Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fiction Friday: Thoughts on True Crime Books

I have friends who read a lot (a whole lot) of true crime. For them it's relaxing and entertaining and engaging. Certainly they'll never run out of titles to read, from lit fic (Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and Norman Mailer's Executioner's Song) to quickie books churned out in the wake of controversial court cases. (There were no less than 11 books published in the wake of Casey Anthony's trial for the murder of her daughter.)

I don't read that much true crime. Some cases are pretty fascinating--I read two different accounts of the Jon-Benet Ramsey murder investigation--but I realized that I mostly prefer fiction to fact. But there have been some books that So for #fictionfriday, I decided to list the true crime books that I found memorable. They were, in no particular order:

1.  Serpentine by Thomas Thompson--Thompson wrote great true crime books, many of them just crying out for the "miniseries" treatment. The killer here was a handsome, enigmatic man named Charles Sobhraj and the tale is a globe-hopping "odyssey of love and evil" that stretches from Paris to Hong Kong, with a stop at Mt. Everest along the way.
2. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson--I have a particular fondness for period murder mysteries that just happen to be true.
3.  The Napoleon of Crime by Ben Macintyre--see above. This is the bio of a fascinating master thief named Adam Worth.
4. Fire Lover by Joseph Wambaugh--This is an account of a decorated fire firefighter who was secretly an arsonist. I had a personal connection to the case in that one of the stores he burned up was a place I used to shop. It's pretty chilling. This case also attracted the attention of NOVA, which did an episode on it.
5, And the Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi. Bugliosi, who prosecuted Charles Manson, is probably more famous for Helter Skelter than this book, but I found And the Sea Will Tell a lot more interesting, probably because the Manson story has been told and retold and told to death. It's the story of a double murder of a yachting couple and was made into a television movie.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another Cover Reveal: Unsanctified, a horror novella

This is the year I finally transcribe all the short stories and half-based novellas and bits of novel-writing and refine them into something I can actually publish. Joy Sillesen, of Indie Author Services, has been incredibly generous in supplying me with fantastic cover art, and I'm using those covers as inspirations.

This is the cover for Unsanctified, due out in October from Dark Valentine Press. It's an old school horror story, my version of a Stephen King kind of tale. The story takes place on Halloween (of course) and I hope it scares people.

When life imitates art

I have a friend who is writing a supernatural fantasy. I've been reading his chapters and it's really good, the kind of story that makes the little hairs on your neck stand up. But here's the weird part. The opening chapter is called "Birth of the Bear Star" and it features two characters witnessing a Ursa Major. In case you're not up on your astronomical events, a star in the Ursa Major constellation went supernova this week. I've told him he'd better be VERY careful about the other events he writes into his tale. Here's an article about the event.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Science Fiction Movie Infographic

I love infographics. Over at Pinterest, one of my most "repinned" and "liked" pins is a Shakespeare infographic. I was steered toward this infographic by a tweet on a completely different subject but as is often the case, I got distracted and started clicking around looking for other bits of information to amuse myself.

This is your brain on Twitter

I love trivia. My father collected it and at his death, I inherited his box full of notes for a planned book on Virginia trivia. (I was the only person in the family who could actually read his handwriting.) There isn't much of a market for trivia in real life, unless you write trivia questions for bar games (which I have done), although you probably rock at Jeopardy. One of the things I really enjoy about Twitter is that you can "follow" all sorts of Tweeps who offer daily tweets filled with interesting factoids. Most of this information is totally useless but it makes me happy to know all this stuff. It enters my imagination and churns around with everything else in there and sometimes it comes out in a story and sometimes it comes out in a conversation and sometimes it's just there for me to know and you to find out.

Some of the accounts I particularly enjoy are:
@TheWeirdWorld (weird hacks and facts)
@Factsionary (hidden facts)

and the great thing is that once you follow one of these Twitter accounts, the AI will suggest even more. I will NEVER again be without a supply of utterly useless facts at my fingertips.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bad Wolf by Nele Neuhaus

Best-selling German crime writer Nele Neuhaus has a new book out today, Bad Wolf. It's the second in her series about a couple of detectives who have messy personal lives they need to balance as they go about solving murders. I reviewed the first book in the series, Snow White Must Die at Criminal Element last year, and my first look at the Bad Wolf is up on the site now. Read it here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

And yet another free ebook source

So many books!
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