photo of dharma in front of a bookshelf

I’m not your typical crime fiction author. 

I ride a thunderous, black-and-chrome Honda Magnum V4 motorcycle. I pick locks for fun. I almost always carry a blade. 

And I have a dark, gritty past I’d just as soon forget. But instead, I turn it into gripping, fast-paced crime fiction with a feminist kick. 

As a transgender, pansexual woman, I longed to read stories about people like me. But with few exceptions, all I found were coming out stories, romance, and erotica. But there is so much more to being queer than coming out, falling in love, and having sex. 

I write raw crime stories about queer characters living in a world of intolerance, greed, and violence, often hidden beneath a veneer of civility and privilege.

dharma wearing a gender outlaw vest

Lesbian bikers facing off against drug dealers and outlaw biker gangs. A transgender bounty hunter pursuing murderers, tweakers, and human traffickers. The mother of a rape victim who takes matters into her own hands when the justice system fails her daughter.

There’s a lot of cursing in my writing. Also, a fair amount of violence and occasionally a sex scene. If any of that causes you to hyperventilate, you might want to look elsewhere for your plain vanilla, “ketchup’s too spicy”, okey dokey, golly gee whiz kind of fiction. Cuz I sure as fuck won’t write it.

Also in the spirit of Sara Paretsky and Stieg Larsson, I take an unapologetic progressive slant with my fiction. Pro-feminist, pro-LGBTQIA+, pro-people of color.

Again, if any of that bothers you, take your racist, queerphobic, misogynistic, TERFy or toxic masculinity bullshit somewhere else.

Wow, I feel better after that little rant. Don’t you? Okay, on to lighter stuff. How about a little about my background?

I’ve worked as a radio news director, a construction worker, a goldsmith, a thief and seller of stolen goods, a caregiver, and a web developer. None of them really suited me. That is until I became a professional author.

In 2007 and 2008, I participated in and won National Novel Writing Month. The first time I reached the 50,000-word goal, I hopped into my pickup truck and suddenly heard the voice of my college creative writing professor. No, it wasn’t a hallucination. I heard his actual voice.

Turns out Dr. Coleman Barks, my former professor, was being interviewed on NPR. I took it as a sign and began honing my writing skills with the help of books, editors, podcasts, and critique groups.

In 2016, my debut novel Iron Goddess: A Shea Stevens Thriller was published by Alibi (Penguin Random House), followed a year later by the sequel, Snitch.

Getting traditionally published had been a goal of mine since I was a teenager. However, the rise of ebooks and print-on-demand technology has changed the publishing game.

And after Snitch was published, I decided to go the indie author route. I wanted more control over how my books were published and marketed, and how many books were in a given series.

At the same time, I insisted on putting out books that had the same professional quality of traditionally published books. Thus was born Pariah Press.

Chaser cover art

Chaser, the first in a new series about transgender bounty hunter Jinx Ballou, was published in March 2018. The sequel, Extreme Prejudice, will be published in December 2018.

I am a member of the Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Alliance for Independent Authors. I live in Arizona with my wife and three feline overlords.

If you want to connect, be sure to join my Dharma Kelleher Readers Club. Also, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Or you can shoot me an email.

And if you read my books, PLEASE for the love of pizza, leave an honest review. Thanks!