Peter Lance's story first ran in Vanity Fair, and I couldn't put it down. Yet Peter took things further. His broader research went into a book -- Homicide at Rough Point -- that makes for even more compelling reading.
This space is usually reserved for my own musings -- the ideas that inspire me, the work that drives me. Yet Peter Lance's efforts reflect a particular aspect of the writer's craft that often goes unheralded: the legwork.
When I finally pick up a pen or put my fingers on a keyboard, I've spent weeks or months doing research and surveys and tests and analysis to guide me toward the quintessential truth about my own or a client's objective. Get it right, and it helps to create the desire to buy things. Or to solve an unsettling mystery whose suppression was something that money could buy.