Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Research and Writing Crime Fiction
When I started writing mysteries, I realized I knew little about police procedures except for what I learned through TV and movies. I began collecting a library of crime books (I'll include some titles below) and studied different aspects of law enforcement.
A few months ago, I saw a newspaper article inviting residents of a nearby community to apply for a position in the upcoming Citizens' Police Academy. It was an opportunity I could not pass up, so I applied, and was thrilled to learn I was accepted in the fall academy that will last three months. We've now had two classes, and it is INCREDIBLE. I highly recommend the experience - not only for writers, but for all citizens.
The second class, we discussed domestic violence - a soapbox topic for me that I'll eventually address here - and the Constitution of the United States and how it affects our everyday lives. The detective teaching the class has such passion for his job, and for the Constitution, it stirred up my own emotions.
I've always loved our country, and tear up at the National Anthem. Visiting Philadelphia was a tremendous and almost overwhelming experience for me, because I was walking the streets our founding fathers walked. In the past few years, the politics in our country has caused me to not love our country so much. Some things have been an embarrassment to me, others have been just downright perplexing, and have even caused me great anger.
But Tuesday night, as we discussed the Constitution, those emotions returned. This is OUR country, and we can be proud of what our founding fathers established. We need to guard our Constitution and its purpose - with our very lives, if need be. Unfortunately, we're almost at that point.
Over the next several weeks, I'm going to study the Constitution - section by section, line by line, and I'm going to record my studies here. I hope you'll join me as I delve into this. And I hope you'll converse with me - and our readers - about this great country - land that I still love. The Constitution posts will begin Monday.
Here are some of the books in my crime library. There are so many more, and so many more I want to add, but this is a starting point.
When You're the Only Cop in Town
The Writer's Complete Crime Reference Book
Book of Poisons
Scene of the Crime