Anthony author defends title, book

Author Diane Fanning says she has heard from people who aren’t happy that she has written a book about the Caylee Anthony case. “Mommy’s Little Girl” from St. Martin’s Press will be published in November.

Among the most-frequent complaints:

n A book is premature before Casey Anthony’s murder trial.

“Maybe we shouldn’t have any news stories, either,” Fanning said today from her home in Texas. “If it’s wrong to do this, then it’s wrong to have newspaper stories, magazine stories and TV reports. You can’t wait on the vagaries of the justice system.”

Fanning notes that her book on astronaut Lisa Nowak was released in November 2007 and that trial is set for December.

Fanning said when she agreed to write about Casey Anthony, who is charged with daughter Caylee’s murder, the trial was set for January, then pushed to March. The earliest the trial could start now is next year.

“There is a point in the public world when things get in place and you can’t stop that train,” Fanning said. “It was supposed to be a post-trial book. This case is so different. There is so much available. Will I write a sequel? It’s up to the publisher.”

n The Anthonys will profit from the book.

“A lot of people in the general public seem to believe to write a book like this, you have to purchase rights,” Fanning said. “Not true. It’s no more true of writers who work for newspapers. People make the assumption I put money in the Anthonys’ pocket. It’s not true, and it’s not ethical. There were enough people to talk to. I could round out what was available from documentation.”

n The title is disrespectful to Caylee.

“Some people are upset by the title,” Fanning said. “I didn’t pick the title, but I thought it was a good title. No matter how horrendous a mother might be, that child is always mommy’s little girl. Children love without any limitation.”

The subtitle is “Casey Anthony and Her Daughter Caylee’s Tragic Fate.”

“She didn’t have a long life,” Fanning said of the toddler. “I couldn’t fill the whole book with Caylee.”

n She is profiting off the tragedy.

“I’m making my living,” Fanning said. “That’s it. This is what I do to get my paycheck. I write books.”

The Anthony saga is her 10th true-crime book, and St. Martin’s Press is one of the most respected publishers in that field.

Fanning said readers should expect the Anthony discovery information presented in story form along with anecdotes about Caylee and other people connected to the Anthony family.

“There are stories and anecdotes that have never been published before — not earth-shattering, but I think it adds another texture to the story,” Fanning said.

Fanning started the book on the day after Casey Anthony was arrested in the murder in October. The author finished the more than 300-page work May 15.

The constant outpouring of documents made this book easier to write than others, Fanning said. “What was more difficult, I have never seen another case, except Lisa Nowak, where everyone had a lawyer and a publicist,” the author said. “It’s very strange to me, and it is odd to me that both cases happened in Orlando. I don’t think it says anything about Orlando.”

She also couldn’t interview some of the major players, such as George and Cindy Anthony.

Fanning said she couldn’t discuss her conclusion because lawyers are looking over the book before its publication.

“In all my books, there’s an afterword, and I give my opinion,” she said. “And it’s there in this book.”