More About the Author
In March 2014 my first work of fiction, CIRCLE OF INNOCENCE was released. It's a mystery that takes place in Door County, Wisconsin, a beautiful spot surrounded by water. It has more light houses and state parks than any other county in the U.S. But within this beauty - evil is lurking. I hope you enjoy it!
These are the reviews I received on my book:
"CIRCLE OF INNOCENCE excels in psychological depth and detail even as
it exposes a community replete with secrets and hidden threats. Any
who want a strong saga of abduction, murder, and evolving danger... with
more than a touch of romantic possibility, will find Drews' novel fits
the bill." --Diane Donovan ~ Midwest Book Review
"Every shocking twist in CIRCLE OF INNOCENCE lands on the reader like
waves on a Door County beach, as Drews explores the dark heart of a
beautiful place." --Brian Freeman, Bestselling Author of THE BONE HOUSE
"Drews' plot has more twists and surprises than the winding back roads
of Door County! Whether you're a fan of mystery novels, of Door
County, or both, you'll find CIRCLE OF INNOCENCE hard to put down."
--Sean Ryan, Director of Door County Century, Door County Triathlon,
and the Fall 50
In 2013 my book rights for RUN AT DESTRUCTION reverted back to me. On Amazon.com, it is now listed as a NEW book rather than on the front page. I will sign any books you order from me. The seller is: Run at Destruction Author - signed copy mailed. In August of 2013 my book inspired a cable TV show on Deadly Affairs (Investigation Discovery Channel). It documented the true life drama I lived through back in 1984.
Since 1974, my husband, Jim, and I have lived in Green Bay, Wisconsin, raising two sons, Collin and Chris, and are on our fifth dog, a golden retriever named Bailey. Jim and I were both raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I met him in kindergarten where the two of us used to play kick-the-can and sardines together! After high school both of us attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. As a freshman, I'd really enjoyed two basic studies courses: creative writing and introduction to computer science. The latter was a new and emerging field and I was encouraged by my professors to be the first woman graduate. So, I put my writing passion on the backburner until I retired from my 30-year career with IBM. Ever since some terrible tragedies occurred within Green Bay's close-knit running community, I'd believed I had a story to tell. My first book, Run at Destruction is that outcome.
I believe Run at Destruction is unique. It's the only book that I know that's categorized in these two ways: first-True Crime and second-Sports/Running. Because of this I needed to secure two different kinds of endorsements.
Back in the spring of 2007, I'd been able to locate the email of the New York Times Best-Selling True Crime author, Ann Rule, who's written The Stranger Beside me, about the Ted Bundy serial killer case, Small Sacrifies and Mortal Danger. I naively wrote her, asking if she'd read my manuscript and then, if she liked it, write a blurb. Amazingly, Ann wrote me back and said, "I try to read bound galleys that have been purchased and are scheduled for release and write blurbs if I find the book something my readers would enjoy. So I have to say 'no' right now, but you could contact me when your have sold your book and it's about six months to being published."
So... time warp to the spring of 2009. I had found my publisher and had an August release date. I had met Ann's criteria and mailed her my bound galley. Even though she was in the process of writing two new books, and working on two mini-series about earlier ones, (one of them is being filmed in Canada staring Rob Lowe), she emailed me and said, "I've read the first several pages and I can tell you've done a good job... I will give you a quote. Congratulations on finding a publisher. It's not easy these days."
In addition to getting the comment from Ann, I was excited when she listed my book as a recommended read on her website's front page. This is her blurb:
"Run at Destruction is a tragic-yet fascinating-true story of an unfathomable death in the Heartland of America. It happened in a wholesome community of runners and educators, perhaps the last group you would expect to be involved, however tangentially, in secret affairs, deception, and infidelity. Except for the bond between mothers and their children, there may be nothing stronger than women friends who are there to pick up the pieces when the world explodes, and to listen with true concern. Author Lynda Drews writes of her lost friend, and of her own efforts to find justice for Pam Bulik. Readers will find themselves walking along with Drews as she describes an enviable friendship, her grief when it ended suddenly, and the layers she peeled away to find the truth. Wonderfully written. A must for true-crime readers."
