Interview with RJ Parker
What is the hardest part of writing true crime novels?
Gathering information. I’ve contacted the FBI and have been given quite a bit of information, as well from their archives. You can obtain a great deal of information from the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Some things get blacked out however. The FBI policy on extracting information is that you have to rephrase or edit every paragraph, or, every 40 words. If the perp is captured and sentenced, than court documentation is a great source and very explicit in detail. If someone is interested in writing, those are two avenues plus, contacting the local police station that investigated the crime and if the case is closed, they will give you a summary of the crime but not crime scene pictures unfortunately.
What is the most heinous crime you’ve written about?
Writing about school shootings. When I was writing No Killing in the Hallways, I was an emotional wreck. Being a parent of two teenage girls in school, and to research and write about what happened at V. Tech and Columbine, was emotionally draining.