Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Detective's Word

So, I know you all have been waiting all weekend to know how it went with the detective! Here's what happened:

Last week I emailed both the Springdale and Fayetteville police departments, asking to interview a detective for a book I'd written. No response from Springdale. Fayetteville played phone tag with me for a day, until I finally spoke to Lieutenant Fields, who's in charge of the detective department. She told me to email her my questions and she'd find the right detective for me.

So I did. Well, she must've sent those questions on to the detective and not the rest of the story, because the email I got from the detective went something like this: "These are not questions I generally answer for the public. I need to know who you are, why you need this information, and why you contacted the Fayetteville police department." Let me tell you, I felt my heart leap into my throat! I thought, "Man, he's gonna send a patrole out and search my yard for dead bodies."

Keeping my calm, I emailed him back and explained what it's for, even offered to show him a copy of my signed contract. I didn't hear back from him until the next day. But he answered my questions! The odd thing was...most of my fabrication was correct. Well, many of the answers were, "Depends on the department. It could happen like this, or it could happen like this." Which made my scene plausible.

So I didn't have to change too much, and my first revision is off to the editor! We'll see how it goes from here. We're also in the process of changing the title. Oh, and I heard back from the Springdale police department today. Just emailed my questions off. I wonder if the responses will be different?

One last thing. Thanks to my dear friend M. Gray, I was inspired to enter a Christmas story contest. I can't tell you which entry is mine, but if you'd like to take a peek at the entries, go here. You have to read them all and voting doesn't start till the 16 of August, I think. Check it out. It'll be fun!


Stephanie Faris said...

Every time I've spoken to a police officer about certain scenarios for a book (or anything) they say something involving "depends on the department." Apparently they all do things differently? Of course, I've never gotten officially inside to talk to someone...just shooting the breeze with people I meet along the way who are either officers or former officers.

M. Gray said...

Ah, the competition gets fiercer. Glad you joined. Am I a snob to admit a few of the stories are... REEKING of cheese?? I'll be on the look-out for yours, and like David, I'll try to guess the one you penned. :)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

lol, Mary!!! I've refrained from commenting...if I can't say something nice I try to keep quiet. I hope no one flames me for that comment!

David J. West said...

I entered one of LDSP contests a couple years ago and got thrashed by readers.
I totally admit I did not understand story craft as well as I do now and my grammar was much worse.

But I also think that what I do was a little off for what a lot of the readers over there like. The theme was summertime and I did a story about Teancum sneaking in to the enemy camp to assassinate Ammoron and being slain himself. I never named Teancum and people really got after me for that-even though they all said they knew it was Teancum. Thats why I didn't name him-I didn't think I needed to for the story.

Sorry for my tangent.

And for what its worth, I thought there was a lot of cheese and they won and I lost-Oh well.

Cool tracking down the actual thoughts of different departments though. Its always good to have another perspective.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

It'll probably be good for me if I get thrashed by the readers. If they like my story, it'll go to my head. :)

SM Blooding said...

*quivering in steel-toed boots* I don't have an email adress. I only have a phone number. Which means, I have to cold call the guy. I'm...not very excited about this.

HOWEVER! I found another group interested in helping me out with a different part of my book. There's a local paranormal investigation group--and they're affiliated with TAPS!--who is very excited about me tagging along for a bit! I'm ENDLESSLY excited about that!

And you're not going to get thrashed...much. *winces* The public can be very demanding. I would recommend SEVERAL layers of thick skin. BUT! You'll do great! I love your writing.

Karen Gowen said...

Mary, absolutely REEKING, but amazingly there are some pretty good ones considering Christmas and cheese go together so well...cheese balls, cheese platters, gifts of fancy cheese....

I had to stop reading them because the GOOD ones made me stop and comment, and then i made a comment praising one and it was the other one I meant to praise. Did you see that?? I felt like a moron! So finally I stopped clicking on to read them. I needed to get something done today besides reading Christmas stories. I really didn't think I'd get sucked into that like I did.

JennyMac said...

Good luck on the contest! And glad you got the info you needed. My Dad is a retired career police LT...they are a surly bunch. LOL.

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