Friday, April 06, 2007

The Criminal Mind

Busy day around here. Went to a talk by Diane Fanning at the University of Texas this morning. Now I should be packing for my 7 a.m. flight tomorrow for D.C. Then tonight I have a birthday party to go to.

But wanted to take a minute to tell you about Diane’s talk. I’ve heard her speak before at book signings. Today was a talk geared toward a big crowd signed up for a six week class on the criminal mind in fiction and real life. Diane had slides, interesting stories, and expertise to share. It was fascinating to hear details about the research she does, the insight into the criminal mind she has gained over the years, and her personal experience with the killers and criminals she’s written about.

For anyone who might think she can’t be an expert since she’s not a psychologist or a psychiatrist, she’s a writer … think of how much you learn with each book you write about whatever your theme is. Now, imagine writing book after book after book on the same topic – the criminal mind. Not only writing the books, but getting up close and sometimes personal with the killers. Some of her subjects continue to correspond with her after the book is done. She goes to death row and interviews the killers.

The audience had lots of questions, including on cases Diane has never written about.

If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, do so.

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