I dreamed of writing true crime “one day.” One of the best-written true crime books I read was by Ann Rule. “If You Really Loved Me” – well told and victim-oriented.
I appreciated her work as a victim’s advocate. She was all about rescuing and honoring animals. Her books were not only well written, but used to educate the public on ways to avoid becoming the next statistic.
I believe in letting people know you appreciate their work; I sent a letter of thanks. I sent three books (including “Small Sacrifices”) to Ms. Rule, asking for an autograph. I wrote a bit about my teaching crime prevention, and I appreciated her recognizing crime victims.
I understood that. Ann Rule received so much mail, and had life to live, too. I let it go.
In March 2000, I received a package from Seattle, Washington. Whom did I know in Washington?
Ms. Rule wrote back.
She had missed my package in part due to a mudslide (reporting one book arrived a “bit dirty”). She apologized for the delay. I received NEW copies of the books, but a “bonus” book as well, plus a signed photo.
Each book had a note and individual signature. Her warmth, humor, and personality shone through.
Fast-forward to my own books. Ann taught me to sign each book with a note and individual signature. And I write about crime prevention in each.
Ann always seemed like someone I would love to meet for lunch: funny, positive, intelligent, a victim’s advocate. I would have loved to meet for lunch just to prattle, laugh, and share pet stories, dish, and trade ideas on victim’s advocacy.
Ann Rule left this earth on Sunday, July 26, 2015. She leaves behind a true legacy for so many of us.
But it’s not all about the books or the writing or even the advocacy. For me, it’s about an act of kindness from a professional author who, despite a mudslide and books to be written and so many more things to do … she took time to write and answer a simple request to an aspiring author.
Sometimes, Ann Rule had to tuck in her angel’s wings on this earth. Now she can unfold them in all their glory. May St. Michael watch over her family as they grieve.
Leslie, Ann’s daughter (and a sweetheart), has asked in lieu of flowers a donation be made to an animal rescue shelter. She suggests this one (click below):