Jim Wygant has released 11 books, all still available either in paper or ebook format. In his twenties he transitioned from writing short stories and poetry to developing longer works. In addition to the 11 published books there have been a couple of other early efforts that he now regards as part of his development as a writer, but not good enough to release.
Jim has always been attracted to writing. While working as a busboy in high school he repeatedly visited the newsroom of The Oregonian, the state’s largest newspaper, to seek a job as a copy boy. His persistence paid off. He was hired and used his salary to help pay for his first two years of college. The City Editor of The Oregonian recommended Jim into a position as editor of a weekly newspaper. Becoming editor on a small weekly paper was an all-encompassing job and is remembered fondly. He was hired away from the weekly by a small daily with a news staff of four. After a one-year hiatus from college, Jim returned to get his bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and to begin working full time for The Oregonian, at that time the recent recipient of a couple of Pulitzer prizes. Unfortunately, like many other large daily newspapers, The Oregonian is now a shadow of its former self.
Jim spent two years as a reporter at The Oregonian, one of those years as a police reporter operating from a press room in what was then Central Precinct. He transmitted his stories to The Oregonian offices via teletype. After two years as a reporter he resigned, drove his VW bug to Acapulco, and returned two months later to search for another job, which he resolved by becoming an investigator in a District Attorney’s office. After five years there he moved on to a position as an investigator in the Oregon Attorney General’s office, where he spent another five years. Seeking some form of self-employment, he trained to become a polygraph examiner and began a career that would span about 40 years, primarily working for criminal defense attorneys.
Being self-employed provided an opportunity to expand his interest in writing fiction. “The Spy’s Demise” was his first published novel. He has continued writing and released his most recent work in December, 2018. Jim is now fully retired from polygraph. During that career he interviewed several thousand people suspected or accused of crimes, including over one hundred murder cases. He conducted tests inside nearly every jail in Oregon, as well as every State corrections facility, including maximum security. His fiction writing has naturally inclined toward crime fiction.
He has also written one non-fiction memoir, “Confessions of a Lie Detector,” which is out of print but remains available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon.
Jim and his wife Sandy have traveled widely in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and throughout the world, having visited the U.K., France, Italy, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, China (Jim was walking on The Great Wall in the photo above), Russia, and the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. They reside in Oregon with their dog Chappie.