In anticipation of his appearance on the Crime Cafe podcast, we have crime writer Chris Roy as our guest blogger today!

Chris is giving away a copy of his latest book, Her Name is Mercie to a lucky winner. To enter the giveaway, just email Chris at c[dot]henryroi[at]gmail[dot]com and put “Crime Cafe giveaway” in the subject line. The winner will be randomly chosen. You have until Dec. 23 to enter!

So … without further ado, here’s Chris Roy!


Fist Bump to Fist Fight

You have to be around a person for years to really get to know them. Experience them at their very best, at their very worst, and consider all of that before deciding to make them a part of your life: they will be your friend, a part of your tribe, and their problems will be your problems. You give them your trust, and you accept their loyalty. In public you stand by your friends whether they are right or wrong, and only question them in private.

My standards may be unusual to most people, but that’s because I’ve spent over half my life in prison. I have a motto I live by in regards to what can hurt me, what can inconvenience me, what can seriously jeopardize my safety and the safety of the people I consider my friends: the four worst things a convict can have in their life are drugs, love, friends and family. If a convict has even one of those in their life, she/he is emotionally vulnerable and their security is at risk; they can be extorted, psychologically abused, or suffer mental illness. A convict with all four of those things in their life has to be immensely strong, mentally and physically, to not fall prey to the hyenas stalking for scraps, the manipulation or life-wasting abuse can arise as result of romantic relationships, and the stress of being targeted by prison staff and administration.

You’ve heard people say “I don’t trust anyone.” In prison, everyone says it at some point. Myself included. It’s just part of the day-to-day language. But the truth is you can trust everyone with some things: I can trust this guy to return my pen, that guy on a lunch tray deal, but I can’t trust either with a $10 canteen deal. I can trust a long-time associate with my radio, but not with my illegal cell phone – it’s worth $500. It takes time to assess the degree to which you can trust another convict. In prison, a situation can go from fist bump to fist fight in a heartbeat.

As a convict serving life, it is far better to devoid myself of all of these things – drugs, love, friends and family – and get the term “friend” completely out of my vocabulary. In prison I have no friends. There are only acquaintances and associates with various degrees of trust.

It is far better… But impossible.


Chris Roy is the author of Shocking Circumstances, Sharp as a Razor, and Her Name Is Mercie. He is a published tattoo artist (Rise Tattoo Magazine, ATC Tattoo Books app) and the illustrator of two children’s books. Raised in South Mississippi, he lived comfortably with the criminal ventures of his youth until a fistfight in 1999 ended tragically. Since January, 2000, he’s been serving a life sentence in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Nowadays he lives his life of crime vicariously, through the edgy, fast-paced stories he pens, hoping to entertain readers. When he isn’t writing, he’s reading, tattooing or looking for prospects to train in boxing.

You can find Chris on Twitter @AuthorChrisRoy and on his Amazon Author Page:

For more info on the author, visit this website.:

Reviews from the “Her Name Is Mercie” blog tour on Facebook:

Chris Roy on Off the Chain Radio:




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