Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Margaret M. Stoddart author of The Chaparral Murders: Dollar Store Justice.
Good day Margaret and thanks for participating in our interview.
Whom do you believe will benefit from The Chaparral Murders: Dollar Store Justice? What are your hopes for this book?
Bringing these events and this case to light after all this time can generate dialogue that may lead to corrections — corrections in assumptions, corrections in viewpoints, corrections in conclusions.
The case was never finished. One murder was never solved. Because of that we can’t be sure the verdict in the second case was just. People are still suffering from what very well might be mistakes that can now be corrected.
Although Edith never intended this book to lead to a review of Rusty’s case, I believe that would be fully justified given what I have gleaned from my research.
What motivated you to write your book and to devote a great deal of time to research?
I was incredulous at the way the case was handled. There seemed to be another agenda violently pushing everyone in one direction. With the encouragement of my family, I dug in with determination to sort it out.
What kind of research did you do to write this book? Margaret:
I tracked down court documents obtaining most of them in person in West Virginia from the City Halls, Court Houses, libraries, and newspaper offices. Only about one percent of the material was available on the Internet since the case dated back to the early ‘80s. Four trips to West Virginia from my home in Ottawa, Canada included prearranged meetings and impromptu encounters with the principals and townsfolk. Some of the material had to be obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
I sent out letters and emails. Some people never responded. Others had passed away. I did correspond with Rusty Phillips to obtain his version of events and to question him on certain aspects that troubled me.
I read four years (1980-1983) of the Parson’s Advocate weekly newspaper on microfilm to understand the community.
How do you intend to market your book and will you be using the Internet? If you will be using the Internet, how will you go about it?
I bought a copy of John Kremer’s book 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. It is full of great ideas. As a result, I have joined several online writing groups, created a blog, set up a web site, jointed the Facebook and Myspace communities and will be linking to Innocence Project web sites. Word of mouth seems to sell more books than any other form of advertising. This is a natural for the Internet.
Networking with other writers has already gained me one speaking engagement at a local library. Other opportunities are unfolding. I joined Crimewriters of Canada and SPAN (Small Publishers Association of North America). I created a press release template that I will customize for each media source.
iUniverse provided me with marketing materials as well. They have a partnership with Barnes and Noble where books achieving the Publisher’s Choice designation are placed in one Barnes and Noble store for several weeks. This is a great opportunity for self-published authors. I am hoping they will agree to place The Chaparral Murders: Dollar Store Justice in a West Virginia store.
What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?
Several of the key people refused to speak about the case. I couldn’t understand that after so many years. I thought they would be glad someone was interested in their experience after all this time. There is still a great deal of reticence surrounding this case.
Apart from the distance issue, I had to adapt to working in a different culture. Ways of talking and thinking in a small isolated mountain community presented a surprising challenge to someone from a large Canadian city.
Has your environment and/or upbringing influenced your writing?
My mother was always reading something. She took some writing courses later in life. Her sister was in radio and television in Hamilton in the 50s and 60s and more recently has written for a senior’s magazine.
My high school English teacher had a non-traditional approach to his vocation that made reading and literature fun. He is a highly regarded Canadian author (Brian Doyle, 2005 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature).
What has been your overall experience as a self-published author?
So far I’m delighted. It has accelerated my learning. If I hadn’t gone this route I’d still be sending out queries and getting rejection letters instead of actively working on marketing my book.
How can our readers find out more about you and any follow-ups to your book?
Updates are being posted at mmstoddart.blogspot.com
More material on the case will be available on my web site when it is launch at the end of the month. Readers will be encouraged to engage in discussions on the book and the justice issues.
Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us? (We would love to hear all about them!)
This book tells such an important story and raises such serious contemporary issues that I am committed to it until it gains its own momentum. After that I’d love to do something fictional involving philosophy and quantum physics. My inner self is working on that one while my outer self completes the true crime work!
Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?
No matter how big and daunting a task looks, looking at it doesn’t get it done.
Thanks for talking with me Norm.
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.
The Chaparral Murders: Dollar Store Justice
Click Here To Purchase From Amazon The Chaparral Murders: Dollar Store JusticeAuthor: Margaret M. Stoddart ISBN: 978-0-595-44329-1 Margaret M. Stoddart’s The Chaparral Murders chronicles the true story of Rusty Phillips, who was arrested and charged with the 1982 murders of Glenn Roberts and his son Timmy in the rural town of Parsons West Virginia and how he was eventually convicted of one of the charges-the murder of Timmy (the murder of Glenn was never solved).Today, after twenty-five...
Interview: Jim Miller Author of Retire Dollar $mart
Author: Jim MillerPublisher: TraffordISBN: 1412030005 The following interview was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures &CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews.To read Norm's Review Of The Book Click Here
Interview With Byron Justice Author of Violent Night
Author: Byron JusticeISBN: 978-0-9701793-4-0The following interview was contributed by: Mary Simmons: Click Here To Read Mary's Reviews: To read Mary's review of the book CLICK HEREMary: What sparked your interest in the Apocalypse and what made you decide to write a book on the subject?Byron: The Left Behind series rekindled my interest in the Apocalypse, but it was only about those left behind, and I didn't relate well to the characters. I saw the movie Armageddon that wasn't even about...
Retire Dollar $mart
Author: Jim MillerPublisher: TraffordISBN: 1412030005 The following review was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures &CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews To read Norm's Interview With The Author CLICK HERE
The Black Messiah Murders
Click Here To Purchase From Amazon The Black Messiah Murders
Authors: Shelly Waxman and James Nathan PostPublishers: iUniverse, Inc.ISBN: 0595287670Genre: crime/thriller/noir
Goodbye Evilwood: The Murders In Tinseltown
Author: Vladimir ChernozemskyISBN: 1932656049In Goodbye Evilwood: The Murders In Tinseltown, Vladimir Chernozemsky offers us a glimpse of the sleazy and sordid side of Hollywood with his tale of the murder of a ballerina. This is a semi-true story as Chernozemsky mentions in his Preface, names and a few places have been changed, some more than others, however the main facts are established history, his own experiences and those of his Hollywood friends and acquaintances. The novel opens with...
Great Book Store For New & Used Books-ABEBOOKS
Here is an interesting article I came across concerning a Canadian Book Store, ABEBOOKS, that sells New & Used Books.They even sell used text books, as well as many other goodies.CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE BY CLICKING HEREYou can go directly to ABEBOOKS BY CLICKING ON THE IMAGE
Execution of Justice
Author: Patrick DentPublisher: Dent PublishingISBN: 14116-3747-XThe following review was contributed by: SHELDON (SHELLY) WAXMAN: Click to view Shelly's reviewsThis book starts out, I believe, on a complicated footing. There are three separate subplots with three separate main characters. This causes the story line to be somewhat convoluted. It would have been better to tell the story in first person from the POV of each character. It would have made it easier to read.The writing is...