Fish Heads in an Open Bag

     Each time I drove the five-hour trip to the Dwight Correctional Center, Rebecca Bivens was on my mind.  Becca, as she was called, was found guilty-but-mentally ill for the murder of her five-year-old step-daughter.  The fact that she had been diagnosed as having a bipolar disorder grabbed my curiosity.  As an investigative journalist, IContinue reading “Fish Heads in an Open Bag”

Dark Days in Chicago: The Rehabilitation of an Urban Terrorist

“Dark Days in Chicago:  The Rehabilitation of an Urban Terrorist” will be released to the retail market in 3 to 4 months.  I’m very excited about this work that evolved into a new experience for myself.  Over the course of time, I found my own writing being influenced by the writing of the three inmates.  IContinue reading “Dark Days in Chicago: The Rehabilitation of an Urban Terrorist”

A Mighty Fine Book

I was pleased to write a review on “Hurting Like Hell, Living with Gusto:  My Battle with Chronic Pain,” by Victoria Stopp, a fellow Goucher College recipient of an MFA in creative nonfiction writing.  Hope you get a chance to check out her latest book. A mighty fine book. Hurting Like Hell, Living with Gusto:Continue reading “A Mighty Fine Book”

A Troubled Mind

The scientific community has evolved at a much faster rate than our moral development and oftentimes views the causes of violent behavior differently.  For centuries, neuroscientists have studied the physical structure, chemical makeup and biological effects of one’s environment on human behavior.  We are concerned with violent male inmates housed in maximum-security or supermax facilities. Continue reading “A Troubled Mind”

Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals

Several people have asked me about the release date for the printed version of “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals.”  The release date has been moved to November 2017.  I’m sorry for the delay, but it is what it is.  However, I do have several advanced copies of the book that I use forContinue reading “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals”

Prologue to “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals

The ebook will be released on August 1, 2017, followed by the paperback a couple of weeks later.  I am sharing the prologue to the book at this time. *** Prologue Few residents can tell you that Illinois was granted statehood on December 3, 1818, or that the state animal is the white-tailed deer. FewerContinue reading “Prologue to “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals”

Advanced Reviews for Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals

Scheduled for release — ebook on August 1, 2017, printed book seven weeks later.  Advanced Reader Reviews: Supermax Prison is so vivid that readers will feel as if they can hear the cell doors closing behind them.  Larry L. Franklin and Dr. Rakesh Chandra have written a well-crafted and troubling book that raises important questionsContinue reading “Advanced Reviews for Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals”

I ain’t no better than a dirty dime.

I was reading a story from Rolling Stone about an old favorite of mine, Kris Kristofferson.  While I don’t listen to him often, I’m drawn by his lyrics like a bee to honey.  I sat at my computer and let his music help me write my imaginary song. I ain’t no better than a dirtyContinue reading “I ain’t no better than a dirty dime.”

That’s why I write.

I was moved to write this blog when a fellow graduate of a MFA Creative Nonfiction program wrote the following:  “How much rejection can one take? or rather should take? I’ve been getting rejected from every single query, pitch, essay publication, poetry, translation, fellowship, residency and employment I’ve applied to since October.”  Why would someoneContinue reading “That’s why I write.”

Book Titles, Subtitles, and Blurbs

When I finished my manuscript and found a publisher willing to take a chance on me, I thought the journey was complete.  After all, I had written a 250-page manuscript and was proud of my accomplishment.  I even had a title — “Maxed Out:  The birth and death of the Tamms supermax.”  It’s time toContinue reading “Book Titles, Subtitles, and Blurbs”

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