I had submitted my true crime story for Well-Mannered Crooks, Rogues & Criminals with a thought I had no chance but what the hey, go for it. Mitzi Szereto did not appear to be the sort of person to be nasty, so the worse thing that could happen was a “thank you, but not at this time.”
As you can see, I was proved right in the former and wrong in the latter. This all took place last year, and I knew, once my story had been accepted, I would have to wait until they published the book. Mitzi, whilst putting this one together, had also been promoting The Best New True Crime Stories: Small Towns. You can find details on Small Towns and all of Mitzi’s work on her website by following this link https://mitziszereto.com/.
Coincidentally, to be included in Mitzi’s 3rd book in The Best New True Crime Stories series, also involved a journey. A journey of growth within something which began as a hobby many years ago and is now a passion, as well as being a coping mechanism.
To cut a long story short, I was feeling trapped. I hadn’t long been out of prison and I’d become trapped in another system out here, supported accommodation, I’m not knocking the providers as it’s the path out which is difficult. Anyway, that’s a separate debate. I was going stir crazy and needed a release. I was still on licence from prison and kept myself to myself as much as I could, not that I became a total hermit, but I was in my room more than I was out of it. I say room; it was an annexe formed out of what was a garage and converted into two move on properties. Each with their own en suite bathroom. A little more independence. I was already publically campaigning for reforms to our criminal justice system, to a point it was almost taking over my life. All work and no play and all that!
I felt confident that I knew enough about my hobby, organised crime, especially the history of it – maybe it was because I never really got anywhere, not that I felt I have ever been a wannabe plankster, it was an actual interest in the subject – to find a place or places on social media to discuss the subject more, which meant more researching on my part to further my knowledge and a break from the norm. A change is as good as a rest.
So, I found this group on Facebook, which was quite a large group, and engaged. In no time they asked me to become an admin of the group. Not only did I meet someone who soon became one of the closest mates I’ve ever had and still have, Lesley, but it then led on to me running a dormant group to bring it alive again. What followed is I suppose the reason I am in Mitzi’s book.
I met a guy from Boston, Rob Bailot Jr. who run’s a Facebook Group called Omerta Social Club. Again, to cut a long story short, I became an admin for Rob’s Omerta Group and many more groups, one’s we formed together with other’s as well as being invited to help run other groups. Then https://www.nationalcrimesyndicate.com/ was on my radar and where I am now a regular contributor.
Every step along the way I have had to up my game and improve in all areas. Now! When I say every step along the way, my first step took place in the education department of HMP Norwich where under the guidance of an incredibly supportive lady, Debs Stewart, my confidence in creativity allowed this former prisoner with no education, as such, to now have a story being published in an international anthology.
That’s what you call #WhatCanBe!!!!