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Writing Books/Do I need information release forms?

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Question
I am currently working on a non-fiction manuscript based on a triple homicide that occurred in my hometown. My question is, do I need to have the people that I interview fill out "Release of Information" forms in order to use their statements in my book?

Answer
Hi, Lisa!

I saw your question in the pool and thought I'd try to help. The answer is that you really don't want an answer to this question that you might find here. You're asking a legal question, and the only answer that's going to be beneficial to you is one that an attorney gives AFTER knowing the details of your particular situation. I'd suggest you direct your question to an intellectual property or entertainment attorney in your area. The best site to find one is at Martindale-Hubbell, at: http://www.martindale.com You can search by region and specialty.

If you can't afford an attorney, there are a lot of attorneys who DONATE their services to artists and authors, or at least offer them at low cost. You can find a list in your area at:  http://www.starvingartistslaw.com/help/volunteer%20lawyers.htm

Hope that helps. Good luck!

Cathy

Writing Books

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.

Experience

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Organizations
Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Publications
Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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