ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Renee Roberson: True Crime Junkie
Davidson gal, Renee Roberson is a writer in every sense of the word. With a degree in mass communication, she’s had the great fortune to be employed through the years in a wide variety of literary jobs. She has written blog content, written and edited for newspapers and magazines, has written public relations and advertising copy, and has had her short stories and non-fiction articles published on several websites. She’s a working writer and proud of it. Who wouldn’t be?
Writing, like any other art form, is a tough way to make a living. But, Renee is doing just that.
As a child, Roberson dreamt of being a New York Times best-selling novelist. Her parents were supportive, but also encouraged her to get a sensible degree in mass communications, to which Renee credits her marketability. However, she has never given up on her dream of being a novelist and short story writer. Her non-fiction writing has gifted her with steady income, but her true passion is something much more interesting to her – true crime fiction.
“‘I’m a true crime junkie,” Roberson admits. “A few years ago, I was reading about a missing persons case in Charlotte, and I decided to try to write a short story based on the voice of a character like the missing man, who was speaking beyond the grave.” This story became her first short story to win an award.
“Some people say they can’t think of any new stories to write,” Roberson adds. “I like to take the details of some of these cases and use them as a jumping off point for a fictional ‘what if?’.” This is one element that keeps Roberson from experiencing writer’s block because she truly believes that the truth, at times, can be even more fascinating than anything she could ever make up.
Roberson draws daily writing inspiration from people and places all around her, and on life experiences and other stories she reads. She recently visited Sarasota, Florida, where she and her family had the opportunity to tour The Ringling Museum. She was so inspired by the stories of circus life that she woke up the next morning and immediately wrote a 1000-word short story about a fire that occurred in the Ringling Brothers Circus , taking the lives of many performers and spectators, as told through the eyes of a child.
“I find that when a story or voice of a character gets stuck in my head, it flows pretty easily once I sit down to let it out.”
There’s so much about being a writer Roberson loves, including the opportunities it affords her, the experiences she’s had, and the amazing creativity it allows her to explore. She also admits to enjoying the recognition it gives. “When I tell people I’m a writer, their eyes often light up. I love the fact that my occupation earns me a paycheck, as well as respect from others.”
Treat yourself to a few of Renee’s short stories and non-fiction articles on her website.
Kristen Feighery is a self-taught folk artist, originally from southeastern Kentucky. She spends her days painting anything not nailed down (and some things that are), chauffeuring one daughter to sporting events, having tea parties with the other, and writing a blog. She's also married to a rather large Irishman and has a pub in her house. Really.