I've been waiting for two weeks for the book on policing to arrive and today it DID! An Introduction to Policing, 5th Edition, by John S. Dempsey and Linda S. Forst came in the mail today, and it should help give me a crash course on some of the procedural scenes coming up. It will help me form more intelligent questions for when I interview the detectives! I had to reschedule my interview with the WSP Detective because she was knee-deep in a homicide investigation, but that is the nature of her job. Eager to talk to her and find out more about her work.
My thanks for today (last night, really) go to Brenda Nelson, Chief Flight Nurse from Airlift Northwest, who graciously answered several questions I had about rescues from some of the more remote areas of Washington State. Thank you!
Now...if I could just get someone from Clallam County EMS to get back to me. If you have contacts, please drop me a note! THANK YOU!
My bad guy's initial name was very mundane: Samuel Darnell. But that started to sound too farmer-ish, and Darnell just didn't roll right. So then I tried for Parnell, but that didn't work either. I found myself shortening Samuel to Sam, and it just fell apart. Sam Darnell. Meh.
I had great reasons for choosing Samuel. I was going to have his signature change slightly as he aged, and have his name turn into Samael (just the closing of the "u" in his name), who was the Angel of Death in Jewish lore. I had written great lines about this, but it was not meant to be.
So then I asked my Facebook followers to help with a name. But, just like you do when you try to name your unborn child, I found I had strong associations with many names. A friend, Stephen, suggested using two last names, and I liked that idea. For awhile Hector Jackson was looking promising. But the Hector just did't work. I liked it, but it didn't work.
Out of the blue, I decided on Declan for the last name. After all the false alarms, I didn't tell anyone, but I changed it in my manuscript and IT WORKED. Today my friend Mary emailed me and said, "How about Sawyer?" I like how it looks AND sounds. I'll plug it into my manuscript and see how it flies.
Hey wow -- I just noticed that his initials are back to what they were at the outset: S.D.
My thanks to all the contributors! Marci wins the prize for most suggestions! :-)
I got a lead today on another contact! A friend at work is going to put me in touch with a retired forensic scientist who used to work at the Pierce County Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. They are the labs that run all the trace evidence. Way cool! I'm very excited. More interviews to line up. Summer can't come soon enough. It's time for me to dig in to the police work of my novel. I've been reading a lot about procedure, so I can get started, but it's much more meaningful to talk with the folks who actually do it as a career. I want to preserve the realism. The picture of the WSP belongs to www.nbc.com.
I've been trying to learn to use Twitter better, so I ran a search for top "hashtags" for writers. I found this article called 44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Writer Should Know . Click the purple words or the picture to the left.
I am now writing my first autopsy. I'm writing from behind the observation glass, but it's still pretty gruesome. Detective Riley has remote control of the cameras and is zooming in on some nasty injuries. Not his favorite thing, but part of the job. He's just glad they spent the extra money on an isolated ventilation system, so he can't smell anything. Hearing and seeing are bad enough. But very enlightening.
Ran across a quote that is often posted outside autopsy rooms:
Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae."
Let idle talk be silenced.
Let laughter be banished.
This is the place where death rejoices to help those who live.
Getting ready to go visit the Kitsap County Morgue for research purposes. Greg Sandstrom, the Kitsap County Coroner, has been very helpful in answering many questions about police procedure and jurisdiction of body versus scene, and where they (quite literally) overlap.