Category Archives: Commentary

Borrow Painted Black

A friend of mine recently requested Painted Black from his local library and was rewarded with a notice that the book now resides on their shelves for him to borrow at any time.  This is almost as exciting as the day New Libri Press offered me a publishing contract!

If you want to read Painted Black, ask your local library if they have a copy.  Or you can buy a copy of your own by asking at your local bookstore or going to

Debra R. Borys

Suspense Magazine gave me a chance to share two “postcards” of real people I knew on the streets of Chicago and reflect on how they impacted my writing.  I hope you will click through to read the entire post and get a glimpse of Chris and John.  These people influenced my portrayal of Cry and Samuel Walker in Painted Black.

In my years of meeting street people in Chicago and Seattle, I was struck by how their lives could seem like fiction, their world some dystopian underworld, if you didn’t actually experience it physically like they do. We prefer it that way. We enjoy being readers and observers of the dark and scary, but prefer them in the form of a noir detective novel, perhaps, or a gritty action movie. By doing that, we can remain, for the most part, untouched by the reality of the darkness.

via Suspense…

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Stranger than Fiction?

Fiction: an excerpt from suspense novel Painted Black:

Sidney frowned and tilted his head to look from another angle.  Walked to the other side of the tray table.  Lifting the left breast slightly, he moved the padded brace close enough so the bosom remained in place.  Satisfied, he consulted the work order once again.

All that remained was the positioning of the legs.  She would be sitting in a chair so he had built a metal, crate-like frame just the right size to prop the legs up.  He would have liked to cross the legs in a more natural pose, but the specs drawn for him were inflexible.  Men who paid this much money to get what they wanted were seldom happy with creative alterations.

Reality: From today’s headlines:

Soon after, the funeral home manager, Susan Birkencamp, met with Shular-Cameron’s two children, Marc Nail and Amber Thebeau-Tunison. She told them their mother’s body had been “mistreated,” Nail told The Blade that another employee had witnessed his coworker Lawrence Clement “fondling” the corpse.

via Funeral Home Employee Arrested  – Careers Articles.

Debra R. Borys

Darian Wilk recently posted a wonderful review of Painted Black, and also gave me an opportunity to write a guest post for her blog.  In it, I explore what it was about the streets of Chicago and the people who live there that inspired me to tell this story.  I hope you will click the link to read the whole article.

There is also a week left to WIN A FREE COPY of Painted Black by entering the giveaway on her site.

I have always felt an affinity for the disenfranchised, the outcast, the underdog. Volunteer work with the homeless seemed a natural outlet for this calling. Fully intending to pursue this option, I researched before relocating and discovered The Night Ministry in Chicago had a mission statement that spoke to me. Their goal is to build relationships that empower people to meet their own needs. They do that…

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What a Bargain!

According to invise one of’s “resellers,” you, too, can have your own paperback copy of Painted Black for the low, low price of only $888.00!