VODKA O’CLOCK 2021-06:


VOC logo AMBER LOVE 06-OCT-2021 My work is supported by the generous backers at who appreciate my reviews and my stories; and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast.

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Hailing from the charming small town of Lambertville which is a somewhat distant Philadelphia suburb, Dennis Tafoya is full of ideas about crime as entertainment. After an in-person write-in session at Factory Fuel coffee shop in Flemington, New Jersey, Dennis and I hit the record button to talk about how writing life has been in the COVID era.

dennis tafoya at laptop

He’s working on a manuscript where the main character is a woman getting out of prison to then face the ordeal of her child being kidnapped. Dennis got to be one of the judges for the Edgar Awards True Crime category. He’s plugged into different areas of the entertainment industry’s crime niche. Maybe a podcast is in his future?

We discussed the artistic liberties that are taken when turning a news story into a narrative. From Ed Gein in a small town in Wisconsin being the influence of Psycho and Silence of the Lambs to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood set in Kansas — real murders become fuel for arts and entertainment in every kind of medium. Also, how does the narrative work for a story when the case is never solved to satisfaction (Zodiac)?

Comic Book examples:

Capote in Kansas by Ande Parks and Chris Samnee (Oni Press)

Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? by Harold Schechter and Eric Powell (Albatross Funnybooks)

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

The Butcher of Paris by Stephanie Phillips and Dean Kotz

That’s a mere sample. Of course there are tons of fictionalized stories about Jack the Ripper, probably the most infamous serial killer of all time whether he was actually one person or a partnership.

Reference Books for Inspiration and Fun:

D.P. Lyle has several books to help writers get their facts straight about forensics and first aid. He also writes novels and maintains a blog.

Katherine Ramsland is a fascinating writer and public speaker about the criminal mind and psychology. Plus she also writes about vampires and ghosts sometimes.

Don’t forget about seminars and lectures in police procedures. Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime are two organizations that have a lot of meetings, conferences, and panels. I haven’t been to it, but I’d love to go to the Writers’ Police Academy.

Dennis Tafoya Links:


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