5 Remembrances For Ann Rule
True crime queen Ann Rule passed away last Sunday. As a tribute to the late writer, here are 5 remembrances:
They staffed a suicide hotline together. On Rule's first day, Bundy brought her a cup of coffee and waved at the large rows of phone banks. "You think we can handle all this?" were his first words to her.
Although many of the publications she wrote for were read by women—magazines such as True Detective—Rule was asked to publish under a man's name, and she even went on to publish three books under the name Andy Stack.
The main criteria is that you have to care about people sincerely, and realize that you can hurt them more or give them some serenity by what you write. You have to be self-motivated, and willing to sit on rock-hard benches day after day at a long trial, spend hours in a library periodical room, approach virtual strangers to ask very personal questions, and, sometimes, visit convicted killers in prison. Crime writing isn't for sissies or for lazies.
From Ann's bio:
When Ann spent her summer vacations with her grandparents in Stanton, Michigan, she helped her grandmother prepare meals for the prisoners in the jail. She used to wonder why such friendly, normal-appearing men were locked behind bars, and why the sweet woman in the cell upstairs—who taught Ann to crochet—was about to go on trial for murder.
A lot of people ask me how I cope with the grim tragedies I have to write about and they expect me to have nightmares. Oddly, I don’t have nightmares; I think we have bad dreams about things we repress—and writing about subjects that might cause nightmares brings them out in the open. I try to surround myself with happier things: my garden, wind chimes, prisms (to cast rainbows over my desk), pets, and my collection of more than a hundred angels. I usually listen to an “oldies music” radio station when I write or to Dr. Joy Browne. (I do NOT listen to Dr. Laura Schlessinger because her self-righteous and demeaning lectures to people in trouble would give me nightmares!)
I know I am in the right career when I hear from women who feel their lives have been saved by something they read in one of my books. I never want to scare you, but I want my readers to be alert—and not to fall for any of the ruses and devices that killers and rapists use to throw you off guard. Always lock your car doors. Always take a beat to consider a request for help from a stranger—and if you agree, call 9-1-1, WITHOUT letting him/her into your home or your car. Sometimes the danger readers face lies in a destructive relationship with someone they thought they knew—and several of my books have given women, particularly, a 'heads up' about signs to look for.
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