Monday, September 08, 2014

Writers' Police Academy 2014 — Day 1

How do you sum up a high-speed weekend of buzzing writers, detectives, forensics experts, famous authors, a prosecuting attorney, an explosives expert... and much, much more?!

Friday morning I walked into the chaos of our largest class of "recruits" ever. For part of the day I hung out in the hallways, checking people off for the firearms training and emergency driving simulators, and giving directions. I enjoyed the look on one man's face as he walked out of a classroom to hear me direct a lady to "prostitution class" across the hall.

I snuck in a couple of classes, including part of "Romance Behind the Badge." I enjoyed Rick McMahan's class on firearms basics. We learned the differences between rifles and shotguns; single-shot, semi-automatic and automatic (machine guns); revolvers and (semi-automatic) pistols.

Lisa Gardner returned this year and gave an inspiring talk on turning facts into fiction. Most of the experts she calls don't recognize her name. She can almost hear them wondering why she wants to know so much about murder! One of her great tips was to use the coolest detail, or the assumption you made that was wrong — but don't put everything you learned into the story.

Sisters in Crime hosted Friday night's reception. I talked to a couple of the instructors and met a lady from Missouri who, like me, has started a colonial-era historical. I finally drove home. Time for a little sleep before another day of excitement!

Click on the WPA tag below to see past years of Writers' Police Academy or move on to Day 2.

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