I got the idea for Incriminating Evidence when I was about two-thirds of the way through the first draft of Special Circumstances. I had originally thought Special Circumstances would be a stand-alone novel. As the story progressed, it occurred to me that Mike Daley might work as a recurring character. A criminal defense attorney could be asked to handle another case. When I completed the book, I realized that I wanted to explore other parts of Mike's personality. In addition, I wanted to write another story involving some of the supporting characters in Special Circumstances. In my mind, the most interesting character from Special Circumstances was the district attorney, Skipper Gates.
The original concept for Incriminating Evidence was to provide Mike and Rosie with the ultimate professional test: a case they couldn't win for a client they couldn't stand. The possibility of making Skipper the defendant in the second book seemed promising.
The pieces started to fall into place as I started writing. San Francisco played a very important role in Special Circumstances. In many respects, the city (at least as seen through Mike Daley's eyes) is very much a character in the story. I wanted to explore another part of San Francisco in Incriminating Evidence. In recent years, a lot has been written about San Francisco's historic Mission District, which is in a sunny valley just south of downtown. A hundred years ago, the area was populated primarily by working class Irish and German immigrants. St. Peter's Catholic Church was (and still is) the center of the community. It is the sort of neighborhood where Mike Daley might have grown up. In the fifties and sixties, the Irish and Germans moved out and a new wave of immigrants moved in. When Mike's family moved out to the Sunset when he was a kid, Rosie's family moved in. The neighborhood is in a new state of flux. In the nineties, affluent tech workers started moving into portions of the gentrifying neighborhood. Parts of the Mission are now very affluent. Other parts (around St. Peter's) remain working class Hispanic. Certain areas (especially at the north end near the BART station at Sixteenth and Mission) are populated by drug dealers, addicts and prostitutes. It seemed like an interesting setting, especially if I could come up with a story in which the landed gentry of Pacific Heights (embodied by Skipper Gates) would meet the gritty day-to-day life in the Mission.
I started writing Incriminating Evidence in the fall of 1998. I finished a first draft in the summer of 1999. The editing process lasted into the fall of 2000.
I hope you like it.