Mystery Research

Guest post by Diane Weiner, Author of the Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mysteries

Author Photo Diane WeinerWhen I finished writing my doctoral dissertation, I never wanted to hear the word “research” again. Writing fiction would be a completely different, freer, type of writing, right? Although I no longer deal with footnotes and APA style, I find myself doing plenty of research. Somewhere out there, is a reader who is also a cop, a nurse, a mechanic… Most of the research I do involves the internet, talking to people, and using information I’ve learned from listening to experts speak at workshops, or reading non-fiction books related to what I’m writing about. Researching for my books is a lot of fun because you learn so many interesting tidbits.

Check out the contest below to win one of Diane’s books!

Here are the top ten things I’ve learned in doing research for my Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mystery series:

  1. There is no such thing as blood splatter. It’s blood spatter.
  2. Claves aren’t strong enough to cause death by blunt force trauma. Gong mallets are
  3. Police detectives don’t wear uniforms.
  4. To pull a car from a canal, use a crane attached to a truck.
  5. There are people in their sixties still searching for birth parents.
  6. You can’t take fingerprints off of a pen. It’s too small.
  7. Police departments in small towns don’t necessarily have the ability to process DNA.
  8. In Florida, you can kill an intruder without penalty if your life is being threatened.
  9. When someone is falsely imprisoned for committing a crime, most of the time it’s due to inaccurate reports from eyewitnesses.
  10. Hostage negotiators never put down their guns.

In the age of technology, there’s no excuse to not authenticate details in

your books. Using a primary source as an expert is great, but if you don’t happen to know an expert, chances are someone you know does. My student teacher, for example, was a great resource. His dad is a police officer, and his mom found out late in life that she was adopted. A quick text and I knew what year the Stand Your Ground Law was enacted. A conversation gave me a feel for how a person might react to meeting a birth parent. My husband is a musician and has colleagues who plays percussion instruments. A quick e-mail, and I had an idea for a murder weapon. Use your creativity not only to write, but also to do your research. Along the way, you’ll have fun and learn some interesting and tidbits.

Website Twitter  | Amazon Author Page

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Toolbox

10 Responses to Mystery Research

  1. Fun! I had no idea it was “blood spatter” – I don’t think saying that’s good information to know is right but hey you never know when I’ll need to use “blood spatter” in a conversation to look cool and informed 🙂

  2. Pingback: Guest Reviews and Giveaways – READ THIS | Shade Tree Book Reviews

  3. Pingback: Read This Roundup Week #44 - Kinky Biker Mom

  4. Pingback: Read This Roundup Week #44 - Beck And Her Kinks

  5. Pingback: Read This #44 - Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

  6. Pingback: Read This Round Up #44 | Girl of 1000 Wonders

  7. Pingback: Read This #44 | Lilac Reviews

  8. Pingback: Read This Round Up #45 | Read This Round Up

  9. Pingback: Read This Roundup Week #45 - Kinky Biker Mom

  10. Pingback: Read This #45 - Thoughts from an Evil Overlord