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Monday 1 July 2019

ℚ A Monster Of All Time - J.T. Hunter

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about A Monster Of All Time: The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper (, RJ Parker Publishing, 290 pages.

I'm always excited when JT Hunter writes a new book; A Monster of All Time does not disappoint. Unique from the way other true crime accounts are laid out, this author has a very unique way of narrating his books. This one in particular has an element of suspense that makes the reading experience more pleasing. Not to the point that it reads like crime fiction but just enough to make it more riveting.

As always, Hunter keeps the victims at the forefront and his empathy for what they've been through shines through. Something I find very important when reading true crime. Highly recommend this one to any true crime fan!
~ Kat McCarthy, Amazon Verified Purchase

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to J.T. Hunter; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so, to begin,  J.T. has shared with us his music playlist for A Monster Of All Time - enjoy!

What compelled you to write A Monster Of All Time?
"I remember hearing about the Gainesville student murders committed by Danny Rolling back when they happened, and I was struck by their similar impact on the college-town community as occurred with Ted Bundy’s crimes at Florida State University in Tallahassee.  Then the more I researched Rolling the more interesting the story became."
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing this book?
"That Danny Rolling had a friendly -- even shy -- side in addition to the monstrous part of his personality.  His personality fit the Jekyll-and-Hyde profile.  He could be quite charming at times, ruthlessly violent at others."
Why should we read A Monster Of All Time and what sets it apart from the rest?
"While researching the case, I gained access to the Alachua County State Attorney’s voluminous case files in Gainesville just before they were to be disposed of (and by voluminous I mean rows and rows of six foot high metal storage shelves).

These materials included banker’s boxes of letters written by Rolling and interviews in which he detailed how he went about his crimes.  This enabled me to craft a complete narrative of the key events."
What has been your greatest challenge in writing A Monster Of All Time? What was the hardest part to write?
"The most difficult parts of this book to write about were the parts recounting the murders.  The crime scenes were very bloody because of the way Rolling killed his victims, and in some cases, because of what he did to their bodies afterward."
Danny Rolling’s Florida victims: (from left to right) Christa Leigh Hoyt, Sonya Larson, Tracy Inez Paules, Christina Powell, and Manuel Taboada.
Can you share with us a favourite passage / section?
"A favorite passage is the beginning of a statement from the victims’ families that was read at the 25th Anniversary of the murders:
It is here that we brought our children to their college careers. It is here that we lost them to murder. It is here that we come to remember them.

With you we have shared a story about sorrow, living in fear, losing trust, and being lost in pain. But then we also shared a story about hope, about letting go, about lifelines, and survival.
I love the resiliency of this statement and its illustration that good ultimately endures despite all of the evil."
Who would you recommend A Monster Of All Time to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Anyone interested in true crime and serial killers in particular.

Reader beware: some of the crime scenes are quite graphic.  While the book does not include photographs from the crime scenes (those were destroyed many years ago), the descriptions may be disturbing."
Which do you think you have the most of: talent, intelligence, education, or persistence? How has it helped you in your life?
"I’ll go with persistence.  It helps with achieving goals and finishing the things I start (such as writing true crime books)."
What has been the worst advice you received as a writer? What has been the best?
"I can’t think of any “bad” advice.  I no doubt have followed some advice more than others, but in writing what works for me might not work for you.  The best advice is to be persistent!"
Do you feel differently about yourself now from how you felt when you were younger? Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?
"Take better care of yourself, don’t put yourself in stupid situations, and don’t worry so much about what other people think."
Having had a look at your biography, you have a background in law, practicing as an attorney and criminal investigation; teaching creative writing and criminal psychology; appearing on true crime podcasts and documentaries; and much more.

Which of your experiences have you relied on to guide you in writing this book, and what has been the most interesting true crime case you have been involved in or come across?

"My training as an attorney helped in researching and writing this book, just as it has with every true crime book I have written.  Preparing for trial and writing a true crime book actually have a lot of similarities!

The most interesting true crime case I’ve been involved with?  Well, it might sound like a cop out, but I can’t really identify one case.  All of the ones I’ve written about have been fascinating, whether it be John Crutchley, the Vampire Rapist; Israel Keyes, the “kill-kit” serial killer; Danny Rolling, the Gainesville Ripper, or the others."
Which would you say you enjoy the most: to write, research, or to read when you can?
"Another tough one!  I’ll say researching because it often feels like a treasure hunt in which you never know what you’re going to find."
Can you tell us about your writing process, and does this change depending on the focus of your current piece of work and who you are working with?
"Once I decide on a subject to write about, I spend a lot of time researching newspaper archives.  Then I get court documents, depositions, interview transcripts, and the like, before reaching out to witnesses.  The process is substantially the same every time.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!"
If you could have three wishes, what would they be?
"To have the body of my 30-year-old self the rest of my life.  To have enough money to live comfortably the rest of my life.  Above all, to enjoy many, many, many healthy years with family and friends."
What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted but still don’t have?
"A Major League Baseball career."
What’s in store next for you as a person and writer?
"As a person, I hope to keep learning something every day.  As a writer, I’m currently working on a story about a 12-year-old girl who was abducted while walking home from her bus stop.  Her body was found a week later.  She had been sexually assaulted. The case went unsolved for decades until a break came thanks to familial DNA."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Here is a painting of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, one of my favorite places in the world."
Beautiful painting, and wonderful part of the world; thank you for sharing!

What evil lurked inside him? What demons drove him to kill?
What made him...

A Monster Of All Time
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

CMash said...

This sounds like a page turner! Putting it on my list!