Tag Archives: Devil’s Cinema

Notes on the Devil’s tour

MELBOURNE — The initial tour for The Devil’s Cinema has reached its end with my return to Australia, leaving my book on the Mark Twitchell “Dexter Killer” case in the hands of the first wave of North American readers.

These past few weeks have been a fascinating and jolting experience.

A manuscript grows out of relative secrecy and then seemingly overnight these same words are suddenly appearing in hardcover, stacked on bookstore shelves, boxed up for shipping to people’s homes, and transmitted straight into portable e-readers: Kindle, Nook, and so on.

Authors are then subjected to great extremes while on tour: 4am wake-up calls, back-to-back interviews, then long pauses of nothingness that can quickly plunge into another round of public events and encounters with little to no warning.

But it’s been an absolute pleasure meeting many readers and stumbling into old friends as I walked these well-worn trails of book authors and their publicists.

Sincere thanks must go to a few keen and early readers who have spotted a couple of typos in the first edition, which have now been noted and corrected for all subsequent printings.

Many readers have also been messaging me with further questions.

I’ve answered some of them in a Q and A for Book Lounge, and another for Open Book Toronto. But please feel free to contact me with a question and I’ll try to post responses to the most common questions in future postings.

Until then, here some of the highlights from the tour:

Edmonton, Alberta

I arrived to a fresh snowfall blanketing the city, and this proved to be the best welcome home present I could ask for.

Canadians often complain about the bitter winters, but there is something quite refreshing about seeing snow once again for those of us returning after an extended absence (of course, this novelty quickly vanishes and the reality sets in, especially since it was early spring and the snow should have been long gone).

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The Devil’s Cinema in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES — It is perhaps fitting that the American leg of The Devil’s Cinema book tour ends near Hollywood, where filmmaker Mark Twitchell had tried for so long to succeed prior to his bizarre descent into becoming the “Dexter killer.”

The US tour has taken me from east to west, from New York City to interviews with media outlets in Cleveland, Colorado Springs, and finally, Los Angeles.

The Devil’s Cinema became the #1 true crime book on Amazon.ca during its first week of release, and the reaction to the story as my tour entered these US cities has been the same as it was in Canada.

Disbelief comes first, then questions.

And more questions.

Some have trouble believing the Dexter connection, and it’s not until I tell them about the “kill room” that they accept just how closely this real-life case is linked to the fictional television show.

(Note: Of course, the creators of Dexter should take no blame whatsoever for this crime, which is a point I’ve made several times during US radio interviews and within the book.)

But I fear all this focus on Dexter may have some readers wrongly assuming the book is only about this one pop culture connection to a real-life homicide.

The Devil’s Cinema is not just about Dexter. This chilling story has so many twists and turns that I know a general audience will also find fascinating, even those who have never heard of the show.

With its connections to Facebook, online dating, police detectives, Star Wars, modern marriage, suburban life, Gen-Xers, even high-stakes financial investment, there’s bound to be something in the book to interest everyone.

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Devil’s heading west, then east

VANCOUVER — While on tour for The Devil’s Cinema I’ve often been asked what it was like to sit across from Mark Twitchell and look the “Dexter killer” straight in the eye.

To be honest, I expected it to be like in the movies, where Twitchell would leer into the room, a deep chill running down my spine. But the reality was quite the opposite, which in its own way was also chilling: our conversations started with a few laughs.

I spoke a bit about this on Global BC’s Noon broadcast on Friday, and CKNW radio today. Twitchell has an odd sense of humour and is quite outgoing and dare I say even likable — qualities that allowed his dark side to go undetected by those closest to him, like a cloak that hid his true self from everyone he knew.

Vancouver has been an interesting place to talk about the book. While Twitchell remains the main interest of most people, I’m glad the media here has been mentioning his murder victim Johnny Altinger.

The former White Rock, BC resident (just south of Vancouver near the American border) had moved to Edmonton in seek of new opportunities and the book tells the story of how he lived, not only his tragic death.

The tour takes me next to New York City, where I’m sure this strange case’s big connections to Showtime’s Dexter will be top of mind.

More soon …

devilscinema.com

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