Complications in the life of an author
When my doctor first learned that I was writing a mystery novel, he suggested we go out for coffee. Now mind you, he wasn’t suggesting a date. No. He wanted to go over some possible ways to off someone.
Fortunately for me, the mystery I was writing was a little less complicated than that. For DIARY OF A CONFESSIONS QUEEN I didn’t need obscure and untraceable poisons. I didn’t need to learn about bullet entrances and exits. What I needed was a good body of water.
If an author is writing about an imaginary location, creating a decent body of water isn’t difficult. But when you’re writing about a real location, it gets a bit more complicated. Not only do you need the sizable body of water, in my case the Verdigris River, but I also needed to know what direction the water flows in and exactly where the water ends up. Is there a dam? Is there a lake? Does it empty into a larger body of water?
And then there was the issue of making all of this work for my story. The crime needed to be investigated by a city police detective, rather than the county sheriff’s office. But where do the city lines stop and the county lines start?
I had to visit the Independence Police Department to find out.
Luckily for me, my critique partner, Alfie Thompson, came with me – otherwise, I might be serving time for contemplating murder.
When we entered the police department, my first questions were whether they had a map of the territory covered by the city police and if a murder was committed in town, would they investigate or would they turn it over to the state police?
A very tall, I mean really truly tall, police detective left his office when he heard my question and ambled over to where Alfie and I stood talking with the administrative assistant, Tammy Freeman. He wanted to know why I wanted to know. Alfie nudged me and said, “Explain that you’re an author.” This is one of many reasons why it’s good to have wonderful friends.
I quickly pulled a bookmark from my handbag and explained I was working on novel. Tammy took out a map and drew the boundaries on it for me. What a gem she is!
Once we finished grilling the police, Alfie and I drove around the city, hunting for great places to dump a dead body. I hope you enjoy some of my research pictures of the Independence, Kansas locations in DIARY OF A CONFESSIONS QUEEN.
To promote DIARY OF A CONFESSIONS QUEEN, Medallion Press cooked up a little fun with an Action Interview / radio play based on my book. I had a blast recording this. In it, I play not only myself, but also two of the characters. Can you guess who they are? Here’s the link to listen. But be warned, it starts playing right away!