About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Distractions and Knowledge

Distractions and Knowledge

The seventh book in my Rachel Christie murder mystery series is moving along slowly. I am two-thirds through writing the book and then, of course, editing follows. This year I am enrolled in a criminal justice class. Although I am learning valuable information and meeting a lot of law enforcement, my writing is moving along at a snail's pace because of it. Some information I have learned will be used in my latest book.

I have found the discussions in our class informative and enlightening. The viewing public of forensic shows, such as CSI and NCIS, have been informed of DNA evidence that can be used to solve crimes. However, in these shows, DNA evidence is secured in a manner of hours to days. In real life, it may take months or a year to get such DNA evidence. The homicide clearance rates in larger cities have declined sharply because of gang-related crimes and the unwillingness of witnesses to testify. That's one thing the shows have right and that's that the witnesses are scared of being killed themselves by the very murderers they are testifying against.

Small towns are cliquish and, if the FBI who are strangers, came and started asking questions, the locals would remain quiet. A better chance of finding the criminals would lie with the local authorities, who know all the suspects and have a better rapport with the local town people. It's not surprising that the homicide clearance rate is higher in small communities than in large urban cities.

Rachel Christie lives in a small town, but she also has to go to the larger cities at times to help her solve her cases. Hopefully, I can integrate the knowledge I learn into my novels and make situations within them appear more believable.

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