The Fiction of James A. Hearn


James A. Hearn is an attorney and author who writes in a variety of genres, including crime, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. He and his wife reside in Georgetown, Texas, with a boisterous Labrador retriever. An amateur astronomer, James believes everything is better under a starry sky — a good book, time with friends, or Mexican martinis. James has degrees in English and mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Arlington, graduating cum laude in both disciplines, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Texas School of Law.


“A Beretta, Burritos and Bears,” Guns + Tacos, Episode 6, Season 1, (Down & Out Books), 2019.

From the editor: There’s a taco truck in Chicago known among a certain segment of the population for its daily specials.  Late at night and during the wee hours of the morning, it isn’t the food selection that attracts customers, it’s the illegal weapons available with the special order.  Each episode of Guns + Tacos features the story of one Chicagoland resident who visits the taco truck seeking a solution to life’s problems, a solution that always comes in a to-go bag.

The first season features original crime stories by: Gary Phillips • Michael Bracken • Frank Zafiro • Trey R. Barker • William Dylan Powell • James A. Hearn

Click here to purchase a digital subscription or trade paperback from Down & Out.

“Trip Among the Bluebonnets,” The Eyes of Texas (Down & Out Books), 2019.

From the publisher: Texas has it all, from bustling big cities to sleepy small towns, and law enforcement alone can’t solve every crime. That’s where private eyes come in. They take the cases law enforcement can’t—or won’t. Private eyes may walk the mean streets of Dallas and Houston, but they also stroll through small West Texas towns where the secrets are sometimes more dangerous. Whether driving a Mustang or riding a Mustang, a private eye in Texas is unlike any other in the world.

The Eyes of Texas features seventeen original tales of Lone Star State private eyes from Trey R. Barker, Chuck Brownman, Michael Chandos, John M. Floyd, Debra H. Goldstein, James A. Hearn, Richard Helms, Robert S. Levinson, Scott Montgomery, Sandra Murphy, Josh Pachter, Michael Pool, Graham Powell, William Dylan Powell, Stephen D. Rogers, Mark Troy, and Bev Vincent.

Order your copy from the the Down & Out Bookstore by clicking here.

“Tunnel Visions,” Monsters, Movies & Mayhem (WordFire Press), 2020.

From the publisher: Lights!  Cameras!  Monsters?  Join award-winning authors Jonathan Maberry, Fran Wilde, David Gerrold, Rick Wilber and others (that’s me!) for 23 all-new tales of haunted theaters, video gods, formidable demons, alien pizza, and delirious actors.  Each story takes you to the silver screen with monstrous results.

“I’ll Be Seeing You,” Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of the ’60s (Untreed Reads), 2020.

From the publisher: Rebellion, revolution, and rock and roll defined the ‘60s. As music moved from country to folk protest songs, rock became the voice of the “turn on, tune in, drop out,” generation. Peace, love, and harmony were the goals. Meditation, mysticism, and psychedelic drugs were the way to enlightenment. Peace, love, and crime were often the result, sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly. And the music played on. As Harold says in The Big Chill, “There is no other music, not in my house.”

Spinning their chosen tunes and the tale of its matching crime are: Earl Staggs, Jack Bates, Linda Kay Hardie, Jeanne DuBois, Terrie Farley Moran, Heidi Hunter, Merrilee Robson, Claire A. Murray, Michael Bracken, Maddi Davidson, Joseph S. Walker, Dawn Dixon, Karen Keely, Paul D. Marks, Wendy Harrison, Mary Keliikoa, Maxim Jakubowski, James A. Hearn, C. A, Fehmel, Catina Williams, Josh Pachter, and John Floyd, talented writers all.

Peace, Love, and Crime: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of the '60s by [Josh Pachter, Michael Bracken, Earl Staggs, John Floyd, Jack Bates, Terrie Farley Moran, Joseph S. Walker, Claire A. Murray, Paul D. Marks, Sandra Murphy]

“Hard Luck Case,” Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir (Down & Out Books), December 2020.

From the publisher: Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir is a crime-fiction cocktail that will knock readers into a literary stupor.

Contributors push hard against the boundaries of crime fiction, driving their work into places short crime fiction doesn’t often go, into a world where the mean streets seem gentrified by comparison and happy endings are the exception rather than the rule. And they do all this in contemporary settings, bringing noir into the 21st century.

Like any good cocktail, Mickey Finn is a heady mix of ingredients that packs a punch, and when you’ve finished reading every story, you’ll know that you’ve been “slipped a Mickey.”

Contributors include many of today’s best noir writers:

J.L. Abramo • Ann Aptaker • Trey R. Barker • Michael Bracken • Barb Goffman • David Hagerty • James A. Hearn • David H. Hendrickson • Jarrett Kaufman • Mark R. Kehl • Hugh Lessig • Steve Liskow • Alan Orloff • Josh Pachter • Steve Rasnic Tem • Mikal Trimm • Bev Vincent • Joseph S. Walker • Andrew Welsh-Huggins • Stacy Woodson


“Becoming Zero,” Black Cat Mystery Magazine #9, 2021.

The ninth issue of Black Cat Mystery features a stellar lineup of new stories (and one classic reprint). Here are—

LAST RITES, by Stacy Woodson
CORAL COVE, by B.A. Paul
THE ALLEY, by Ann Aptaker
SONNY’S ENCORE, by Michael Bracken
SWITCH AND BAIT, by Cynthia Ward
BECOMING ZERO, by James A. Hearn
YOU GOTTA BE IN IT!, by Elliott Capon
A FIGHTER BY HIS TRADE, by Graham Powell

Classic reprint:

“Blindsided,” written with Michael Bracken, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, September/October 2021.

From the publisher: What loyalty do you owe and to whom? Family, friends, neighbors, community, society? Many of the stories in this issue explore the complicated demands of these bonds of blood and affection.  In “Blindsided,” cowritten by Michael Bracken and James A. Hearn, a college football player must question his loyalty to a teammate.


“Winner Takes All,” forthcoming in Mickey Finn 2: 21st Century Noir (Down & Out Books), 2021.

“When the Dams Break,” forthcoming in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, issue TBD.

“Home Is the Hunter,” forthcoming in Mickey Finn 3: 21st Century Noir (Down & Out Books), 2022.


Writers of the Future Contest – Finalist, 2nd quarter, 2019; Finalist, 2nd quarter, 2018; Semi-Finalist, 3rd quarter, 2018; numerous Silver Honorable Mentions and Honorable Mentions. WotF is a quarterly short story contest honoring new writers in science fiction and fantasy.


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