have been. Thrilled to learn more about your lifetime journey (so far). So glad to have met you in our 7-9am writing group. Congrats on all of those accomplishments. Whew.
    Look forward to reading your work.
    Thank you, Debra, for inviting George to share his life with us.

  9. Michael A. Black

    What a great blog interview and summary of Big George’s accomplishments. Not only is he one of the nicest guys I know, he’s a very talented writer. If you haven’t checked out his New Liberty book, do so without delay. It’s the first in what will be a fabulous series.

  10. I met George when he joined the writing class and have seen his writing growth firsthand through the California Writers Club and our critique group. He’s led an interesting and diverse life, and has so many experiences to draw from for his writing. Bravo, my friend on your writing journey!

    1. Jordan,
      I always think it is interesting to see the progression of an author – in terms of lifestyle, passion, and craft. From this blog there is question that George has plenty of material to draw on.

  11. Those “As” were just waiting to hit your report card, and they did!! Such a wonderful journey – thanks for sharing!

  12. George, what a fascinating life you have lead! And I 100% agree with the other commenters—you are one of those rare authors who give back to the writing community. As a fellow author, I thank you for your generous spirit!

  13. Debra,
    I’ve read dozens of blogs about my friend George, but yours touches on his generosity and passion to help other writers as he continues his own writing/publishing journey.

  14. Kathleen Donnelly

    I really enjoyed learning more about your path to writing and your background, George! As others have mentioned, you are so awesome when it comes to supporting other writers. Thank you for all you do!

  15. Great interview George! Loved reading about your unending intellectual curiosity. Considering your interesting life, it is no surprise that you’re a wonderful storyteller.

      1. I truly enjoyed reading about your story! As someone who got two degrees in creative writing, I like hearing about the support within the writing community. Thank you, George.

  16. I’m so happy to learn more about George. Amazing how varied the paths are to the writing life, but how, no matter where we started out, once we arrive here, we have everything in common. Thanks, George and Debra, for a great post.

  17. George Cramer, you have origins as a beach bum…? I must admit the picture of you in that pink beach shirt has always shaped my concept of who you are down to the core. There is a warmth and playfulness there that is as delightful as it is uncommon. Thanks for sharing this today. I’m so glad to know you better.

    1. I have another claim or two to fame. Although I lived on the beach for many years, I never learned to swim. I was the consummate body surfer and undoubtedly the world’s WORST board surfer,

  18. Wow! Wonderfully written and insightful – I learned much about George I did not already know. It adds up to his amazing personality, talented writing, and eloquence. He is truly what all have said, charitable, benevolent, high-minded and appreciative of other writers. What’s not to adore? Thank you for sharing this!

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