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Why the Publication of Murder in Marksville Has Been Delayed


Dear friends, supporters, readers,

After spending three years researching and writing the nonfiction book, Murder in Marksville, about the tragic killing of Jeremy Mardis and critical shooting of his dad, Christopher Few by two local police officers, I have decided to delay completion and publication of this book. My reasons are varied.

First, there is no hero, no moral, to this story. It is simply a tragic event for all involved: the victims, the families of the victims and officers, and the community.

Secondly, the people of Marksville and Avoyelles Parish are healing and the the divisions caused by those who took sides has started to unify. People are beginning to reconnect. Publishing a book that might open wounds and delay the rebuilding of trust and the dismissal of hatred that surrounded the events of November 3, 2015 would be tragic in and of itself. That was never my goal in writing this book. My goal was to tell the truth about what happened that night. I’m not sure that we will ever have that answer.

Finally, we can’t bring back an innocent child whose life was cut short; nor can we go back to that night with foresight and un-fire the shots from two 40-caliber Glock pistols. But, maybe, we’ve learned that political feuds breed tragedy, and perhaps our politicians can now find new, more healing remedies for differences of opinions.

I know that the two police officers who fired their guns would give everything to go back to that night and un-fire them. They would handle things differently. They would be less brash, more understanding, more apt to see themselves as members of the community, not above the law because of a badge. Unfortunately we can’t undo mistakes, and Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse, Jr. will both pay a high price for theirs.

I applaud the Mardis and Few families for showing forgiveness and for their efforts to move forward without resentments and grudges. It takes special grace for this to happen. I see God’s hand in this.

I’ve interviewed countless people, sat through trials and sentencings, made numerous trips to Marksville from my home in North Carolina, and have written 80,000 words; so it’s not easy to put this book aside. I’ve invested three years of my life in it. However, there comes a time when each of us has to look in the mirror and question our motives and the outcome of our actions—I want my motives to be pure and, if and when I publish this book, I want the outcome to produce healing and grace, not division and distrust.

Thank you for your understanding. And, most of all, thank you for reading my books and supporting my career as an author.

Please look for my new book Lilly, the sequel to Catfish, that will be published in the fall, 2018. My next project is my memoir, Looking for a Cliff, which I hope will be published in 2019.

All the best!


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