How many times have you killed somebody, only to realize a few hours, days or weeks later, that you missed one stink'n detail and now the whole pile of caca is smoldering on the doorstep (of your keyboard) while you waste a lot of time and energy backtracking to cover your (antagonist's) ass and (metephorically) hiring a silk-shark to keep the local police force (your agent/editor) at bay?
You should'da been at Forensics University in St Louis! Imagine sitting at the bar with a board certified cardiologist, who happens to spend his down-time writing expert forensics reference books for crime writers? Lined up next to him are an active ATF agent, a decorated retired police detective with street time in Homicide, Vice, and Drug Interdiction, a Judge, a Trauma Nurse, and a fist full of Edger-etal, Award winning authors. The sound of laughter turns your head and you wave as the director or the St Louis Crime Lab and the St Charles County Medical Examiner stroll by. This is not a virtual experience. They are there, in the flesh, to answer your questions about poisons, pistols, pests, puss, and lust.
The conference opened with a trip to an indoor gun range and ended with a Murder Planning breakfast buffet. Somewhere in the middle were sessions on police procedures, search warrents, forensic entimology, forensic anthropology, weapons and tactics, casting impressions and a nice, after-lunch-autopsy powerpoint.
Sisters in Crime, through the mammoth efforts of their St Louis Chapter, and the mentoring and mothering of some great writers who took time away from their families and trade craft made this program possible. And they will do it again. Start watching their web sites, joining their list-serves and asking for the 2008 date. When it is announced, draw a circle around that day and set your sights on Forensics U.