Michael McGarrity holds a BA with distinction in psychology and a master's degree
in clinical social work. As an undergraduate, he held a Ford Foundation Scholarship
at the University of New Mexico. Additionally, he is an honor graduate of the New
Mexico Law Enforcement Academy.
His career in criminal justice includes work in corrections, law enforcement, security,
and police officer training. As a Santa Fe County deputy sheriff, he worked as a
patrol officer, community relations officer, training and planning supervisor, and
lead investigator for the sex crimes unit, which he established. He also has served as
an instructor at the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy, an investigator and
caseworker for the Public Defender's Office, and an investigator for a state government agency. In 1987, he
was honored as Santa Fe's Police Officer of the Year.
As a trained psychotherapist, McGarrity specialized in the treatment of high-risk populations including drug
abusers, chronically mentally ill patients, juvenile delinquents, adult felons, and abused and neglected
children. He was responsible for re-establishing mental health services for the New Mexico Corrections
Department after the infamous prison riot of 1980. That year he was recognized by his peers as the New
Mexico Social Worker of the Year.
He served on the faculty of several colleges and universities, teaching courses in psychology and counseling
and functioning as a field supervisor for undergraduate and graduate clinical social work students. For a
number of years he maintained a private practice in family therapy and consultation services to community-
based treatment agencies. With the publication of "Tularosa" in 1996, McGarrity turned to writing full time.
He lives in Santa Fe New Mexico with his college sweetheart, Emily Beth (Mimi).
A number of his best selling novels have been nominated for various awards, and in 2004 he received the
New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts -- Literature. He has been instrumental in
establishing the Hillerman-McGarrity Creative Writing Scholarship at the University of New Mexico, the
Richard Bradford Memorial Creative Writing Scholarship at the Santa Fe Community College, and the N.
Scott Momaday Creative Writing Scholarship at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Photo - (c) Sean McGarrity 2011