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Kevin M. Sullivan

When someone has the nerve to ask us for money, we (society, here) should have the nerve to say no. I have always believed people should keep their hands in their own pockets, and frankly, I have become weary with folks having their hands out. This is why the current handout the the car markers and banks are receiving are particularly hard to stomach, but that's another story.

And concerning the above mentioned store manager: well, even fools are allowed to speak.

auria cortes

"So I was seeing a fellow who was... strange. After a couple of weeks, he started telling me what to wear. He went through my closet and picked the outfits I'd put on for our dates."

Glad to hear you made it out of that relationship.

I'm surprised to hear the manager's response to the true crime author. Bookstores are supposed to welcome authors of all genres equally.

Inspector Winship

There are good authors and bad authors in any genre but true crime has that added baggage of being major headlines on "The Enquirer" and "The Sun." I've never read anything by Dian Fanning so I'll just take your word that she's great but Caylee Anthony's body was just found a month ago and there is already a book coming out? Think of the numbers of "paperback writers" that don't have Fanning's cred that push on the public swill about the "crime du jour." Not defending the manager, I'll be the judge of what books I want to read but it is tough to break through the prejudice when so much "stupid" has been poured in the pool.

Laura James

Thanks, Auria. I'm glad too that I saw the signs.

Inspector, you make a good point. It seems that competition between the true crime publishers has gotten so fierce that they're racing one another to have the first book out about a headline case. Understandable but lamentable for the reasons you point out.

Kevin M. Sullivan

Hi Laura--

You might say such books are mass-market tabloid.


An excellent post, Laura, on an important theme. First, let me say how glad I am you get to tell us true crime stories instead of be one. As a matter of fact, I spent most of this week listening to women who got involved with a serial killer and talking to others who lost a loved one to that very man.

The fact is many of the players in a crime story--victims, survivors, investigators, friends--need to tell their story. The experience of testifying is emotional and often ugly. The rules of evidence both expose a witness's most private moments and at the same time prevent her from explaining herself or giving context. Reporters with daily deadlines skim the top off the story and move on.

It is the true crime writer who can give those players the pages it takes to give them a real voice. It's the true crime writer who can uncover and showcase the hidden heroes.

And, yes, writers need to eat. To expand on comments often made by Ann Rule herself--who reports a therapist advised her "many people 'make money' off of crime"--does anyone refuse to seat a stenographer or require proof of donations from bailiffs or sniff at judges, cops, jury commissioners?

The fact is, crime "belongs" to everyone which is why our criminal trials are The People vs the defendant. No one wants to be the next victim, no one wants to die unheard. Various members of society have their roles to play from detective to writer. Some perform their role better than others--there are bad writers, surely, as there are bad cops and rotten lawyers. We still need the job category filled.

canada mystery author

Hi Laura,
Thanks for sharing the interesting post..:)

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