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"university north carolina school law" Discussed on Charlotte Readers Podcast
"Today, I'm visiting with the author Rita Pendry, and we're talking about her book in the frame. This is the fifth novel the Mercy Johnson Legal Thriller Series. Mercy Johnson is a criminal defense attorney Washington C who takes on difficult KLOTZ and hard to win cases. Rita know something about what she writes having spent most of her career as a criminal defense attorney in Washington, and then in Charlotte Rita. Welcome to the show. Yeah. So you raised in Charlotte and you like me or recovering trial lawyers to things we have in common. Yes it is an addiction. Now. You got to be a lawyer I think in an interesting way. You got fired. All right. So you got to be a lawyer. You're working I. Think you told me the story is a social worker and you're fired for consorting with the Welfare Rights Organiz or something like that. And, then you got a lawyer who hired you and actually a pretty famous lawyer Julius Chambers Great. You you went to work there and then what that somehow to you going to law school. I. Was there two years and they encourage me to go how me for the process of. Applying, admissions and all that and. I ended up at UNC law school. And you said no one in your family been a lawyer. You didn't most of them had gone to college. You aren't even thinking about being a lawyer. So was it everything? He didn't know it was going to be. Well Having, been with them for two years and seeing what they did. I? Guess I had a notion of what it was going to be like. yeah. Nobody in my family had ever. I never thought about being a lawyer as a majored in theology religions. Well. Yeah. and You bring some of that in here some your books to think but But because that career path that you took informs your writing thought we would talk just a moment about you as a as a lawyer because you graduated university North Carolina School Law you practiced in Washington and North Carolina for most of your legal career but she did mostly. Criminal defense what kind of cases did you handle? We handled major felonies when I first started practicing did some juvenile representation and then some misdemeanors. PDF, they moved in the felonies and a lot of training on the supervision and I did murder cases right cases very serious fill AIDS and the federal defender did high level direct cases, gun cases, some murder cases you obviously Got To experience firsthand, a lot of interesting stories did you think when you're? You're a lawyer that one day you might be writing. Some of these stories as an author. Thought that I wanted to write and didn't have in mind gathering material of. Books is hours defending my clients but. I knew I have to be careful not. Put anything in my books that could be traced back to a client to tat his. And now, it wasn't good way to get experienced a write a legal Mr, but that wasn't really. Now you're protagonist in your books that we're going to be talking about here. We're going to be talking about your latest book in the frame, but in all these five you've got a female protagonist mercy Johnson she's. One of these criminal defense lawyers that Somehow. Always figure out a way to get it done is there was a little bit of of of mercy and you or were you just hoping to be like mercy now I think it's a little bit of mercy. But as I always said, she's a composite of all the really wonderful women defense attorneys I worked with and there were so many warriors in both my offices in DC of ours lucky to know them how they fought and how they worked and how they save their client slim disaster. And you know mercy is a very confident woman in the book she doesn't mind going to court. She loves the trial experience you said that you sort of. Initially did much. Like that made you nervous a major, and then eventually you got some help and some guidance and need sort of took to it was at your path the into the courtroom. Person He roll up. Just. In But I got used to it a there was a network at public defender service in D.. C., which was perfect training ground and. Working through that network, I got much much much more confident. So Alaska. What you now your time between writing and you say working with homeless animals, you spend a fair amount of your time helping homeless cats. You say you liked dogs too. But are there some cats moving around in the background here or? There are few. How many cats you? Paint me crazy gatling I seven rescues seven rescues. Okay. Snow White and the seven cats. as well. you said, you use it two or three of them lolling around your desk while you're riding is that is that true? Do they keep you company while you're right they do an act to put my laptop my keyboard on lap tie because they are just wherever they choose to be. I, just have to work around. I look. Let's I'd like to. Get under the covers and just a second. But before we do, let's talk about the front cover your book. This is audio. So I need you to paint US law picture as to what we're looking at well is silhouette of a woman facing the. All and it's The background is sort of. CAST cloudy. Sky. Turbulent I would say the with clouds rolling in and. I see that loan silhouette as nursing. And and You know remember. So we met several years ago and I'd read some your books I think I can't remember which one it was but I was commitee that the covered in quite matched the. The great writing there was inside and I think you went back and you're going back to actually rework your covers and I just. Thought you know, do you have any observation about the value of having a good cover and whether if you were doing it over again, you might have done the covers differently. The first time around I'll yeah and you're not hiding. That's being an amateur part of doing the self publishing thing and Part of it's not wanting to spend a whole bunch of money. The new covers I think are so good and their excuse me they're consistent. I think one book to the next and much more reflect the content. Are Really doing. Thank you. Know they'll be image of this cover in the show notes it strawberries PODCAST DOT com. After this episode comes out and it really does make a difference. The cover does. So I'm just saying to listeners if you're writing a book you know. Spend extra money and getting a cover because You know if you spend all that time sweat on the words, you know, make sure you gotta get covered to go with are you ready to get under the covers? Listeners will be getting under the covers and just I. I'd like to thank our episode spots or carry knows she's the two thousand fourteen. North Carolina Piedmont laureate for short fiction. Curious award-winning writer of books and stories who also.