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Relief: Finally finished

I slept well last night. Perhaps because yesterday I sent off my latest manuscript to my editor at HarperCollins, my new true crime book on the Matt Baker case. Matt was a Baptist minister in Waco, TX, who's been convicted of murdering his wife, Kari, and staging it to look like a suicide. It's a heartbreaking case.

I admit it: there were times I thought I'd never finish! I've spent 17 months on this book, and it's one of the most difficult I've written. There were so many setbacks! At first hardly anyone wanted me to write the book. I found out later that they had their reasons, and I understood. Eventually, I think they realized that someone was going to write a book on this case and that I would work hard and do my best.

By the end, nearly everyone on all sides of the case talked to me. A few months back, I even drove north to Livingston, TX, and interviewed Matt Baker in prison.

It's been a long road, and I have boxes of research materials and the information from dozens and dozens of interviews. I'm content because I believe I've written a truly fine and honest book.

So, what's next? Well, I'm not completely sure. I'm planning to take a month off, clean up a lot I've let slide, and then begin a novel. I have some ideas. That's the way it works with a writer, at least this one, things bouncing around in my head that keep banging into each other until one pushes the others away. So, I'm waiting for that to happen.

When it does, I'll sit down at my computer and type a title and start. I hope to have my eleventh book completed by the end of the year.

Why do I do it? In hopes that you'll find the books worthy of your time. Thanks to all of you who read my books, especially those who tell others about them. I do love to write, and without you, why would I? With so many books to pick from, I'm honored that you choose to include mine.

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