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Former forensic photographer confronts Navajo taboos about death in debut novel

There’s an old adage for writers: write what you know. For her debut novel, author Ramona Emerson drew on an earlier career as a forensic videographer and photographer.

In “Shutter,” the main character, Rita, has that same job with one significant difference: she sees the ghosts of crime victims.

Emerson lives in Albuquerque and is also Diné. Her culture, and that of her main character, also play a major role in the book.

Emerson spoke with The Show about how much Rita is based on her earlier career and more.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.