May 2009

What a weekend!  I hadn’t run a half marathon in years, but when Sean Ryan, the race director for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon offered to promote my book, Run at Destruction, in their training newsletter and also asked me to speak at the sponsors luncheon, I thought… I better run!    cellcom marathon logo

Even though Green Bay has more than 100,000 residents, it’s a small town. At the luncheon one of the former detectives from my book, who is now the Brown County Executive was there. Also, a physician that testified at the trial (one of the most heavily attended in Green Bay’s history)  was present. He told me that his wife’s book club was scheduled to read Run at Destruction when it is released on August 7th.   What each of us shared was having been a runner during Green Bay’s running boom in the 80’s.

On Saturday I picked up my race packet inside the Lambeau Atrium and met with Andrew Delzer, the president of the Badgerland Striders Running Club. It’s the largest in Wisconsin, serving Milwaukee and the surrounding area with over 1800 members.   He agreed to have me speak to his club about my book in the fall, if I teased the subject. I assured him it definitely wouldn’t be the normal chiropractor talk!

Then Sunday arrived… the weather was perfect. Sunshine, minimal wind and the temperature in the 40’s. My husband, Jim, and I rode over to the race with Daryl and Kathy Kapalin (a couple that are in my book). After getting in the bathroom line, I squeezed into the throng of excited runners.  I was inspired by the rendition of the Star Spangled Banner while turning to face our flag flying over Lambeau Field. Then we took off. cellcomcupsThe course was flat, the fans were supportive, and I only got toe cramps in the last mile, but forgot about them as I circled inside Lambeau Field before finishing in the parking lot with a time of 2:06:14. I’d been aiming for 10 minute miles so was elated to  run 9:38’s instead – placing 5th in my age division. Kathy ran 2:00:08 and won hers!   My accolades to Sean Ryan and Cellcom for a wonderful race weekend!


In my book, Run at Destruction: A True Fatal Love Triangle, my best friend

Pam Bulik with my son Collin at our 1982 Bellin Run Party

Pam Bulik with my son Collin at our 1982 Bellin Run Party

 Pam always struggled with her weight after the birth of her two children. It definitely was one motivator for why she ran. I know it was for me as well. Six weeks after having Collin, I began to train for the October Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.  It certainly helped me drop my weight and got me back in shape.

While preparing for my talk for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Sponsors on May 15, 2009, I chuckled to see the reason Dick Lytie, our former running Guru, also began to run. His son Dan said that when Dick was turning 40, he’d scratched his belly and realized it was protruding way further than he liked! He joined the YMCA and started to jog. He had a  streak going –  never missed a day until his death in 1994.

Yesterday, seated next to my husband as the two of us drove up to Door County for the weekend, I was reading excerpts out loud from a book a running friend

Dave Elger's New Book

Dave Elger's New Book

of ours, Dave Elger, just wrote. It seemed so simple to follow his recommendations on diet and exercise!  I certainly was motivated… and with the Cellcom half-marathon, the Bellin Run, the Munising Run and the Nike Women’s half marathon on the horizon, I vowed to  eat better by increasing my fruits, vegetables, and fiber.    

However, as we all know, it is far easier said than done!      

Forever I’d been intrigued by mysteries. I’d read Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew, and loved the Hardies Boys. As a child I’d select the surprise ball to find the little trinkets hidden inside. Upon opening a Highlife Magazine, I’d immediately turn to the page to uncover the concealed objects within the picture. Treasure hunts were irresistible. The Game of Clue logical. And problem solving, stimulating.

For many friends I was a contradiction. A “Shit!” rarely escaped my lips yet I would immerse myself in books and movies about serial killers and gore. So when I lived through the tragic events surrounding my best running friend’s death, even though I was feeling terrible pain, I was absorbed.

New York Times Best-Selling Author Ann Rule

New York Times Best-Selling Author Ann Rule

25 years later when I completed Run at Destruction, my own True Crime account that chronicled this period in my life, I was determined to find an agent/publisher. In order to do this, a book proposal was needed that included my marketing plan. In the spring of 2007, I located the email of the New York Times Best-Selling author, Ann Rule on her website I’d always admired her True Crime books, especially Small Sacrifices. I naively wrote her, asking if she’d read my manuscript and then, if she liked it, write a blurb.  Amazingly, Ann wrote me back, herself – not someone she’d hired. She does it all!  Ann said, “I try to read bound galleys that have been purchased and are scheduled for release and write blurbs if I find the books something my readers would enjoy. So I have to say ‘no’ right now, but you could contact me when your have sold your book and it’s about six months to being published.”

So… time warp to the spring of 2009. I had found my publisher ( and my book was to be released in August of 2009. I had met Ann’s criteria and emailed her once again.  But, this time I heard nothing. I could tell from her website she was in the process of writing at least two new books, working on two mini-series about earlier ones, and on book signing tours.  So… maybe she was too busy. I found her P.O. Box number from her website and decided to mail her a pre-publication galley of Run at Destruction with a nice note. Maybe that would attract her attention.  I heard nothing.

Again, I emailed her. Had she received my galley? Moments later she responded!  As I’d expected, she said she’d been so overwhelmed with her schedule and the many other galleys she’d received from first-time and established authors.  She located mine and responded, “I’ve read the first several pages and I can tell you’ve done a good job… I will give you a quote. Congratulations on finding a publisher. It’s not easy these days.” 

I was getting my blurb! But, in the meantime, I had to tell Ann that my book’s first publishing date, to provide a limited early release, had been moved up to mid-May instead of August. Could she provide me something within one month?  She said she’d try…

For the past month, I waited – checking my email daily, foolishly sending her two friendly reminders when my impending date was drawing near. Last Friday a group of 15 women friends (some still running) traveled to Chicago for our annual trip. I now had three days to meet the May 4th deadline. I’d brought my laptop and while we gathered in one of our hotel rooms for wine and snacks, I checked my email and there it was – Ann’s amazing comment!  What made it better is that I was among my best friends that had been encouraging me since day-one. They made me read the following to them multiple times:

“Run at Destruction is a tragic–yet fascinating–true story of an unfathomable death in the Heartland of America. It happened in a wholesome community of runners and educators, perhaps the last group you would expect to be involved, however tangentially, in secret affairs, deception, and infidelity. Except for the bond between mothers and their children, there may be nothing stronger than women friends who are there to pick up the pieces when the world explodes, and to listen with true concern. Author Lynda Drews writes of her lost friend, and of her own efforts to find justice for Pam Bulik. Readers will find themselves walking along with Drews as she describes an enviable friendship, her grief when it ended suddenly, and the layers she peeled away to find the truth. Wonderfully written. A must for true-crime readers.”                                      – Ann Rule, Author of The Stranger Beside Me, Small Sacrifices, and Mortal Danger

I so admired the time Ann put into this blurb, to get to what my book was really about. And, for someone she had never met… I could certainly tell, as could all of my cheering friends, why she’s recognized as being the “Best” in her field!  What a wonderful lady!