Friday, March 20, 2009

An Amazing Reference

I admit, I haven't been writing much lately. The start of my second paranormal may be postponed another week or so. My Wayback editor informs me edits will start soon for Bluest Heart. I haven't recieved a cover yet, but it seems Wayback cover artist Tamra Westberry's been working on the print anthology cover which now has a title: The Way Back Home. Fitting since Abbey, Marguerite, and my stories all have a "coming home" theme in common. I was fortunate enough to get a glimspe of the cover last night. As always with Tamra, it's gorgeous and I can't wait to share! Until then, I wanted to mention the latest research gem I've uncovered.

Many writers may know this but Lee Lofland, a nationally acclaimed expert on police procedure and crime-scene investigation as well as a former police detective and writer, wrote a reference guide called Howdunit Police Procedure and Investigation: A Guide for Writers. I'm two-thirds of the way into it and my research standby pen, notepad, and highlighter have been very busy! Lofland gives the reader an intricately detailed and fascinating inside guide to law enforcement. I've learned all about the police academy, officer duty and equipment, detectives, arrest and search procedures, the differences between homicide, murder and manslaughter, (real) crime scene investigation, fingerprinting, DNA, autopsy (eek!), drugs, courts and the legal process, prisons/jails, and SO much more. Lofland also gives personal accounts of his experiences as a police officer and a detective, reminding us how very human law enforcement officials are behind the badge or uniform. Thanks to Mr. Lofland, I've compiled tons of notes and ideas for my next WIP. Before I read Howdunit, I knew little to nothing about police procedure. Now I feel like I've got my procedural ducks in a row and as soon as I'm finished reading and notetaking, I can't wait to dive into the heads of my hero and heroine (NYPD homicide detectives) with confidence.
Also important to note from this book is the responsibility of the author of any book on law enforcement to get the day-to-day police procedure and investigative procedure right. A whole chapter is dedicated to the consequence of shows like CSI and nearly every other popular crime series on television that feature cops doing things that they normally would never do. For example, serving Miranda rights as a suspect is handcuffed. Miranda rights aren't served until later when the suspect is interrogated. Definitely a good thing to know. BAM buy link for Howdunit:

More details on Bluest Heart and The Way Back Home coming soon, I'm sure! And I've done a draft of my new book trailer for A Summer's Hope. I'm still counting down to ASH's release on May 27! Check back soon for the video, too!

1 comment:

Lee Lofland said...

Thanks for mentioning my book. If you have questions please contact me at Also, you may enjoy my blog, The Graveyard Shift. Each day I post something about cops, crooks, or CSI.