The Alibi: a Booked ezine

Issue 5, October 14, 2005

Watch BOOKED Investigates Jon Evans' Dark Places (all times EST):

  • Saturday, Oct. 15, 8PM on ACCESS Television
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 12:30PM and 8:30PM, and Wednesday, Oct. 19, 4AM on BookTelevision
  • Friday, Oct. 21, 9PM on CLT
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26, 7AM, 6PM, and 11PM on CourtTV Canada
Booked Television: October 15-26
BOOKED investigates Jon Evans' Dark Places

Dark Places by Jon Evans ISBN: 000639325X

In a story where human evil flourishes in the cyber world, BOOKED experts examine a deadly Internet game in this hunt for a killer stalking backpackers in some of the most remote parts of the globe.

In this episode, our host Fred Yackman is joined by:

Booked Experts
Writer Rap Sheet: Jon Evans

“There’s this perception of the publishing business as a walled garden, protected by moats and spiky walls, whose denizens are for the most part actively hostile to wannabe writers and their attempts to break in. This perception is one thousand per cent correct. And now that I’m inside the garden, dammit, I want y’all to stay out where you belong. I don’t want more competition.”

Jon Evans was born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario. He earned a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and promptly began what he describes as his “pinball lifestyle.” Evans never stays in any one place for more than a year, and his travels have taken him all over the world, providing him with rich, exotic settings for his crime fiction. What works in written fiction can ruin a good movie deal though – Dark Places didn’t get the movie treatment because, as Evans explains, “filming on location is very, very expensive.”

Evans has some advice for those interested in getting into writing: don’t. “I don’t want more competition,” he remarks, “so make sure that you don’t read. A writer who doesn’t read is like a carpenter without wood, and that’s the way I want you. If you must read, keep it to one or two books a month, and make sure that they’re always about the same thing.”

For more advice from Jon Evans, check out his article, Advice on Not Writing (no longer available).

Author Jon Evans Photo

Photo credit: Sam Young

Visit Rezendi, Jon Evans' Website

Case Book: Steven Bilodeau, Crown Prosecutor, Technology and Internet Crimes
Steven Bilodeau Photo

“The worst thing that the Internet is being used for is child exploitation, and it’s happening a lot.  Sexual assaults of children are being broadcast online via webcam, and people are paying to see it.”

--Steven Bilodeau

Steven Bilodeau is a Crown Prosecutor, specializing in technology and internet crime.

As a Canadian Crown Prosecutor, Bilodeau represents the Queen in court and presents a case on why someone should or should not be convicted. “The best part of what I do is that I can make decisions, important decisions every day. I can look at a file and decide for myself whether I think there’s enough evidence there? Do I think it’s in the public interest to go ahead with this case?” The worst part of Bilodeau’s job is prosecuting child pornography and Internet luring offences (Internet luring is using the Internet to convince a child to meet an adult for a sexual encounter). “A lot of the work I do involves kids who have been exploited on the internet either through child pornography or through luring. It’s difficult dealing with them knowing they’ve been exploited that way.”

By specializing in Internet crime, Bilodeau works on the cutting edge of law. The criminal code was largely written in the late 1800’s and of course says nothing on the subject of computer crime. Bilodeau says “sometimes you’ll see that there’s not an offence in the book to cover what the offender did.”

Unfortunately for the perpetrators of internet offences, Johnny Law is keeping up. One of the many successful cases Bilodeau was involved in concerned complaints about a man going into Internet chat rooms and making obscene comments about children and animals. The police were having difficulty tracking him but a break came when they found him on-line. By “chatting” with him they were able to use the technology to track him across provincial lines to an internet café in Kamloops, BC and literally caught him with his hands on the keyboard. Bilodeau says “the last line of the transcript from the chat log is ‘this is Constable so-and-so, one in custody.’ We were able to prosecute him resulting in a one year jail sentence.” In Bilodeau’s opinion, “that’s the long arm of the law.”

If you’re interested in becoming a Cyber Crime Prosecutor, Bilodeau’s advice: “concentrate on becoming a good lawyer. It’s court skills that really matter.”

Interrogating the Forum: The Forum Responds to 'You Write Like a Girl'

From the Mod:

This week in the forum BOOKED club members talked about the differences between male and female writers. In our poll, exactly one-third of respondants said they preferred female writers, and two-thirds said they didn't care about a writer's gender.

If you're interested in participating in any of the Forum discussions, or have a topic you'd like to discuss, drop by the Forum. You must register as a Booked Club member to leave posts in the Forum, or to cast your vote in polls.

Sign up here!

From the Forum this week:

Carmen Sandiego: so i am a little late, but i just read the 'you write like a girl' column in the alibi [Ed - Nice to get a shoutout!]. i totally disagree with the authors. i think there's a very noticable difference in female vs. male writers... gender does make a difference. how could it not? men and women have different cultures. we live alongside one another in a big shared culture, sure, but there are a million tiny differences in a woman's world vs. a man's world. how could that not come through in something as detailed, nuanced, and personal as writing?

rainbowdar: Fair enough, there are many differences between male and female writing. I've read a few Patricia Cornwell books (I don't think she's Canadian but her books are good - the character is the medical coroner) and I like her style of writing. One thing I've found that seriously differentiates the genders is the way that all things sexual are described. I find men can't help but let their vulgar "guy" side show. The murders themselves will often have sexual undertones. And when a male author attempts to tap their softer side, I find it corny and fabricated. I think it comes more naturally to a woman author to describe sexuality, even with something as simple as the human body. If you're wondering if the author is m/f, just read intimate passages.

Last Words

Coming up on BOOKED Television:

BOOKED investigates Michael Connelly's The Closers. Expert lineup for this show: Police Sergeant, Kevin Galvin; Member of the Law Enforcement Review Board, Kathy Grieve; Book Reviewer, Barry Hammond; Forensic DNA Specialist, Richard Jobin PhD.
Check Broadcast Dates and Times

Look for the next Alibi - we'll introduce you to author Michael Connelly, and Richard Jobin will talk about his work as a Forensic DNA Specialist.

Here are the upcoming books, in order, that our experts will be dissecting in the weeks ahead.
Get reading!

The Closers - Michael Connelly
Blackfly Season - Giles Blunt
Blood Memory - Greg Iles
The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
Memory Book - Howard Engel
Shock Wave - James O. Born
Cross Bones - Kathy Reichs
He Who Fears the Wolf - Karin Fossum

For more information about the booklist or upcoming shows, visit www.booked.tv

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