Hello again, lovely readers!Time for another interesting guest blogger, author Steven Hart who just published his new murder mystery novel, We All Fall Down & guess who created the artwork& design for the cover?? Yup, yours truly! It was really cool setting up the “murder scene” in my kitchen (NO ONE WAS HARMED DURING THIS PHOTO SHOOT! 😉 & thanks to my friend Miriam for posing as the “victim”…she’s fine now!
So, I’ll let Steven take over and discuss his inspiration for this novel and hope you’ll all pick up your very affordable copy today…purchasing info below as well…
Sometimes it’s hard to say where the inspiration for something originated, but in the case of We All Fall Down I can remember all three sources of inspiration.
The first source of inspiration comes from what I laughingly call my journalism career, the best parts of which I spent covering cops and courts. Police work is a world unto itself, and police don’t open themselves up to civilians very often. You can go with them on ride-alongs and attend press conferences, but the day-to-day contact of beat journalism is the best, albeit slowest, way to get glimpses into the closed circle.
The second source came about when I was covering East Brunswick for the News Tribune, and I came across a budget item for a legal settlement of roughly $750,000 to a woman police officer. When I read the court documents, I saw that this woman police officer had been so brutally harassed by the male officers on the force that she once even had plastic surgery in an attempt to get them to stop ridiculing her looks. This was East Brunswick, mind you, a pretty educated and forward-thinking community. It was a big settlement, but the township was happy to pay it. Had the case gone to a jury, the woman would have cleaned their clock for them. I had seen women officers in other towns, and I knew they had a pretty tough time proving themselves in the hyper-macho world of police work. My heroine, Karen McCarthy, corresponds physically to a patrolwoman I knew in a Middlesex County town, and her experiences are a composite of things I learned from other cop shops.
Finally, the engine for the plot, which popped into my head while I was editing stories about a robbery at a husband-and-wife jewelry store in which the husband had accidentally shot and killed his wife. Horrific enough, but it got even worse when the dead woman’s parents accused the husband of using the chaos of the robbery and gunfight to murder his wife. The plot of We All Fall Down has nothing to do with that case, but the idea of using a crime to cover up a crime stayed with me.
STEVEN HART is a journalist and freelance writer based in Central New Jersey. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the online magazine Salon, and other venues.
He is the author of The Last Three Miles: Politics, Murder, and the Construction of America’s First Superhighway (The New Press, 2007), a widely praised work of narrative history.