THE BOOK: Make Me Believe
Make Me Believe is a unique book: part crime novel, part non-fiction chronicle, part memoir, part reportage, part love story. I use actual court documents, actual AP stories and other primary documents throughout the story as a way of engaging the audience in a participatory reading of the book that raises the stakes and lifts the veil that often alienates non-fiction readers from fiction.

The book begins in the court room in 1995. The first 20 pages consist purely of actually witness testimony I stitched together. The voices of these people -- everyone from family members to the police to his best friend who was also the star witness -- map the day of the murder based on what they witnessed with their own eyes. But then the story moves forward to the fall of 2002, which is a month after Toronto's actual execution. I imagined my protagonist as me and wondered, "What if instead of going on with my life, I'd dropped everything, headed to Dallas and attempted to figure out what happened?" In this sense, the entire story is based on a series of "What ifs...?" that, taken together, interrogate the easy, accepted narrative that allowed jurors and an entire community to execute Toronto...

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