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
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
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