Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Murder- Is There A Deadline?

Now there is. My manuscript (1st rough draft) of Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns is sixteen chapters in length. It represents untold hours in travel, research, interviews, and writing. As mentioned in a previous blog, a time must come when one weighs the plusses and minuses of a project such as this. At this moment, the plusses still tilt the scale in their favor.

Today, in an interview with the editor of the Green Valley News, I was asked why I continue to pursue this effort. Why try to write this book- a book which Stacey’s family does not favor and apparently many of Stacey’s friends do not favor either? Here is the answer, as well as I can put it. First, I write, for that is what writers do. (Thanks, Denise!) Second, I know people who are hurting so deeply because of this horrific crime that I naively thought I might make a difference.  Third, and again, naively, I thought that if the book ever sold, the proceeds could help the Burns children. That is why I continue to do this.
Well, as they say, a hard lesson learned is one never forgotten. It has been twenty one years since our son died. Not a day nor an hour nor probably a minute goes by without a vision of his face drifting through my consciousness. I just thought that maybe my efforts on this book would help keep a vision of Stacey Burns drifting through the minds of the many who were touched by her during her life.

The deadline I mentioned in the title? I’ll be in New Hampshire for four days in September. I’ve offered free programs about the process of writing this book. I’ve contacted previous interviewees for  follow-up interviews.  I will have contacted police authorities directly in the next few days. These efforts are simply to verify events that already exist in the rough draft. How hard can it be to say, “No, that isn’t how it happened” or “Yes, that’s the way it was?” No response from any of these efforts will tell me much about where the project should go.

In early October, as I return to Arizona from New Jersey and New Hampshire, a decision on the direction of this project will have to be made. There are people out there who could make this decision much easier. Please let me hear your opinion! Thanks!

Duke

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I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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