Hello, my bookish peeps. I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and, perhaps, time to read some wonderful books. I’m always fascinated by what draws an author to a particular subject matter. Or more simply put, why that book is written that way? With fiction, the answer can be quite convoluted, but we generally expect the answer to be simplistic when dealing with nonfiction. I don’t know why since reality is often anything but simple and often convoluted with stories within stories and intrigues within intrigues. Author Gary McAvoy deals with just that scenario when faced with the possibility of purchasing and researching the records of one of the key investigators in the infamous Kansas murders that led to Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Read what Mr. McAvoy has to say about his journey to becoming an “accidental” author in today’s guest post. Thank you, Mr. McAvoy, for stopping by and sharing this information with us. I’m looking forward to reading And Every Word Is True to learn more behind the scenes details in this investigation and I hope you’ll be putting this book on your TBR list.
THE ACCIDENTAL AUTHOR
Though I’ve been writing professionally, on and off, for some 30 years, I had no plans to even start the book I’ve just finished. It wasn’t until the State of Kansas sued me—to prevent making public the research I obtained—that the thought even occurred to me. And then, I couldn’t not write it.
As a dealer in rare literary manuscripts and other historical memorabilia, I was approached in 2012 by the son of Harold Nye, a former special agent for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the lead field investigator for the 1959 Clutter family murders, a case made famous by Truman Capote in his bestselling book In Cold Blood. The younger Nye was looking to sell his father’s signed books and handwritten letters from Capote in order to meet family medical expenses, the type of transaction dealers like me encounter often.
When the State learned of the pending auction of Agent Nye’s personal archives, however, they went ballistic, issuing a cease and desist order—one I was not about to comply within the normal course of legitimate business—which quickly morphed into a lawsuit. Beyond the books and letters, Nye’s personal journals and investigative field notes of the notorious murders of a Kansas farmer and his family were interesting enough at first glance, I thought, but hardly seemed the type of material a state government would sue over to gain protective custody.
That type of extreme action made me more curious as to what I was actually in possession of, so I dove into a deep pile of research lasting six years, discovering in the process that while Capote’s book told a gripping tale exceedingly well, there was another, more sinister reality to the investigation that hadn’t been made public—one that appeared to have been the State’s urgent target of suppression.
Having ultimately prevailed in that litigation when the Court ruled in our favor—affirming our First Amendment right to publish—I came to realize this was much more than a simple auction of memorabilia. This was potentially a book of historical literary import. But I did not want it to be a take-down of an important and treasured American work (although, as a byproduct, I did uncover an abundance of erroneous or contrived material in Capote’s work). No, this book needed to set the record straight in a story that had been read and deeply believed by millions of readers worldwide for over fifty years—no small task.
Surprisingly, more than one publisher we approached with early versions of the book while finding its content and premise fascinating, responded: “We don’t want to be the house that brings down an American classic…”! That was hardly the intention of the book, but clearly, my work was cut out for me. That’s when I chose the path of an indie author, and never looked back.
To have “fallen in” to a topic I normally wouldn’t have been drawn to was one thing. But, as we learned from the bullying tactics of a well-funded legal opponent, backing down when we were in the right would have been unconscionable. Faced with a do or die moment, we took the high road, won the day, and have published a book that will stand the test of time. And, after all, every word is true.
Gary McAvoy is a veteran technology executive, entrepreneur, and lifelong writer. For several years he was also a literary media escort in Seattle, during which time he worked with hundreds of authors promoting their books—most notably Dr. Jane Goodall, with whom Gary later collaborated on “Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating” (Hachette, 2005).
Gary is also a professional collector of rare literary manuscripts and historical letters and books, a passion that sparked the intriguing discoveries leading up to his latest book, And Every Word Is True (Literati Editions, March 2019), a revealing look at startling new disclosures about the investigation surrounding the 1959 Clutter family murders, heinous crimes chillingly portrayed in Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.” And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to Capote’s classic tale, adding new perspectives to an iconic American crime.
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on Tour April 1 – May 31, 2019
Truman Capote’s bestselling book “In Cold Blood” has captivated worldwide audiences for over fifty years. It is a gripping story about the consequences of a trivial robbery gone terribly wrong in a remote village of western Kansas.
But what if robbery was not the motive at all, but something more sinister? And why would the Kansas Bureau of Investigation press the Attorney General to launch a ruthless four-year legal battle to prevent fresh details of the State’s most famous crime from being made public, so many years after the case had been solved?
Based on stunning new details discovered in the personal journals and archives of former KBI Director Harold Nye—and corroborated by letters written by Richard Hickock, one of the killers on Death Row—
And Every Word Is True meticulously lays out a vivid and startling new view of the investigation, one that will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they pick up where Capote left off. Even readers new to the story will find themselves drawn into a spellbinding forensic investigation that reads like a thriller, adding new perspectives to the classic tale of an iconic American crime.
Sixty years after news of the 1959 Clutter murders took the world stage, And Every Word Is True pulls back the curtain for a suspenseful encore to the true story of “In Cold Blood.”
Genre: True Crime, Memoir
Published by: Literati Editions
Publication Date: March 4, 2019
Number of Pages: 310
ISBN: 978-0-9908376-0-2 (HB); 978-0-9908376-1-9 (PB)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads
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Enter To Win!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Gary McAvoy. There will be four (4) giveaway winners. One winner will receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and three (3) winners will receive one (1) print copy of And Every Word Is True by Gary McAvoy (Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on April 1, 2019, and runs through June 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.
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