Writing The TRUE CRIME

Bestselling author James Dalessandro found the subject for his best-selling book CITIZEN JANE in the pages of THE PACIFIC SUN, his local free newspaper in Marin County, California. In this True Crime masterclass, James talks about finding stories, researching, structuring and building drama and tension with the use of strong languages and images, as opposed to fabricating events. 


When CITIZEN JANE was released, James was a ceaseless promoter of his book, helping get it on numerous bestseller lists, AND selling it to Hollywood not once but three times - to CBS, COURT TV, and the Hallmark Channel. As James says, "With a major return to television movies and limited series on streaming, the time has never been better for True Crime.  



At age 23, James founded the Santa Cruz Poetry Festival, the nation's largest literary event, with Ken Kesey and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  An alumnus of the UCLA Writing Program, Dean Richard Walter called him a "sensational writer," and Screenwriting 434's Lew Hunter said "he is one of the four or five best screenwriting teachers in the world."  He's published two #1 National Bestsellers: "1906" A Novel," which Brad Bird may direct before James dies, and "Citizen Jane" which was developed at CBS and Court TV before winding up as Hallmarks only true crime movie.  He is the screenwriter of both.  His musical "27" - about the musicians who created the Counter Culture- currently draws sell-out crowds in Las Vegas.  He co-created the new Stan Lee series "Restless," is co-creator and Executive Producer of "Duality" for Starlings Entertainment, and co-creator of the series "Petrosino" with Tom Fontana, based on James feature Playboy article.  He lives in San Francisco.   His previous pitching seminars at Expo have all been SRO. 

Amazing Weekend

For Writers In All

Medium of Story