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Michael Thompkins
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Big Island Play Map

by Michael 9/30/2008 8:28:00 AM

Introducing the Big Island Play inside cover map with some of the locations

from Big Island Play vol 2 ,The Shooting Shrink Series.

 (Publication TBA)

Full size version:

BigIslandMap.jpg (3.57 mb)

Signed First Editions of Gun Play for Palm Springs Residents SOLD OUT!!!

by Michael 9/30/2008 8:24:00 AM

SOLD OUT!!!!!!!! 

I was cleaning out a closet last week and discovered a box of 30 copies of Gun Play vol.1 Shooting Shrink, left over from the launch at Book Expo. In exchange for all the kindnesses shown this author in Palm Springs, the home of the series, I am offering these copies at my cost plus shipping: $14.00. The last time I saw a Signed First available on Ebay, it went for $50. Some folks apparently think the Shooting Shrink Series will be successful and the value will rise. The First Edition of Gun Play differs from the following editions: the blurb on the back cover reads "reluctant detective" not "reluctant Palm Springs detective."

Here is the catch: you have to be a resident of the Palm Springs. The first 30 emails I get from fans with a Palm Springs address (don't bother if your check doesn't confirm this,) get the copies signed by me in anyway you like. How about that for a thank you!  Limit one copy per address.

Sorry all copies sold out. I will try and find some more. 


Shrinking Fiction: Forensic Genealogy For Writers

by Michael 9/30/2008 8:23:00 AM


Here the latest communication from my pal, Sharon Sergeant, forensic geneaologist. This one is an introduction for writers who are interested in looking into forensic geneaology while researching a story. So far on the blog, we have been looking at forensic geneaology and false memoirs. Here, Sharon tells us a little bit more. She promises that there's more to come. 



The fraudulent memoir patterns do affect the credibility of all publishers and writers. However, forensic genealogy provides an opportunity for writers of any genre. It can be a doorway into many unexplored issues for story and character development, as well as psychological patterns.I have had several conversations about these issues with my forensic genealogy mentor, Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick of Huntington Beach. Colleen will soon be presenting an overview to several mystery writers groups.

There are lessons to be learned from Colleen's work with real mysteries. Her recent work in the Titanic baby re-identification and the 1948 Alaskan plane crash "Hand in the Snow" combined DNA and fingerprint technology advancements with Colleen's knack for finding living descendants of the ancestors - all over the world.DNA and photograph analysis components of forensic genealogy capture a lot of public interest. A photo time line was certainly a divining rod and a rudder in the Defonseca case, and a great visual when I give lectures.The learning opportunity for all writers is not just the solution of a mystery. The core of forensic genealogy is a journey into a previously unknown world, fertile territory for fresh and intriguing stories. Prospecting for writer's gold occurs naturally by following clues and turning data into a compelling story.

Colleen and I have encountered incredibly interesting worlds in our forensic genealogy cases. Byproducts of these journeys include subjects as diverse as Taiwan in the 1980s, the Irish in New Orleans and South America, popular theatre in the 19th century transitioning into silent films and animation, or the connection between the Salem witch trials and a French community that became infertile for a decade.

Forensic genealogy is also a tool for creating characters with true voices in fiction, a mysterious process that frustrates many writers.

More later,


What About The Truth? An Update on The Misha Defonseca Fraudulent Memoir Case

by Michael 9/25/2008 6:44:00 AM

For Shrinking Fiction fans who have been following reports from my penpal Sharon Sergeant, forensic genealogist, on the Misha Defonseca fraudulent memoir, Surviving With Wolves, here is Sharon's latest report. She covers developments in the case in which the author of a bogus memoir, Misha Defonseca, sues her publisher for inadequately promoting a fraudulent memoir.

 "Judge Timothy Feeley, the 28th August 2008 hearing judge, was unprepared to really examine the 2001 case in any detail. Particularly the issue of statute of limitations involving fraud upon the court and contamination of the entire proceedings. The court belived that Misha and her ghost writer were telling the truth.There were other important issues of discussion that relate to relevance and truth. First, Judge Feeley questioned whether it mattered that Misha's Holocaust story was untrue."Is it important that it was a work of fiction or a memoir?" Feeley asked at one point during the hearing. "I have trouble seeing how this new information changes the extent of the wrong found to be inflicted,"said Feeley. The judge thought that the ghost writer's lawyer's tangent into childhood traumas was not a relevant analogy, but at the same time time was still questioning whether the truth of Misha's story was relevant.  

There was much discussion about how the market value of damages was determined based on the truth of Misha's Holocaust story. Never directly addressing the impact of Misha's lack of truthfulness in any part of the proceedings. There was no real discussion by the judge yet about whether it matters if Defonseca was lying or delusional, ie knowing fraud versus other explanations.  Only the relevance of the book being a true story or not. So while the judge's question about the truth of the published story seems to be focused on the market value of the book, perhaps based upon the size of the putative award, he may be asking about the idea that even if Defonseca is a fraud, is that technically relevant to whether the court decided that Daniel, the American publisher, was a fraud."

- Sharon Sergeant.

Thanks again to Sharon for keeping us posted. This case interests me on several fronts: the budding science of forensic genealogy, the impact on the publishing industry of fraudulent memoir as an author path to literary notoriety/success and  What about the Truth?"

Finally, here is a picture of Misha Defonseca for your consideration. Using Emotional Anatomy and character body types from our earlier Shrinking Fiction discussions and SCWC workshops, is there anything about Misha's body type that remotely connects to her falsifying a memoir?




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