Biography – James O. Born

Short Bio

James O. Born is a former U.S. Drug agent and State Law Enforcement agent. Each of his novels is based on some aspect of his career. His third novel, Escape Clause, won the inaugural Florida Book Award for Best Novel.

In 2009 Born published the first in a series of science fiction novels under the name James O’Neal. The novels are police stories set in the near future.

Currently, Born is coauthoring novels with TV commentator Lou Dobbs and his newest novel, Scent of Murder, about a specialized K-9 unit, is due April 7.

He continues to actively consult with other authors as well as movies and TV shows.


Full Bio

Tor/Forge Bio

James O. Born is a graduate of Florida State University and received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Psychology.

Born started his career in police work as a US Drug Agent (DEA) and was part of the late 1990’s Miami drug war.  He then moved on to become a Special Agent with the elite Florida Department of Law Enforcement, working undercover and spending eleven years on the agency’s Special Operation’s Team (also called SWAT).

Born has taken his career in law enforcement and love of writing and blended it into a new life as a novelist.  After advising numerous writers and TV shows on realism, Born spent years working on a novel of his own.  After fourteen years of rejection and honing his craft, he was finally successful breaking into publishing.  In 2004, Putnam published his first novel, Walking Money.  Of all the attention garnered by the novel, Born is most proud that one of his literary heroes, W.E.B. Griffin, picked Walking Money as one of his all-time favorite beach books.

Born’s second novel, Shock Wave was released in 2005.  This is the second installment of the darkly comic series focusing on Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Bill Tasker.  The series continued with Escape Clause, which won the gold medal in the inaugural Florida Book Award in 2007.  The award was presented to Born by Governor Charlie Crist.

Sec. of State Kurt Browning. Jim and Governor Charlie Crist at award ceremony

Sec. of State Kurt Browning. Jim and Governor Charlie Crist at award ceremony

In 2009, he won the Barry Award for short fiction at the International Mystery Writer’s Conference in Indianapolis.

Also in 2009, Born published the first of several thrillers set in the vastly changed landscape of Florida in the future under the pseudonym James O’Neal.  The series features a police detective investigating crime and coping with the pressures of life more than twenty years from now.  The first novel, titled The Human Disguise and the sequel, The Double Human received critical praise with Publisher’s Weekly calling them, “Wildly entertaining.”

Each novel strives to bring realism and entertainment together for fans of crime fiction.

Born has delivered talks to a number professional writing organizations as well as taught writing at conferences across the country.  He has written articles for magazines and newspapers.  In 2009, he was chosen as one of Florida’s 21 most intriguing people by Florida Monthly Magazine.

Born has also received a proclamation from the Senate of South Carolina for his efforts to advance literacy.

During his law enforcement career, Born has received the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the US Attorney’s Office, the Silver Medal of Valor, The Distinguished Service Award and numerous awards for merit in investigations.  In 2009, he received the Life Saving Medal directly from the Governor after rescuing a family from a SUV, which had plunged into a canal.

Born is active in a number of hobbies.  He has finished the New York and London marathons, competed in swimming and holds two separate black belts in karate.  He is a scuba diver, wind surfer, mountain biker and avid sailor.

A native Floridian, Born currently lives on the east coast with his wife, Donna and has two children, John and Emily.

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