A Letter from Grant Jerkins
The seed that grew into the poisonous plant that is A
VERY SIMPLE CRIME was an incident from my childhood.
My bedroom was in the basement of our house, and one night
I got up to go to the bathroom. I didn’t bother to
turn on the light because I knew the way upstairs.
I’d made the trip a thousand times. That night,
though, I grew conscious of the pitch darkness and became
disoriented. I got lost. I had a little panic attack. A
mini freak-out. I just stood there and screamed my head
off until someone heard me and turned on a light. It was
just one of those weird experiences we all have as kids.
Somehow, in thinking about that incident, my mind latched
onto the idea of a man who was never able to escape the
darkness, that it infected every aspect of his life. And
Adam Lee was born.
From there, I got to wondering what it would be like if
someone like Adam got married. Started a family. What kind
of woman would he be attracted to? Is darkness drawn to
darkness? Enter Rachel Lee.
The last piece of the picture came from my years of
working with people with developmental disabilities. The
vast majority of the families that I worked with exhibited
grace and strength when they had a child with significant
intellectual disability. I saw them support that child
through the bureaucratic maze of our educational system
and on into meaningful employment and interdependence. And
on occasion I saw it bring out the worst in people. The
move toward segregation, seclusion, and
institutionalization. And I had always wanted to explore
the darker side of that a little bit. What better way than
through Adam and Rachel Lee?
I think it’s worth noting that while their son,
Albert, is indeed dangerously violent at times; he is
actually the only character in the novel who is wholly
honest. Who does not act out of a nefarious place. Who is
This is a dark novel. At least that’s what everyone
keeps telling me. To me, it’s not dark at all.
It’s just a story. Hopefully a compelling one.
If you would like to find out a little more about me, the
book, or the film project based on A VERY SIMPLE
CRIME, please visit my website.