The second endorsement I wanted was from the running community: In addition to the back cover blurbs that I received from both the Boston Marathon and the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon's Race Directors, I emailed Sean Hartnett, a correspondent for Track & Field News. He responded a week later saying that he'd been off interviewing some Kenyan runners and had returned to five pages of emails. "Mine," he said, "was by far the most interesting. And, he'd be glad to read my book and provide a blurb." This is what Sean Hartnett said:
"Lynda Drews has produced a riveting read in Run at Destruction, the compelling story of a good friend who was murdered - or was she? Drews takes us on a jog back in time to the running boom of the 1980's when all sorts of folks laced up some training shoes and took to the streets in search of fitness, competition, and, as it turns out, romance, in the form of the tangled web of a love triangle. The pace never lets up as Drews layers intriging portrayals of a running community's friendship, detective work, and courtroom drama, within a baffling murder mystery. As the trial unfolds, Drews places you in the juror's box as the evidence teeters between premeditated murder and a tragic accident, and you must decide. This is the 2009 runner's read."
One thing that has held steady for me, through my career at IBM and now as an author, is that I've been a runner, though I've never been a star like my husband, who qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Marathon Trials, had a collegiate cross country invitational named for him, and beat out Packer coach Bart Starr as Green Bay's Athlete of the year. I'm just one of the twenty million US women runners, and am proud to say that I've completed 8 marathons and more than a dozen halfs.
Run at Destruction takes place within a close-knit community of runners that included my best friend, Pam Bulik, and her husband Bob. It details her tragic death and his subsequent trial. People ask me why I wrote my book. My answer is, that I wanted to resolve, for myself, why Pam actually died. To do this, I had to wear two hats. First, I played a major character immersing myself in the turmoil I'd felt at that time, but second, I had to become an unbiased narrator, removing my emotions, from the equation, and taking a reporter's approach, while analyzing the evidence.
To prepare myself to write Run at Destruction, I needed to learn how to make a non-fiction account read like a novel, otherwise I knew it wouldn't be interesting. In addition to the creative writing class I'd taken in college, while at IBM, I'd also taken a writing children's literature course through the mail. Then, after retiring, I read dozens of books on how to write a good novel and attended three writing workshops in Washington D.C., New York City, and Door County.
In tandem, I was doing extensive research: I documented my memories, interviewed both friends and Pam's family, read running logs from those years, and perused photo albums. I also secured high school and college yearbooks.
Within my book there is a love-triangle between three teachers. Pam and Bob are two corners and the third was another teacher within our running group, also named Linda. Luckily, though, I spell my name with a Y while she spells her with an "I." I discovered where she went to high school and then couldn't believe my luck when I found an old yearbook on e-bay, from the year she graduated, that I bid on and won.
Linda had written a poem published inside - entitled "a time that we own." It expressed her feelings about leaving high school and moving forward into her new future. It ended with these lines:
How suddenly we are betrayed by a time that we own no longer.
So let us dare to BE.
In addition, I needed to research the details surrounding the investigation into Pam's death and subsequent trial. In the Brown County Courthouse I scanned three massive boxes of court records into my laptop, plugging parking meters every two hours. While doing this tedious job, I listened to books on tape. One day, by mistake the earphones became unplugged so I kept turning up the tape louder.... Someone finally tapped me on the shoulder and said the whole office was listening to a suggestive sex scene. Boy was I embarrassed.
A large portion of the book gives you a front row seat within the 10-day trial. I was allowed in the courtroom for the opening statements and then was sequestered until I testified on day seven. When I wasn't present, I relied on the court transcripts and also the notes of a good friend, who sat through the entire trial.
To understand the police investigation, I purchased two immense boxes of police records and more than 100 photos. I read old newspaper articles, interviewed detectives, attorneys, the judge, the coroner, the psychiatrists, and even three of the jurors.
While researching my book, I gradually uncovered new insight about Pam and myself. Removed from my emotions, the media, and the biases of friends, I shockingly discovered that my previous beliefs about Pam's death, had changed.
I also realized how much I still miss her.
Watch a video of my interview on Fox 11 Television: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXg8vqY-ONM