1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? The Best New True Crime Stories: Partners in Crime is actually the fifth book in my true crime franchise, so I’ve been at the series for quite a while now. I come up with a new theme for each book. The idea of focusing on criminal couples seemed like a winning one and a perfect addition to the series.
2. What is it about and who is it for? We usually hear about crimes being committed by individuals, but there’s something particularly fascinating when two people involved in a relationship team up to commit a crime, especially a violent one. My book focuses on various types of crime, from financial to murder, and likewise attempts to offer some insight into why these couples have taken this path in life. Obviously, The Best New True Crime Stories: Partners in Crime will appeal to readers of true crime, but it will also appeal to those with broader reading tastes.
3. What takeaways might the reader be left with after reading it? As with the previous books in my series, the accounts in The Best New True Crime Stories: Partners in Crime give readers something to think about, particularly when it comes to the ways in which background, social culture, and environment can contribute toward shaping these individuals into the criminals they’ve become. Also factored into this are the ways in which social culture and time frame can affect the cases themselves, such as how both perpetrator and victim are viewed by society, the criminal justice system, and the media.
4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? Since each book is based on a specific theme, that theme ends up in the title—or rather, the subtitle, since the main title of the series is always the same. As for cover design, I send in some ideas to the publisher, who passes them on to the design team. It might be an interesting way to use typography or a color scheme that strikes my fancy or else a mood I think needs to be conveyed in the design. Generally, they’ll send back three mockups for me to look at and that’s it.
5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Don’t listen to the naysayers. They might be in the form of partners, family members, or friends. They might even be in the form of literary agents. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard authors comment that they were told by agents that they’ll never get a book published. Some go on to become bestselling authors with mainstream publishing houses. It makes you wonder about these so-called “gatekeepers” in our industry. The only thing I can add is to be realistic about your talent. These days with self-publishing, pretty much everyone can call themselves a “writer.” But that doesn’t mean they’re any good at it. So you need to be your own harshest critic before you send something out into the world.
6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? If I knew the answer to that, I’d be a millionaire several times over. Trying to predict what will happen in the publishing industry is an endless battle and I don’t suggest authors try to guess or follow a trend, because today’s trend is tomorrow’s recycling. The one thing I notice in publishing is the huge amount of bandwagon jumping that goes on. Too often publishers flock to the same thing, and that thing can get old really quickly. Instead, they should be focusing on providing quality content and a wide variety of content, not slamming doors on writers just because they don’t fit the latest hot trend.
7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book? Having worked in both fiction and nonfiction, I can safely say that nonfiction and true crime is definitely more challenging than fiction. One of the biggest obstacles is the sheer amount of content out there, be it on TV or podcasts or wherever. It gets harder and harder to find material that hasn’t been covered to death. For me, it’s about making sure a writer who has pitched an idea to me can deliver something that won’t end up sounding like a rehash, so I look for material with an interesting approach or angle.
8. How would you describe your writing style? Because I write across genres, my “voice” changes from one project to the next. Perhaps the main thing about my writing style is that it’s approachable and well-paced. It can be literary when needed, but it’s not dense.
9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? The Best New True Crime Stories: Partners in Crime is an international collection of true crime written by an international collection of authors. The book offers a lot of fascinating and thought-provoking content all packed into one volume, so plenty of bang for the buck! Even people who may not normally read true crime will find something of interest here. What more can I say?
About The Author: Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor whose work ranges from true crime such as the books in her bestselling true crime franchise The Best New True Crime Stories series, to crime fiction, gothic fiction, horror, cozy mystery, satire, sci-fi/fantasy, and general fiction and nonfiction. Her novels, anthologies, and short stories have been translated into several languages. She has the added distinction of being the editor of the first anthology of erotic fiction to include a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has appeared internationally on radio and television and at major literature festivals, and has taught creative writing around the world. In addition to having produced and presented the London-based web TV channel Mitzi TV, she portrays herself in the pseudo-documentary British film, Lint: The Movie. Her (oft-neglected) blog of personal essays can be found at Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog. For more information, please see: https://mitziszereto.com
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Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.
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