By Liz Everly
The last time I held a gun in my hand I was ten-years-old and shooting my father’s 22 rifle. Of course, I fell back onto the ground when the shot went off and my dad stood there laughing and help me up from the ground. He knew that was going to happen. Even though I nagged my father to let me shoot that gun, I grew up to hate them. I don’t own any guns. But I write about them—not in great detail—or rather, I write about people who use them. I’m not sure I’d ever really need to know a lot about guns in my romantic suspense writing. I’m really more concerned with the romance part of the plot. But knowing more about your subject can only add to the story, even if you never use it. This is why I’m heading out of town on Thursday to attend the Writer’s Police Academy in North Carolina. I am so excited that I’m about to burst.
Every year, a group of police and crime experts gather for the academy to help writers as we craft our stories—after all it benefits them, of course, as well as us. Clarity and correctness serves us all, particularly when we write about crime or legal issues. I’ll be participating in a couple of special hands-on sessions—one is a jail tour and the other is a building search. These are the buildings they use to train police how to do a search. Should be informative. In this case, I can definitely see one of my characters using this skill.
Along with the hands-on stuff, there will be sit-down classes. I’m looking forward to the classes about gangs, human trafficking, street prostitution. I’m going as my other self—my mystery writer self, but much of this pertains to my romantic suspense books, as well. After all, in book number three in my series, LIKE HONEY, the male lead is an undercover agent. You can do a great deal of research these days on-line, but nothing beats meeting these folks in person to ask them your questions and to add them to your contact list for future reference.
Also, a conference like this offers a ton of inspiration—dontchya think? I’m not just talking about “criminal” and “mystery” inspiration. But I will be surrounded by police, Secret Service, FBI agents, and so on. I’m betting my set of naughty wheels will start to spin. (It doesn’t take much, really. Grin.)
Arrest me, officer. Wink.
What kind of things have you done for research?
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