You remember my reviewing Christopher Rudy's The Last Victim? No? Well what are you waiting for? Click HERE.
Today I bring you an interview with the author himself.
Hello Christopher, Welcome to Pen and Paper.
1. Firstly, can I ask you to tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 52 years old and was lucky enough to retire at 48. I knew I was to young not to work so I got a job with the United States Marshal Service. I've been involved in law enforcement my entire adult life. I have 2 adult children, a son and daughter. They are living in New York city and chasing their dreams. My beautiful wife is gainfully employed as a manager in a huge steel company and this leaves me a lot of spare time to mess around with writing. I love to play golf and I'm an avid follower of american football and baseball.
2. The Last Victim is your first book, would you like to let us know what it's about?
The Last Victim is the story of convicted serial rapist William Edward Griffith, Jr. The story unfolds chronologically. The lady who was his last victim, Melissa Brown, called me in March of 2009 and asked me to go with her to Griffith's parole hearing. I readily accepted and was really blown away but what I saw and heard. Griffith wasn't there. The hearing for an offender such as him in the state of Ohio, are held separately so the victims don't have to see the offender. There were a dozen or more women that testified about Griffiths crimes against them and each one underwent a complete change right before my eyes as they got into their story. It was kind of spooky. The parole board went through a lot of tissues that day.
3. An interesting title, how did it come about?
When Melissa was testifying the lady running the hearing stopped her and said, "honey I'm sorry but I can't keep all of you straight, which one are you?" Melissa said, "I'm the last one, mine is the case that put him in prison." Molly from the parole board responded, "oh, okay, your the last victim." It was like a light went off over my head and I thought, 'I outta write a story about this and that is a great title."
4. You mention you have been involved with law enforcement your entire life, how did you go from that to writing a book?
I've always been an avid reader of true crime and some fiction of police stories, primarily Joseph Wambaugh. Pretty much the circumstances of question #2 answer this one also. I have sooooo many stories written down about cases and incidents over the years that I don't know if I'd be better off trying to put together short stories to submit to someone or try linking them together to form a novel. I don't know that I want to do non-fiction or go with a series of fictional stories centered on those cases. I'm so new and such a novice in this industry that I'm not sure where to go.
5. So, you don't know that you want to do non-fiction or go with a series of fictional stories centred on those cases, what would you think about the possibility of writing a book that isn't crime based?
That would be a possibility. I've always heard, "write what you know". There are other things I know how to do but I don't know if they'd be as interesting.
6. Co-written with George Davis, was he also involved in law enforcement?
No, George worked for 32 years as a crime beat reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal. He covered my police jurisdiction all those years and was the person I turned to when I started gathering all the information for the book. I sat down and tried to get started and thought, I need help! The biggest thing I last wrote was a project paper in college. I called George and asked him if he could help me write a book about William Griffith and he agreed. From there we wrote up a legal agreement and started out interviewing 24 different people for the book and and serve public records requests on numerous agencies.
7. In the epilogue you state 'In my humble opinion, William E. Griffith Jr. is the most dangerous criminal ever encountered in Stark County, Ohio'. Given all of the cases you must have investigated over the years is this the reason you chose to write about this one?
Yes, that is one of the reasons along with how moved I was by the various victims testimony at the victim impact portion of the parole hearing.
8. Where can we purchase The Last Victim?
The Last Victim is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other outlets.
9. Any tips to aspiring writers?
If I were to talk to anyone wishing to write a book, I'd tell them to do it. Don't let anyone discourage you or tell you you can't. Also, have plenty of patience and enjoy the process along the way.
10. And finally, one last question....... which book would you loved to have written?
If I could have written a book I would say unequivocally, it would be Joseph Wambaugh's, 'The Choirboys'. This book is filled with stories I was talking about in an earlier question. The book is hilarious in my eyes. Policeman are known for their 'gallows' sense of humor, humor that other people consider morbid or twisted. That's me. I see humor in a lot of everyday happenings that others don't. I believe it helped me throughout my career to make it through the crap that the world throws at you. The cast of characters in 'The Choirboys' are lovable louts in my eyes, I can relate to everyone of them. The best stories come from old time coppers. Their hilarious.
11. Thanks very much Chris, is there anything else you'd like to add?
BUY THE BOOK. I just think it would be sooooo cool to have a sale in Europe. I could tell people I'm international!