5 Questions with Linda DeFruscio, author of 'Cornered: Dr. Richard J. Sharpe As I Knew Him'

LindaDiFruscio_29.1FLinda DeFruscio is the founder and president of A & A Laser, Electrolysis & Skin Care Associates in Newtonville, MA. In addition to Cornered, her memoir about her friendship with Richard Sharpe, she is currently writing a book on skin care and completing a book of profiles based on interviews with transgender people, many of whom are her clients. WhileCornered is her first book, her skin care articles have been published in magazines for years. Connect with the author on Facebook and via her website.

About the Book

In the year 2000, Linda DeFruscio was forced to make an unthinkable decision. Someone whose genius she admired immensely, a business associate and dear friend, committed a terrible crime. In response, she could cut off their friendship and avoid the risk of losing friends, clients and her own peace of mind—or, she could trust her gut and try to save some aspect of her friend’s humanity.

Cornered is Linda DeFruscio’s story of her long and often complex association with Dr. Richard J. Sharpe, the millionaire dermatologist from Gloucester, MA who was convicted of killing his wife. Beautifully written and surprisingly tender, Corneredallows the reader an upfront view of the fragility of genius and the decline into madness, all while casting a second light on how one woman’s refusal to turn her back resulted in momentous changes in her own life.

Find out more on Amazon.

Q: What’s inside the mind of a non-fiction author?

A:        My day job is working as an electrologist (someone who removes unwanted hair from clients’ bodies) and an aesthetician (someone who helps clients enhance their skin and features so that they can be their most beautiful selves). I wouldn’t be as good at what I do if I didn’t enjoy focusing on details. My love for details informs my writing as well. I am a taker of notes, a collector of information. When I decide to write something, whether it is an article on skincare for a magazine or something personal, as in the case of my memoir, I find I already have notes tucked away to get me get me started.

Cornered_medQ: Tell us why readers should buy Cornered.

A:        Cornered is my story of my long and complicated association with Dr. Richard J. Sharpe, the millionaire dermatologist from Gloucester, MA who was convicted of killing his wife in 2000. He had been my friend and business mentor before his crime, and afterwards I had to decide whether I would continue to befriend him. It was not an easy decision to make. He was a troubled man who did a terrible thing. For nine years, from 2000 to 2009 when he died, the media couldn’t get enough of him. They covered every moment of his trial, his imprisonment, his various suicide attempts and finally his death. So did I, in a sense. As his friend and confidante, I achieved a better understanding of the inner workings of his mind than the jury or the journalists or the psychiatrists ever did. I met most of the people who walked in and out of his life after his incarceration. I came to understand the motivations of the various women who offered him their support—and often a lot more—while he was in prison.

Cornered is a virtual banquet for psych fans. If you liked the book (or film) about Richard Nash (A Beautiful Mind), you will probably like Cornered as well. Moreover, in order to tell Richard Sharpe’s story, I also had to reveal details about my own life. My father was a member of the Boston-area crime scene. He knew Whitey Bulger, Richie Castucci and others. For years, the greater part of our time together was spent in prison visiting rooms. As a result, I was never afraid to go into a prison to visit Richard Sharpe. So, my book shines a light on Richard Sharpe, the individual, yes, but also on prisons and criminals generally. If you’re a reader who likes crime stories, you are sure to get your fill.

 

My decision to remain friends with Richard Sharpe impacted my life in ways that were unimaginable to me at the time I made the decision. I learned a lot about myself and about human nature generally because of our association. I suffered a great deal of loss; and I gained a few things. I think any reader who has experienced shifts in their life as a result of their association with a difficult or strong-willed or mentally-ill person—whether it is a child or a spouse or a friend—will identify with my story.

 

Q:       What makes a good memoir?

A:        A good memoir tells a story that captures the interest of others. When I made my decision to support Richard Sharpe after his incarceration, I had some clients and some friends who turned their backs on me and didn’t want to have anything to do with me. On the other hand, the ones that stuck by me could never get enough of the scoop.

Q:       What is a regular writing day like for you?

A:        I don’t have a regular writing schedule. Because I have my own business and work long hours, I don’t have the option of writing whenever I want. But I also don’t have the option of not writing; at some point I have too much going on in my head and I need to put it down on paper.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A:        This is my first book, and as of this writing, it is just out, so I can’t say for sure how it will be received by readers. As for personal rewards, not only did I accomplish what I set out to, but in the process of getting the story down on paper I got answers to questions that had plagued me for years.

  Cornered Dr. Richard J. Sharpe as I Knew Him by Linda DeFruscio
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Published on January 23, 2015 09:44 Tags: cross-dressing, memoir, richard-sharpe, transgender, true-crime
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