In between chasing down stories for my day job, I’ve spent many long, sleepless nights fueled by strong coffee, cheap cigars and Chinese herbs, writing and researching books. Immersing myself deep inside a story for more than a year is nothing short of addictive.
My latest book, INSIDE THE MIND OF BTK was written with legendary criminal profiler and international bestselling author John Douglas (Mindhunter), who pioneered the FBI’s systematic study of serial killers. Published by Jossey-Bass, the book chronicles Douglas’ hunt for one of the nation’s most chilling killers—Dennis Rader. This seemingly innocuous family man, Boy Scout leader and municipal employee, whose brutal murders of ten people terrorized Wichita, Kans., for three decades, identified himself by the initials BTK (for Bind, Torture, Kill). “Douglas and Dodd have focused a laser sight on one of the most fascinating and disturbing serial killers of our time,” wrote New York Times bestselling suspense author Lisa Gardner. “Their in-depth analysis of the BTK’s early childhood, his seemingly ‘normal’ everyday life and his shockingly well-hidden ‘other’ life, deftly explores the nature of evil and how we can better protect ourselves from such cunning predators.”
My book MOZART AND THE WHALE, published by Simon & Schuster, is a love story based upon the lives of two autistic savants – mathematical genius Jerry Newport and composer / painter Mary Meinel. (Sony Home Video released their feature film based on Jerry and Mary’s story, penned by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ron Bass that starred Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell.) MOZART was also sold in Australia, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, China, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Renowned autism spokeswoman and author Temple Grandin described the book as “a fantastic voyage into two different kinds of minds. Absolutely riveting.”
My first book, HIGHER PURPOSE: THE HEROIC STORY OF THE FIRST DISABLED MAN TO CONQUER EVEREST details the adventures of Tom Whittaker, a Welsh-born world-class mountain climber whose life was turned upside down when a drunk driver slammed into his car, forcing doctors to amputate his lower right leg. Whittaker went on to climb many of the world’s highest peaks and, along the way, changed how people think about the disabled by creating one of the first outdoor wilderness programs for people with disabilities. Published by Regnery Press in the United States, the book was also translated into German and Hungarian. After reading HIGHER PURPOSE, the late quadriplegic actor and activist Christopher Reeve said: “His (Whittaker’s) story is not just about disability. It’s for anyone who has ever faced a challenge, who has ever had his or her own mountain to climb. He will inspire you, no matter what your ability, to be better than you thought you could be.”