Fanning, Diane 1950(?)- (Diane Lynn Fanning)
Fanning, Diane 1950(?)- (Diane Lynn Fanning)
Born June 21, c. 1950, in Baltimore, MD; married; has children. Education: Attended Lynchburg College, 1968-71. Hobbies and other interests: Snorkeling, yoga, growing herbs, reading.
Writer. Has worked in advertising and for television and radio stations in Virginia; freelance writer of magazine articles and personal essays; has held positions with nonprofit organizations; executive director of Another Way Texas Shares, New Braunfels, TX. Member of State Advisory Committee for the State Employee Charitable Campaign; secretary for Executive Committee of the National Alliance for Choice and Giving.
Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Writer's League of Texas.
NACG Freedom Fighter Award, 2001; Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination for Written in Blood; recipient of over seventy ADDY awards for print, radio, and television writing.
The Windwalkers (novel), Writers Club Press, 2000.
(Editor, with Susie Kelly Flatau) Red Boots & Attitude: The Spirit of Texas Women Writers, Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 2002.
Through the Window (true crime), St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2003.
Into the Water: The Story of Serial Killer Richard Marc Evonitz (true crime), St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2004.
Written in Blood: A True Story of Murder and a Deadly 16-Year-Old Secret That Tore a Family Apart (true crime), St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2005.
Gone Forever: The True Story of Marriage, Betrayal, and Murder (true crime), St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2006.
Baby Be Mine: The Shocking True Story of a Woman Accused of Murdering a Pregnant Woman to Steal Her Child (true crime), St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2006.
Under the Knife: A Beautiful Woman, a Phony Doctor, and a Shocking Homicide (true crime), St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2007.
Bite the Moon: A Molly Mullet Mystery (novel), Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2007.
Out There: The In-Depth Story of the Astronaut Love Triangle Case That Shocked America (true crime), St. Martin's Paperbacks (New York, NY), 2007.
Diane Fanning worked for many years in advertising and writing for television and radio in Virginia before she moved to Texas. There she settled down with her family and became interested in working for nonprofit organizations, including as executive director of Another Way Texas Shares, a cooperative that brings together a variety of charitable programs that focus on the needs of the state of Texas. Writing remains Fanning's true passion, however. It was only natural for her to become a true-crime writer, because crime touched her life when she was just a young girl.
When she was nine years old, Fanning was nearly abducted by a strange man. By sheer luck, another car drove past at a crucial moment and the man failed to take her. When Fanning got home, she told her mother what had happened and gave her the man's license plate number, which she had memorized. Fanning's quick thinking and clear head led to the man being arrested; he was eventually convicted of abducting, sexually assaulting, and then killing an eight-year-old girl. Fanning knew she had been very lucky to escape. She also wished she had been able to do more. Years later, she heard the story of Krystal Surles, a ten-year-old girl who went to extraordinary lengths to help stop serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells, who had been murdering people for approximately twenty years. Fanning's fascination with Surles led her to write her first true-crime book, Through the Window.
Into the Water: The Story of Serial Killer Richard Marc Evonitz offers readers an inside look at the life and actions of serial killer Richard Marc Evonitz. Fanning delves into his past, providing information on his childhood and his parents, as well as the way he was raised, all in the hope of discovering what exactly causes a person to kill repeatedly without remorse. A reviewer for the Blether Web site found the book to be "a compelling study of evil."
In Written in Blood: A True Story of Murder and a Deadly 16-Year-Old Secret That Tore a Family Apart, Fanning looks at a case in North Carolina. Michael Peterson, who called 911 to report his wife's death, failed to mention how much blood there was at the scene—a detail that later made him a likely suspect. Fanning covers the trial and all of the details presented to the jury, including memories of conversations and the tragedy that befell the family. A contributor to the 3Rs Book Reviews Web site considered the book to be "as complete a history of the Peterson saga as could possibly be written."
With Bite the Moon: A Molly Mullet Mystery, Fanning branches out into fiction writing, though she continues to shape her work in the style of the crime writing she knows and loves. After teacher Molly Mullet's husband is killed during a hold up, she decides to become a police officer and take control of her life. But her tenure is short lived. While Molly is working security for a band, the group's manager is found murdered in a closet, and Bobby, a mentally challenged janitor and good friend of Molly's, is arrested for the crime. Upset over her own treatment by a fellow officer at the scene, Molly decides to work for Bobby's attorney instead. When a second member of the band is murdered, Molly steps up her attempts to find the real killer. Mary Frances Wilkens, writing for Booklist, found Fanning's mystery "an appealing first effort."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 2007, Mary Frances Wilkens, review of Bite the Moon: A Molly Mullet Mystery, p. 23.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2007, review of Bite the Moon.
M2 Best Books, March 28, 2005, "Author Sued over Book about Girl Abducted by Serial Killer."
Blether,http://reviews.blether.com/ (January 9, 2008), Anne K. Edwards, review of Into the Water: The Story of Serial Killer Richard Marc Evonitz.
CLEW: The Historic True Crime Blog,http://laurajames.typepad.com/ (January 9, 2008), "CLEWS Interviews True Crime Author Diane Fanning."
Diane Fanning Home Page,http://www.dianefanning.com (January 9, 2008).
Diane Fanning MySpace Page,http://www.myspace.com/dianefanning (January 9, 2008).
Houston Chronicle Online,http://www.chron.com/ (November 28, 2007), Fritz Lanham, "New in Paperback: Out There by Diane Fanning."
Texas Book Festival Web site,http://www.texasbookfestival.org/ (January 9, 2008), review of Bite the Moon.
3Rs Book Reviews,http://3rsbookreviews.buzznet.com/ (January 9, 2008), review of Written in Blood: A True Story of Murder and a Deadly 16-Year-Old Secret That Tore a Family Apart.