Known Best For Her True Crime, Rother’s First Book Was NAKED ADDICTION, A Crime Fiction Mystery Now Out With WildBlue Press
I can’t even count how many times I wrote and significantly rewrote NAKED ADDICTION. But because it was my first book, I was riding the learning curve, and as I tell my students, writing is rewriting.
Back in the 1990s, when I started this crime novel, I decided that rather than stick the early drafts into a drawer and start a new one, I would just keep rewriting it until I got it right.
By the time I was done, it was so different from the early drafts that I had no idea if I’d made it better or if I’d changed it so much at the suggestions of others—from writing conferences, workshops, classes, beta readers, and one editor who read two different versions and still rejected it—that it didn’t even fit my vision anymore.
I was thrilled when bestselling crime author Michael Connelly read the manuscript before I even had a contract, liked it enough to give me a blurb, and offered to give me a critique to improve it. Of course I was disappointed to hear that it still needed more work, but was ecstatic that he, as a huge success and one of my very favorite authors, had pointed me in the right direction on how to fix it. He said the character development was good, but the police procedural details needed to catch up, and he was absolutely right. Despite years of improving my own investigative reporting craft at the newspaper, I had neglected to give that knowledge to my detectives.
So, I dug back in, weaved in some more investigative and police procedural details, changed the ending (and the killer), and also weaved in some new details that I’d learned from writing my first true crime book, POISONED LOVE, about the Kristin Rossum murder case.
By the time I found a publisher and NAKED ADDICTION was released in 2007, it had been 17 long years.
In the last couple of months, as I was reading through the manuscript once again, I realized how much more I’ve learned about police procedures after writing seven more true crime thrillers. But I didn’t want to make substantive changes to the original story.
This book holds a special place in my heart because it was my first book, my first and only novel, and it took so damn long to get it out there, not to mention all the trials and tribulations since. NAKED also represents who I was as a writer, author and person when I first wrote it.
So, I only made some minor additions and modifications this time around, such as removing mentions of payphones, fax machines, and paper address books. I also made it a little more readable in places by adding some dialogue and tightening some sentences.
If you compare this version with the original you won’t see any huge changes, but after growing as an author and working six years as an editor, writing instructor and coach, I just had to make a few tweaks.
And onward to the next one!