Friday, September 28, 2012

WPA 2012

Another Writers Police Academy is over. This year the event held in Greensboro, North Carolina had perfect weather, unlike last year when it poured all weekend. Having good weather made a big difference as some of the best things were outside.

It was a great opportunity for me to get particular information that I needed for the book the eighth crochet mystery now titled For Better or Worsted. Even though I write cozies and they are more about the personalities of the characters than police procedure, I like to put in details that are accurate. The thing is those details are not always so easy to get. The great thing about WPA is that there were lots of opportunties to watch demonstrations or talk to experts who were only too happy to answer questions like how do you make a homemade silencer.

All of the workshops and mock situations (riot, shallow grave murder scene, clearing a building looking for a suspect, high speed chase) were fascinating, but for me personally the most beneficial was the set up in the parking lot on Friday.

For most of the day there was a bomb squad trailer, a motor officer and his bike, a K-9 unit, a mobile command post, a CSI van and technician, a police sniper and his weapons, and a medic team. We were free to go up and examine their stuff and ask questions. I found them all anxious to talk and great about helping me with specific issues I had for my current book.

Lee Childs was the Saturday banquet keynote speaker and I was lucky enough to sit with him during the Friday night reception and talk by Dr. Katherine Ramsland. I had heard nice things about him before and he more than lived up to them.

There were rumors that this was going to be the last Writers Police Academy, but I heard a number of people involved with putting it on talking about next year, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I took a picture with Lee Childs and I have tried and tried to add it to this blog, but blogger isn't cooperating


Linda O. Johnston said...

Sounds like a whole lot of fun, Betty, and the research is invaluable for a mystery writer. Glad to hear that it may be an ongoing event.

Planner said...

As a bonus, it sounds like you escaped without getting arrested. I think Molly would have ended up in jail if she attended something like that. But, then, I guess that's the difference between the writer and the writee!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, often it is just the little details you pick up at something like that. One of my new characters is a motor officer and until I saw the one at WPA, I'd never considered his foot wear. Their boots look a lot different than I would have thought.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, Molly would have made sure she got into the team that searched the building. By the time I got there, all the spots were taken.