5 lessons I learned covering same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court

The start of this week was a whirlwind of press conferences, photo opportunities and historic court arguments for me as I covered the Supreme Court in action for the first time. I’ve been a full-time reporter since 1999, and while my career has led me to Instanbul and Tokyo and Paris and Belize, I’d never been to our nation’s Capitol, much less granted a seat for one of the most historic high court arguments of the generation. I was there Tuesday, April 28, as the justices listened to...

First signing is in the books!

Today I'm recovering from a four-day road trip to Minneapolis -- with an 11-month-old boy in tow, no less -- where I met up with David Batcher for our first-ever book signing. The response we're getting for the book is humbling. I'm incredibly appreciative and hopeful that we can get the word out about our work. The Kennedy women we highlighted are fascinating, and I think our approach is accessible to introduce them to a new generation. Here are some photos of the big night, courtesy of...

Kennedy Wives has arrived!

I remember reading author interviews when I was younger and being dubious when the scribe likened his or her latest book release to birthing a child. I am in perfect position to judge that analogy this year: In December 2013, I delivered my first son. In June 2014, my latest true crime hit bookstores. And this week, one year after the birth of my boy, my first hardcover -- The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family -- is making its nationwide debut. I assure...

I get bored with predictability, so after three true-crime books, I switched it up for Book No. 4: It's a non-fiction biography about the Kennedy wives. I also didn't work alone this time. David Batcher, with whom I went to high school, signed on under the guise of helping me research, but by the time the book proposal was finished, I realized I wanted more than just his behind-the-scenes help, so I enlisted him as a coauthor. It was a brilliant decision. David was one of those annoying,...

The Tyler Hadley case

He stood behind her, a hammer clenched in his hand. He was silent, and she was oblivious. The hammer’s handle was smooth in his palm. He stared at her as she typed absentmindedly on the family computer. He was still for a long time and he held the hammer at his side as he eyed his mother’s head. -- So goes the first paragraph in my third true crime book, See How Much You Love Me. It was a difficult story to tell -- one about a boy whose parents did all the right things in trying to...

Effin' Matt Power

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine died. I didn't get to know him long, but I had the privilege of knowing him pretty damn well. Matthew Power had been a colleague whom I got to know during my stint as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan (2010-2011). It was a tight-knit clan that spent hours together crammed in buses and seminar halls and on airplanes. We traveled the globe together, visiting Argentina, Brazil and Turkey. A lot has been written about Matt since he died...

Learning from Love

Yeardley Love was no shrinking violet. The truth will come out about the University of Virginia lacrosse star, the young woman whose piercing blue eyes peered out to millions from magazine covers, newspaper pages and television reports. We will all learn that though her name has become synonymous with domestic and dating violence—due in no small part to the allegation that her lacrosse-playing boyfriend beat her to death in a violent rage just weeks before they were to graduate—the...

About Amber Hunt

Amber Hunt is an award-winning journalist who works for the Cincinnati Enquirer as an investigative reporter. She previously covered crime for the Detroit Free Press and the Dakotas for The Associated Press and was a 2011 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She's written three true-crime books: Dead but Not Forgotten, All-American Murder and See How Much You Love Me, and is co-author of the upcoming The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public...

I get bored with predictability, so after three true-crime books, I switched it up for Book No. 4: It’s a non-fiction biography about the Kennedy wives. I also didn’t work alone this time. David Batcher, with whom I went to high school, signed on under the guise of helping me research, but by the time the book proposal was finished, I realized I wanted more than just his behind-the-scenes help, so I enlisted him as a coauthor. It was a brilliant decision.

David was one of those annoying, impossibly smart and talented students who you just knew was going places. He happened to be the older brother of my best friend, and he was a master thespian and a deep thinker. As a sort of defacto Batcher, I stayed tight with the family. I visited his sister Emily while she lived in Holland for a year and remain best friends with her to this day. I went to Japan with another Batcher — this one goes by Betsy — after she and I commiserated about our similar divorce experiences. And now I’ve written a book with David, whose analysis and writing style made the book so much better than it would have been if I’d written it alone.

It’s been an interesting and sometimes difficult transition to bounce from daily journalist to author. My first two true crime books were riddled with rookie mistakes that make me cringe when I read them. (I’m probably not supposed to admit that as a writer, but I’ve never been one for following such rules.) The third (See How Much You Love Me) feels much more like it belongs to me when I re-read it now. But I’ve never been prouder of a finished manuscript than I am with The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America’s Most Public Family. My father, who loathes true crime but reads my books out of loyalty, will be able to read this one without covering his eyes and worrying about my psyche. Rose, Ethel, Jackie, Joan and Vicki truly are fascinating women worthy of book treatment, and I’m proud of the way we tackled them. Each has her own section, worthy of reading on its own, but each also plays pivotal roles in each other’s tales. It’s sort of like a musical composition in a way: In each section, JFK’s assassination is described, of course, but usually quickly, with only the necessary detail, because its natural crescendo is in Jackie’s section. These historic events are woven into each section, but we never get repetitive. It required careful collaboration. Chappaquiddick is handled by the second violins in Rose, Ethel and Jackie, but in Joan, its heartrending melody is performed by the soloists. That’s where we truly analyze the incident and its aftermath.

This was without question the most challenging book I’ve tackled to date, and I’m so proud to have worked with David on it (whom you can find on Twitter as @DavidBatcher). I hope our hard work is evident in its pages. The Amazon pre-order link is here. A heartfelt thanks for all of your support.

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