Episode 44: Engineering a writing career with Bernadette Pajer
Bernadette Pajer had returned to the University of Washington, intent on completing a degree in engineering.
And then the life story of the soon-to-be mystery/crime writer took its own plot twist.
Pajer turned her focus toward culture, literature and the arts and completed a Creative Writing Certificate at the UW. From there, Pajer began building on what she knew, which spawned the Profesor Bradshaw Mysteries series.
“I don’t even remember when I started that (first) book),” Bradshaw says. The series focuses on a UW professor of electrical engineering named Prof. Bradshaw. Through the course of four books to date. Bradshaw is drawn through intrigue, mystery and crimes, all on a foundation of science and engineering.
“I just dove in and a funny thing … when I received the letter from Poisoned Pen Press that they wanted to publish A Spark of Death, I was both elated and terrified,” Pajer says. “I’m not an electrical engineer.”
While Pajer had done extensive research, she contacted William Beaty, a research engineer at the UW.
“He vetted the book,” Pajer says. “Fortunately, I’d essentially got it right, although Bill made a few tweaks.”
The other interesting thing about Pajer’s series, she set it in the early 2oth Century.
“I’ve always been fascinated with this time period,” Pajer says. “We went from horse and buggy, and within one generation, to astronauts in space.”
Pajer shares that her interest in science has, perhaps counterintuitively, put the Professor Bradshaw series on hold for the time being.
Pajer is a board member of the group Informed Choice of Washington, which is taking up most of her free time. According to their website, the group advocates for “vaccine policy reform based on scientific integrity and individual health needs, to promote education about healthy immunity, and to protect informed consent and medical freedom in Washington State.”
Episode length: 51:58
Ken Harvey is Communications Director for Sno-Isle Libraries. Ken brings broad professional experience from his service with Community Transit, Sound Transit, Reno, Nev., and several positions in radio and TV.
Jim Hills is the library district’s Assistant Communications Director, Communications & Marketing. Jim is a storyteller who claims to still have some ink in his veins from familial connections with, and previous-career infusions from, the newspaper biz.
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