Monday, February 1, 2010

"God Bless you, Susan McFarland"

Gone Forever is a story of violence and murder behind closed doors. The book written by author Diane Fanning shows us human behavior at its worst and why people stay in violent marriages that often lead to murder. Even when the acts by a spouse are unacceptable, people look the other way or assume that the person is just "odd." Friends and close relatives are naive and often believe that there will be a magical change in an abuser which as we all know never happens in the real world of family violence.

Recently, Diane Fanning wrote a guest blog on Time's Up regarding this case.

"When my readers pick up one of my books, I want them to see the victim as a real person—as someone who deserved to live their life to the fullest. Only family and friends can supply me with the anecdotes and the information about personality that enable me to shape a portrait of their deceased loved one and thus, allow my readers to understand the magnitude of the loss suffered by this crime."

"I have found through the years that the people who shared their memories and thoughts with me are grateful that they did. I’ve received many notes and emails thanking me for remembering their loved one in my book. Some of these people continue to maintain contact, years after publication.

The more in-depth information I can gather, the better job I do. When I wrote GONE FOREVER, I had an amazing treasure chest of information about Susan McFarland—access to her personal journal, a sibling’s perspective on her childhood and the memories of friends throughout her life. I felt a strong emotional connection to her. I wrote about this feeling in the Afterword of the book:

One morning while driving up Interstate Highway 35 to Austin, Susan McFarland became so real to me that I thought about how much more I would enjoy the ride if she were sitting beside me sharing stories and passing the time together. Then the realization struck—I would never be able to meet her. I would never bump into her in Central market. I would never laugh with her over lunch. I would never hear the sound of her voice or see the sunny glow of her smile.

At that moment, I was hit by a sense of loss so visceral; it took my breath away and formed pools of water in my eyes. The light of a life-enriching personality was snuffed out, never to brighten anyone’s day again. Gone forever—all because of the violent selfishness of one man.

To this day, I think of Susan when I enter the dark recesses of a crime—talking to killers, looking at crime scene photos, reading autopsy reports. She is my bridge to surviving family and friends, one that allows me to glimpse the inner strength and determination that many of them possess. She reminds me that her story has the potential to save the lives of other women. I owe her a debt of gratitude that I can never repay. God bless you, Susan McFarland."

Writing a book is a long process that is why I write blogs on victims so we can learn from their lives in hopes of saving others. But a published book is different it records the history and the details of persons life before during and after an event. For Susan McFarland and the other victims Diane Fanning writes about in her books, she also enshrines their lives in the Library of Congress for at least one hundred years, if for nothing else but to say their lives mattered before they were abruptly removed by another individual's rage.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...