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A journey of enlightment

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I never thought  I would write or edit five prison-related books.  That was not my intention some 15 years ago while traveling a beaten-down, two-lane highway to the Dwight Correctional Center.   I was about to have my first interview with a female inmate, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.  What I thought would be a one-time interview, turned into a two-year journey and my first book — “The Rita Nitz Story:  Life Without Parole.”

While working on Rita’s book I met another inmate who was incarcerated for killing her five-year old stepdaughter.  The inmate, Becca, suffered from a bipolar disorder and unable to recall the murder.  After obtaining copies of her mental health record and confirmation of her mental illness, I began another two-year journey that turned into a second book — “Cherry Blossoms & Barren Plains:  A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell.”

A memoir based on my experiences as a victim of childhood sexual abuse — “Mnemosyne:  A love affair with memory,” provided a distraction from my prison-related books.  “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” and “Dark Days in Chicago:  The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist,” brought my total to five books.  My role in “Dark Days” was that of an editor, writing coach, and supporter.

Now I’ve stepped into the world of Urban Fiction; a genre quite foreign to me, but popular among readers interested in raw, violent stories associated with urban culture, crime syndicates, etc…  The stories are page-turners, emulating the darker side of humanity.

This is where I met Jovon Scott, author of recently published “Blood of my Shadow:  The Rise & Fall of the Syndicate.”  Together, Jovon and I explored the underbelly of urban culture.  For those unfamiliar with this genre, I suggest that you acquaint yourself with another patch in the quilt we call America.

This is my journey of enlightment where I jumped into the unknown, allowing myself to experience each spiritual adventure.  

A book reading at the Longbranch Coffeehouse

longbranch posterI’m looking forward to a reading of my latest book, “Mnemosyne:  A Love Affair with Memory,” at Longbranch Coffeehouse in Carbondale, Illinois.  Longbranch, a longtime local establishment, is a coffeehouse with class — great people, smooth coffee, a fine assortment of food, and a perfect spot to hang out with some friends; the ideal environment for a book reading/discussion. Come join us at Longbranch on Friday, November 22nd, at 7:00 p.m.

If you’d like to read the book, it is available on Amazon.  Also, I’ve taken the liberty of posting the the Introduction and Chapter One.

I’d love to know if you can make it, RSVP on Facebook and check out my Facebook Page while you’re there.