Hi WildBlue Press fans:
I’m so happy to meet fellow readers and writers of true crime. Thrilled to have my first book accepted by WBP recently and I hope you enjoy reading it. It’s called GRILLING DAHMER and is of course about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. I was fortunate enough to meet and become friends with Patrick Kennedy (former Milwaukee Homicide Detective who formally interrogated Dahmer back in 1991) shortly before he died. What was to be his project with some help from me, became my project which was to get Kennedy’s story out to a public interested in reading about it.
I have been writing since I was a teen and have dabbled in a number of genres including poetry, essays, feature articles, and business/commercial writing. Because I have always enjoyed true crime as a reader, I decided to try my hand at writing it and chose Dahmer as my subject matter. I had seen a few documentaries on him, read a bit about him, and wanted to propose a theory about who Dahmer really was in relation to his victims, and had the opportunity to meet Pat via e-mail. We began corresponding and we decided to meet in person in April 2013. What became an article, turned into a manuscript using Pat’s notes and memories to tell his story.
In addition to writing, I love to read, cook, travel, and cycle. I don’t have a car so I walk a lot which is great exercise and something I love to do with my dog, Arya. I live in Canada (I am Canadian) but lived and worked in South Florida for a while many years ago.
I have worked in the areas of marketing and communications, fund development, management of not-for-profits (arts), fund development, and office administration. In 1996, I, along with two others, founded a Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival – an annual book festival that brings writers and readers together for literary readings, workshops, performances, on-stage interviews, and readings for kids. Every year, it employs a number of people who work together to pull together a multi-day, multi-event, and multi-author festival for those who wish to be inspired and entertained; educated and stimulated with ideas, commentary, imagery, and humour.
I have been a reader of true crime for a long time – the first book I read in the genre was Helter Skelter by Vince Bugliosi when I was about 17 and I wrote an essay about Charles Manson and the Manson family for a journalism assignment I had in high school. After that, I was hooked on true crime stories and how those stories are told. True crime is really a study of a cross section of humanity – people who commit violent crimes against other people – but it is also a mystery, biography, geography (when a city or a town becomes a character of the story), history, thriller, psychology, media study, and sociology all in one book. It isn’t about glamorizing crime and criminals for the sake of entertainment – but rather the opportunity to study people who are violent and ask questions like why did this happen and who would do these fatally violent things to other people.
In 2012, I became someone on the other side of the true crime story in that I became the niece of a murdered man. My uncle (who resided in my paternal homeland, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies) was killed when his house was targeted by a group who through a Molotov cocktail through his window. His tenants who lived on the main floor were able to get out, but unfortunately, my uncle Vishnu perished in the fire. I wouldn’t presume to speak for anyone else, but I understand the feeling of losing a loved one in an intentional murder.
I don’t think it was the experience of losing my uncle that led me to start writing true crime or if it was just the reality that life can end in an instant so you have to discover and decide what you want to do and just go for it. It was around this time that I decided to try my hand at a true crime article and it was how I ended up meeting Detective Kennedy.
I am currently working on another true crime book that will feature a number of different crimes in one book rather than focusing on one case – it’s in very early stages yet so I can’t share too much at the moment.
Again, I really hope you enjoy the book and look forward to any comments you might have about it (or the true crime genre in general!)