"Write what you know."
That's the advice most middle school English teachers and creative writing instructors tell their students who are stumped by the blank page.
For at least one local writer, this advice has been taken to heart.
Colleen Cross is a professional accountant who has seen first-hand the damage done by fraud.
She is also a published author who spins her in-depth knowledge of the financial industry into white-collar crime novels.
Her latest book, Game Theory - the second in the Katerina Carter Fraud Thriller series - tells the tale of an elderly man being targeted for currency hedge fund fraud as his dementia worsens.
Writing about real-world issues such as this is something Cross hopes will both help to raise awareness about, while also entertaining her readers.
"It's the secret crime no one dares talk about, but keeping silent is an even bigger crime," she wrote in an email to The Record.
"Everyone has heard of Ponzi schemes and Bernie Madoff," she said. "But smaller frauds occur every day and often go unreported, leaving embarrassed and indebted victims."
Not only does Cross write about a subject she knows well, she also sets her stories in the place she knows best.
Her heroine, Kat, finds herself in and around New Westminster, as well as on the Sunshine Coast, during her quest to uncover the truth.
The official book launch for Game Theory is set for 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, at the Heritage Grill, at 447 Columbia St.
The event is open to the public, and there is no charge for admission.
For more information about Cross and her books, visit www. ColleenCross.com.