Michael Kiefer, courts and legal writer for The Arizona Republic, novelist and travel writer. I spent some time with him a recent Society of Professional Journalists mixer and he’s got some interesting stories. And more than his interesting stories – he’s an interesting guy!
The most recent of his half-dozen novels is Another Monk’s Tale, but that’s just part of his story.
Mike, time to share:
I’ve been a cab driver, a janitor, a haberdasher, a martial arts instructor, a college Spanish teacher, a magazine editor, a travel writer and a newspaper reporter. In search of good stories, I’ve driven the Alaska Highway, witnessed executions, dogsledded from Minnesota to Canada and back, been mugged in Peru and interrogated by the secret police in Chile, skied off-piste in the Alps and the Andes and interviewed Michael Jordan, Mike Ditka, Randy Johnson, Tamara McKinney, Martina Navratilova and countless others along the way, including Jodi Arias.
In my day job, I report on courts and crime and the death penalty for The Arizona Republic. I led coverage on the trial of Arias and was one of only a handful of journalists to interview her.
I’ve covered the legal proceedings for Jared Loughner, who was sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson that left six people dead and seriously injured former U.S Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. I broke the story that Arizona and other states were illegally buying drugs from Europe to carry out executions, followed the court battles over immigration law, and wrote an expose of prosecutorial misconduct in Arizona.
As a travel writer, I’ve reported extensively from Europe and North and South America. A former associate editor of Outside magazine and a regular contributor to TravelGirl, I’ve been fortunate to have features, essays and profiles appear in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including Playboy, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Self, The New York Times and USA Today.
I also love to teach. I have taught Spanish, writing and journalism at The University of Michigan, Columbia College and Roosevelt University in Chicago and Grand Canyon University. I speak Spanish, Italian and French, am a lifelong skier and I hold a 4th-degree black belt in Hapkido.