Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Take Home Tuesday - Hosted by Guest Blogger David Cristofano

UPDATE: The winner of an autographed copy of THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is Windy!!! Congrats! Please email your physical address to contests @ knightagency.net (remove the spaces). Thank you to everyone who participated! Hope to see you all next Tuesday for another great giveaway!!
We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.

When I tell people that my novel has a great deal to do with the government, I get a blank stare, as though I’d said I’d written a story about the intricacies of picking trash off the shoreline at Myrtle Beach. Where’s the fun in a bureaucracy? I can’t blame them; I’ve worked for the Federal Government for most of my adult career and I understand their opinion.

Most of the time, getting involved with the government means something has gone wrong. The Social Security Administration only gets (and gives) attention when your check is missing/wrong/shredded. The IRS? No one wants attention from those folks under any circumstances. Is the FBI knocking your door down? Well, then . . . I suppose you have issues.

But what if you are in witness protection? That is a true case of we’re from the government, and we’re here to help. If something were to go awry, how grateful you would be to see them! In my novel, THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE (Grand Central Publishing, March 2009), I tell the story of a woman struggling through a life of anonymity generated out of this program. But there is another theme present: I tried to uncover not only the amazing machinery that makes the Federal Witness Protection Program a success, but the struggles that the people behind that machinery—the U.S. Marshals and the feds at Justice—face, on every level: personally, professionally, and morally. It is easy for Melody (the aforementioned GIRL) to be critical of the system because they cannot deliver the product she really desires: freedom. That doesn’t change the fact that the product they do deliver is unimaginable—or at least was until the late 1960’s when a man at the Department of Justice named Gerald Shur conceived the idea to much criticism.

Okay, see . . . you’ve got that blank look.

Imagine going to the head of the Justice Department and suggesting you have this idea to make witnesses more likely to testify, and the way you plan on achieving this is by having the government make them disappear afterwards. This is 1968, now. No Internet. No sophisticated communication equipment or surveillance tools. No relationships with banks or corporations or local governments to aid the vanishing.

But now we’re in 2009. Imagine what can be done. Anything is possible. You can be re-created twice in 24 hours. You can be—electronically—in more than one place at a time. And have you seen what professional make-up artists can do now?

I hope the day never comes when the United States Marshals Service is escorting you from one location to another, but should you find yourself there, trust these folks when they arrive on your doorstep. They’re from the government, and they’re there to help. Really.
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. Leave your name in the comments and enter to win a signed copy of THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE. The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon!

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42 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like something I'd love to read... You can already imagine her emotions...and love the way it creates the question of why she needs witness protection.

Sue Child

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 9:43:00 AM EDT  
Blogger CrystalGB said...

Sounds great. Count me in please.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 9:45:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Indigo said...

As someone who has worn multiple names (I'm Native American, do you know how many name changes you go through in a lifetime?) I can understand wanting to just own one; one personality and one life.

I find it intriguing that the govt. is meant to help (once again refer back to the Native American thought process).

I guess you could say I'm intrigued enough to want to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity! Indigo

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 9:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Angela James said...

David,

This was an amazing book. Deidre recommended it to me, I downloaded it from Amazon and read it in one night. Very compelling characters and easy-to-read narrative voice. I'll look forward to your next book and have recommended this one to anyone who will listen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:08:00 AM EDT  
OpenID mememememeee said...

Even though I am one of those people who have the blank stare when the words 'the government' are mentioned, I think this book sounds brilliant. As soon as I can, I will be getting my hands on it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:14:00 AM EDT  
OpenID taralazar said...

Compelling premise. I'd love to win a copy of THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:19:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jia Gayles said...

Whoever wins this book is in for a REAL treat! I read it and instantly fell in love. David is amazingly talented -- and just all around nice in general :)!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:20:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Arkansas Cyndi said...

I've heard so much about this book and have been wanting to read it. I'd love to have a copy.

Thanks!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Kat at Book Thingo said...

What an interesting premise. I read the first chapter on your site, and I'm just hooked by the narrative. Plus I love Maths!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:23:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cara Dearman said...

Sounds like a great book. I worked with some US Marshals last year (I'm a lawyer and was helping to prosecute someone who attacked them) and I can't find enough great things to say about them. The professionalism is just astounding. I'm looking forward to reading it whether I win a free copy or not!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Holly West said...

