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Amen! I feel like reading anything that isn't [100%] true is a waste of time!

Peggy K. Newton

Laura, I totally agree with your comments regarding true crime vs. "based on a true crime." Nine years ago I became intrigued by a series of killings that occurred during my childhood in my hometown. I didn't understand them as a child, but after reading 50-year-old news accounts, I decided to summarize the killings in a local monthly publication. The "summary" grew to a 13-part series of articles. I heard from many people who remembered the crimes (including families of victims, attorneys, law officers, and a relative of the murderer) who offered their memories. As a result, I began additional research and am, finally, working on the first draft of my book. The facts are too compelling to use fictionalization. The story tells itself. This past month, another writer self-published a book on the same subject, claiming it's "80 to 85 percent correct." (More like 40 percent.) On the copyright page she writes that the facts are "as accurate as possible after 50 years." The book is pure fiction. She wrote it from the viewpoint of the murderer (who died in 1983) and the chief detective on the case (who died in 1974). It's full of grammatical and factual errors, anachronisms, and shows no sign it was proofread or edited. She told a local newspaper reporter that her book was true crime, reiterating it was 80 to 85 percent correct, but that she used fiction techniques, as inspired by Truman Capote. I went to her book signing and she told me she will be selling the book to "the movies." People who know how much time and effort I've put into my book, not to mention travel and hours of interviews and researching at archives and courthouses, are encouraging me to finish my book. I am blessed to have that encouragement and will do so. I hope to have it published by a reliable "old-fashioned" publisher because I can't afford to self-publish. If I can't sell it to a "real" publisher, I'll pass out copies to my friends and know I did it "the right way." I wish there was a "true crime writers" organization that addressed the issues and concerns of true crime writers, with annual conventions and perhaps local chapters. The closest I can find online is the International Crime Writers but it's still not ideal. Thanks for letting me vent. You have a wonderful website, and your book was great. I hope you write more books.

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