Way back in 2011 Toma said I should write a vampire novel. Now, I like vampires as well as the next guy.
Wait. Maybe I don’t like vampires as much as adolescent young women who want to date the bat bastards. Still, I like the Bram Stoker style vamps. The kind that don’t sparkle in the noon day sun. They burn to a crisp.
I started writing a story about a vampire cop who…well, I won’t tell you anymore than that. I’ve still got a partial manuscript in my hard drive along with summaries to stretch it into a trilogy. I’ll just keep the plot a secret in case I decide to finish it.
But I did say vampire cop. And writing about cops gave me a headache. Because I really didn’t know anything about cops. At least I didn’t know any more than I’d seen on TV, or at the theater.
Now a little poetic license is okay with me but basic knowledge can only help a reader suspend their disbelief. (I borrowed that from the world of cinema.)
I started searching for cop info and I ran across a book called “Police Procedure & Investigation by Lee Lofland. (Writer’s Digest calls it one of their HOWDUNIT series.)
Reading Lee’s book opened my eyes. (I won’t even talk about cordite. Too embarrassing.) The detail Lee pours out about flat foots and the departments they work for is astounding. Lots of great crime writers have hailed Lee’s book as indispensable…for writers.
But I don’t write these rants for other writers. I write for readers. All I can say is, if you’re a reader of crime drama or police procedurals you should read Lee’s book. His insight will improve your understanding. Plus, you’ll be able to determine if your favorite crime writer really knows what he’s talking about.
And if your head explodes because Lee stuffed so much information into his book, well, you’ll have to take that up with Lee.
(But before you call him out, take a look at his profile on his web site. www.leelofland.com. Just by reading his bio you'll figure he can probably kick your ass.)