Though I have written "softer" literature under my married name, Mary de la Peña, I think my given name of M.J. HATCH suits writing in the mystery genre much better. So, I now present myself as I was born, M. J. HATCH (no, you need to look for the name that goes with the initials—nothing will ever be that easy for you the reader)
So blame my twenty-six years as a criminal defense lawyer, or maybe it’s just a deep personal quirk that I need to explore the darker side of humanity and fear that can drive any one of us to commit the ultimate crime—murder. In defending more than 20 murder cases, I have spent way too many hours with homicide detectives, and though being on the “dark side” of the table as a defense lawyer, I have come to admire their tenacity and ability to spend hours, days, and even months pulling on the threads of evidence to eventually solve the crime. Thus, I write with special affection for the men and women who patrol our streets and keep our communities safe, and especially those who investigate the darkest part of human nature—crimes against persons.