The Ghost of All Things Crime Blog
Guest Post by Patrick H Moore,
author of '27 Days'
Back in 2013, I decided that I wanted to indie publish a crime thriller I had written called Cicero’s Dead. I had a friend and client Mr. S, a former spook, who was blog and social media savvy. Mr. S. told me that before indie publishing my novel, I needed to create a writer’s blog, because I had to slide out from under my rock and introduce myself to the world.
I discussed this with my good friend BJW Nashe who came up with our name, All Things Crime Blog. The name said it all. We were to be an all-purpose crime blog, although, to our surprise, we ended up focusing more on true crime than literary crime fiction. Mr. S. was due to serve a stint at Lompoc Federal Prison Camp near San Luis Obispo, California, but before reporting for duty, kind man that he is, he built the blog for us from scratch in WordPress. Then he bowed out and Mr. Nashe and I took over.
At first, I was so green that I didn't even know how to put live links in the posts when setting them up in WordPress. But these things can be learned quickly. We soon discovered that although it is not quite a chasm, there is a definite divide between thriller fans and true crime fans, and we found ourselves being subsumed inexorably into true crime land. Why? Simple. Untold millions of Americans, many of them residents of our great heartland, more women than men, are hooked to the bone on true crime.
Our posts were hit and miss at first, but suddenly we began to strike gold. Almost as if it had been pre-ordained, a kind of morphic resonance if you will, a group of accomplished blog post writers began contributing on a regular basis. I had BJW Nashe writing his wryly sardonic and often hilarious posts, like the time he applied Thomas De Quincey’s rules on “how to commit the aesthetically perfect murder” to Jodi Arias’s slaying of her husband Travis Alexander. I had Lise LaSalle, a French Canadian art and true crime aficionado, infuriating mid-America by writing striking posts claiming that many of our more notable murderesses and alleged baby-killers were very likely innocent, a claim she supported with her own careful analyses. I also had Darcia Helle, author of numerous indie-published thrillers, writing fascinating posts about miscarriages of American justice. This talented threesome covered a lot of ground, and as we picked up steam, many other fine writers came on board. Before long, people from all over the English-speaking world were offering their authorial services.
I edited and attached images to every post. Got up at 5 am each morning. Posted our three new daily posts. Tweeted them to our burgeoning group of twitter followers. Shared the posts on Facebook. Worked like the proverbial dog, spreading the word. For about three years, I dedicated seven hours a day to All Things Crime Blog. And BJW and Lise and Darcia spent hundreds of hours writing their brilliant blog posts. It was a labor of love.
I also wrote posts myself. Hundreds of them. I wrote a series on Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. It was amusing to witness the deep and visceral loathing mid-America felt for Ms. Karla, while often coming to Handsome Paul’s defense. The most serious reporting I did during the early years was the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin murder case. This appalling matter was very much in the public eye and our intrepid reporting contributed substantially to our blog’s growth.
In addition to fresh daily material, our blog needed a face, or more accurately, a voice, someone to respond to the thousands of comments the posts inspired, someone to take on the unpleasant task of serving as arbiter during the frequent disputes that arose. True crime fans can be a sensitive lot! We also needed someone to hold the fort during the occasional vicious troll attack. In short, we needed a front man who was comfortable talking to true crime fans. I was that man. I went by the name of Patrick H. in order to distinguish myself from the eminent English astronomer, Patrick Moore. Along with my other duties, I wrote my 1,000 word True Crime Post of the Day. The crimes were generally appalling but before delving into them, I would exchange greetings with our readers and tell them a little about old Patrick H. before buckling down to the task at hand. I created a down-home, folksy persona and worked hard to get to know our readers. It was great fun and very rewarding.
I have no idea how many views a successful crime blog gets on an average day, but I do know how many views we got and it was a robust number. Ironically, in time we became too popular. Friends and family members of the suspects in cases we were covering began commenting heatedly on the posts. It was becoming all too “up close and personal.” So, very reluctantly, I slowly wound the blog down till it is now a mere shadow of its former self.
But the good news is neither of my published novels would have made it into the world if it wasn’t for All Things Crime Blog. It was through the blog that I met LA screenwriter Max Myers (now relocating to Texas) who indie-published my first novel Cicero's Dead. This is how I got my start as a published author of crime thrillers.
I am very grateful to Max Myers and to Mr. S. and to BJW Nashe and Lise LaSalle and Darcia Helle and all our other sterling contributors. Although I was the captain of our ship, it was a group effort every step of the way, and for a few memorable years, we provided first-rate, fresh daily true crime content for our thousands of readers.
Patrick H Moore's 27 Days, the first Nick Crane thriller, is now available