1.) What kind of research do you do on your books? (Please share some of your favorite resource links.)
2.) How long do you spend researching before you begin writing a book?
Nancy J. Cohen
While researching my mysteries, I often need information that you can’t go around asking writer friends in public. Imagine discussing these topics in a restaurant. What kind of poison can I use that will kill someone right away and is easily obtainable? How can I stage a crime scene by hanging the victim to make it look like a suicide? Does firing a .38 give much of a recoil? What happens when a detective is personally involved in a murder case? What kind of poisonous snake can I have the bad guy put in my hero’s suitcase? Often, I’ll need specific advice to help me set the scene with as much authenticity as possible.
Fortunately, mystery writers have a range of resources available besides your friendly cop on the local force. These are some of the sites where you can get useful information and answers to your research questions. Also listed are well-known mystery conferences. Check out the links. They’ll lead you to informative websites and blogs.
Bright Blue Line: http://scottsilverii.com/
Crime Scene Writer: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/crimescenewriter/
Florida Chapter of MWA: http://www.mwaflorida.org/
Florida Sisters in Crime: http://floridasistersincrime.com/
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association: http://www.mysterybooksellers.com
In Reference to Murder: http://www.inreferencetomurder.com/
International Thriller Writers: http://thrillerwriters.org/
Killer Nashville: http://www.killernashville.com/
Kiss of Death: http://www.rwamysterysuspense.org
Left Coast Crime: http://www.leftcoastcrime.org
Malice Domestic: http://www.malicedomestic.org
Murder Must Advertise: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MurderMustAdvertise/
Mystery Writers of America: http://www.mysterywriters.org
Sisters in Crime: http://www.sistersincrime.org
The Graveyard Shift: http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/
The Writer’s Forensic Blog: http://writersforensicsblog.wordpress.com/
Write Crime Right: http://writecrimeright.blogspot.com/
Writers Police Academy: http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com/
Note that most of these are listed in my writing guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery.
What sites do you find helpful in your crime-related research?
by Jodie Renner
All of you authors, both aspiring and published, who follow this blog tell us all the time what a wealth of writing, publishing, and writing-biz resources are in the blog posts here. I couldn’t agree more, so I thought it would be a good idea to make it easier for TKZers to find posts on topics that interest you.
I’ve been compiling many of these excellent articles by topic, to make them more readily accessible, and here are the categories so far, in a list partway down the sidebar and below. I just added the last one, on self-publishing, a few minutes ago.
Click on the category title to browse the articles on that topic, and feel free to offer suggestions for more topics in the comment boxes below.
Keep on writing!