Monday, October 18, 2010

SHATTERED, The Latest True Crime Book By Author Kathryn Casey.

Kathryn Casey has written six true crime books, three mystery novels and countless magazine articles. Fortunately for her readers, she doesn't appear to slowing down - ever. Indeed, she's had two books published in the last four months. I've read each of her true crime titles and am starting her novels next.

SHATTERED, released in August, was in the top ten on Amazon's best selling true crime list for over a month prior to publication, and continues to be a best seller in paperback and kindle. SHATTERED is the story of David Temple and Belinda Lucas Temple, who appeared to be the model of the all American ideal couple. David and Belinda were attractive, popular, successful, well-educated, and starting a beautiful family. That is, until the myth was exposed and destroyed by the horrible murder of Belinda and her unborn baby.

Kathryn Casey has somehow made room in her schedule to visit Madame Perry's Salon to talk about SHATTERED, so let us begin.

Perry: Welcome to Madame Perry's Salon, Kathryn. Tell me, at what point did you begin following the murder of Belinda Lucas Temple who was eight months pregnant with a baby girl when she was murdered; and when did you decide you wanted to write this book?

Kathryn Casey: I noticed the articles quickly after the murder, and then kept tabs on the case over the years, googling it every so often to see if there was any news. I knew that if the case was ever solved/prosecuted, I would have to be in the courtroom. I was fascinated by what had happened and the long, seemingly endless investigation. For a long time, nothing. Then David Temple was arrested, and I made plans to go to the trial. That was my first real commitment of time, six weeks in the courtroom. From that point on, I worked on the book for about a year, full time.

Perry: Because of his stellar football career David Temple was practically treated like a rock star in the community. How challenging was it for you to get people who knew and admired him to talk about him?''

Casey: It wasn't easy, but then that's often a challenge with true crime books. But I was persistent, and it paid off. Eventually, many people did talk with me and the book took shape. As much as his celebrity status in Katy, the problem was that quite a few people were afraid of David. He's a big, muscular guy with a notoriously bad temper. Even though he was behind prison walls, some people worried for their safety.

Perry: The Temple family certainly appears to be a very tight clan, even to the point where the families of their sons' wife were not considered during major holidays and events. Therefore Belinda was never with the Lucases, her own family, on Christmas or other special days. Yet after her brutal murder when police questioned David's involvement the family - except for Belinda's twin sister - loudly defended him. It must have been very difficult to get them to discuss the loss of their daughter and granddaughter.

Casey and Max
Casey: It wasn't too long after the murder before Tom and Carol Lucas began questioning their son-in-law's possible involvement. By the time I met them, they'd spent years fighting to bring David to justice. Once they understood that I was committed to writing a fair and accurate account of their daughter's murder, they agreed to talk to me. Still, those are painful memories. It's often very difficult for parents, siblings, loved ones to discuss the awful moment of that first phone call, signaling that someone they love has died.

The days that followed are so emotional, and then there's that awful realization that a young man they thought of as a son was a controlling, abusive husband and a murderer. The Lucases carried the burden of Belinda's murder for so many years, fighting for justice. It was truly heartbreaking.

Perry: I've read every one of your true crime books, Kathryn, and you get deep in the stories of some evil, twisted people. Do you have some process you go through to sort of detoxify yourself emotionally and psychically after finishing an intense true crime story?
Kathryn Casey in the courtroom
during the Celeste Beard trial.

Casey: No, I'm really fine. The secret is that when I work on a true crime book, I meet maybe one or two really bad people, a few I probably wouldn't invite over for dinner, but for the most part dozens and dozens of truly fine individuals simply trying to live their lives. To write a book like SHATTERED, I talk to somewhere around 100 sources. Maybe five percent are unsavory. For the most part, the people I meet are good people simply caught up in a horrible tragedy.

That said, I have begun writing crime fiction. My third novel, THE KILLING STORM, is coming out on October 26th. I do think that the fiction helps, that it's a release from covering real-life murders. I have so much fun with it that I think of it as therapy.

Perry: Congratulations on the excellent sales for far, I wish you much more success.

Casey: Thank you! It's appreciated.

You may visit Kathyrn Casey's website, follow her on Twitter, and her author page on FaceBook. And of course, get out and buy her books now.


Kay Huck said...

I am a great fan of Kathryn Casey's book, both true crime and her fiction. In fact her fictional Texas Ranger Sarah Armstrong is a great character. I love how she interweaves Sarah's human ordinary life with the work life as a profiler and active detective.

You can bet you will see more great writing from Kathryn

Jennifer Perry said...

Kay, I can't wait to get the Sarah Armstrong series, especially after your enthusiastic endorsement! I can't get enough. Casey's on my short list of writers that I should offer to do gardening and housework for so they'll have more time to write for us.
Thanks for dropping in, your comments and suggestions are welcome
Madame Perry

Julie said...

I lost a little brother to what appears to be a random act of violence, so I have great sympathy for Belinda's family and total respect for Kathryn for being able to tell her story in a fashion that is fact-based and not sensationalized.

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

Jennifer Perry said...

Julie (jewelknits) I am so sorry for the loss of your little brother. My favorite writers of true crime are Kathryn Casey, Diane Fanning and Ann Rule because they are strong on research as well as the human and emotional elements. Plus I hope people reading will be more aware of their surroundings, and willing to step up with information for authorities when needed.

Petula said...

Wow, great interview. I actually haven't read any of her books, but I'm always amazed at writers who do these types of works.

Leigh Russell said...

What an interesting post on a fascinating blog. Thank you very much for inviting me to visit you, I'm looking forward to it!

Jessica said...

I can't imagine what it must be like to follow a real life crime such as this one so closely and to write a book about the subject and what you have learned. I read a previous blog about The Killing Storm and I think you have me hooked!