I'd like to read this!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:26:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jen said...

I have always found the Witness Protection Program fascinating. I look forward to reading the book.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Windy said...

This sounds really intriguing. We actually have a US Marshall in the family and it is interesting to hear about all the things that particular branch of the govt does. I think a lot of us take them (the govt as a whole) for granted sometimes, and this just makes you think.

Count me in!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:35:00 AM EDT  
OpenID crazycommamomma said...

I'm convinced it's a book I NEED to read! ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:36:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sooki Scott said...

Sounds wonderfully rich with emotion and personal conflict. I can't wait to read it.



Confucius says, wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:40:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Erica said...

Witness Protection is one of those gov't programs I'm fascinated by, precisely because it deals with so many secrets. Nothing more interesting than something you're not supposed to know about!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:43:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Janelle DiGiammerino said...

Awesome! Please consider me - Janelle DiGiammerino

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Michelle (MG) Braden said...

Sounds like a great read and fascinating research. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have your entire life changed like this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 11:08:00 AM EDT  
Blogger LuAnn said...

I'd love to read this book!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 11:45:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Carlie Sullivan said...

You will do well with this book, young jedi... Ahem, sorry, to much coffee. Re-do. The book sounds layered and complex. Your description gives me the impression it will appeal to the masses- and to me! Have a good day and don't drink to much coffee. Good luck with the book!

Carlie Sullivan

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 11:54:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Erika Lynn said...

i have read so many great reviews and really want to read this one! pick me pick me!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 12:03:00 PM EDT  
Blogger tetewa said...

First time hearing of this one, I'd like to be included!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 12:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nora said...

This book sounds fascinating. I think about being in the WPP waay too often already.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 1:20:00 PM EDT  
OpenID nightdweller20 said...

Wow, I've never read anything like this before, and it sounds really really interesting :P

Count me in for this please

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 2:12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger whateverfor said...

This one looks fantastic - I've been eying the info on it at work for a while now... pick me!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 2:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous David Cristofano said...

Hi All:

Thanks so much for your interest in GIRL. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I enjoyed getting it on paper. And best of luck to everyone on the signed copy!

And Angela: Thanks, too, for singing its praises. I am so glad you found it to be a compelling read--and for spreading the word!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 2:50:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cursing Mama said...

This sounds like a fantastic story -
If I don't win I'll certainly still seek it out.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 3:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Maria Geraci said...

Your book sounds fabulous, David. Best of luck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 3:03:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Karen in TN said...

I'd love to read this one.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 3:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Deborah said...

What would it be like if you couldn't be yourself anymore? And if you had to change more than once? Could you disappear completely, leaving all that you are behind? How do you become someone else without unwittingly picking up your favorite book at the library and giving yourself away? This sound like a book worth reading.

Deborah

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 3:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger E. Hartshorn said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I think I'd enjoy reading it.
-- Erin

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 4:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Please don't enter me. I've already got my copy! Just wanted to say what a huge, *huge* fan I am of Dave C. Here's to this being just the first of many books from him.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 7:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger catie said...

On the flip side though, it can be that much harder to disappear with all of today's technology: photographs, video, blogs, YouTube. Who knows where your "new" image could turn up and (gods forbid) someone from your old life might recognize you. Fascinating premise though. This one is going on my wishlist asap. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 7:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger burnt sienna said...

I definitely want a copy!
- S.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 7:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Natalie J. Damschroder said...

If you wrote the book as well as you described it, it must be amazing! :)

I love seeing someone portraying the government in a good light. I can't imagine it's as bad as often shown in entertainment. I've already added the book to my wish list in case I'm not the winner!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 7:52:00 PM EDT  
OpenID deannachase said...

I'd love to read this. Count me in as well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 11:35:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Elissa M said...

I hope I win. It sounds terrific (and it's not a genre I normally read). Guess I'll have to search through the couch cushions so I can buy a copy if I don't win.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 11:50:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds great. Thanks for the contest!

Sara
sararulz@msn.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 12:35:00 AM EDT  
OpenID dianecurran said...

I'm blown away by the premise! Look forward to reading it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 9:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger LER said...

Your book sounds fascinating, David. I will definitely have to check it out!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 1:25:00 PM EDT  
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