Welcome everyone! This week, Novel Addiction is celebrating its SECOND BLOGOVERSARY! I'm also celebrating my birthday, so it's a super fun week! Be sure to check back every day for more great, fun content - go HERE to check out the schedule. Today, I'm lucky to offer you a guest post from Alison Holt, author of The Alex Wolfe mysteries, and "The Door at the Top of the Stairs"!!! And Alison has kindly provided Ecopies of her books to giveaway - there will be THREE winners! See below for details.
How often have you read a crime thriller and wondered, "Is that how a cop would really act in that situation?" Plenty, I'm sure, and as a retired police lieutenant and an author, I can tell you that the thought process is magnified a thousand times over for police officers. Most officers I know, and I know quite a few, don't even watch police shows because of the persistent eye fatigue they get from rolling their eyes so often. They're even more particular about which authors’ works they'll read. Over the years I've had a wonderful time collecting Police Pet Peeves from cops who aren't shy about telling me exactly what drives them crazy about fictional police officers in murder mysteries and suspense novels.
I thought today would be a perfect opportunity to share some of those irritating peccadilloes with my fellow murder mystery aficionados. For example, one police sergeant, whose hair pretty much turned a dashing shade of grey during my rookie year, can't stand it “when the idiot officer, empty handed, approaches the suspect and talks him out of the gun he's been pointing at the officer's head." Whoa, big no no. Rule number one, never go to a gunfight empty handed. Rule number two, bad guy points gun at cop, bad guy dies. The moral of the story is if you want your protagonist to look brave by walking up empty handed to a loaded gun pointing at his or her chest, realize that, in this case, brave equals stupid.
Our second scenario comes to us courtesy of a woman who worked as a patrol officer for her entire twenty-two year career. Her biggest complaint is that most detectives in murder mysteries lead the way on a high-risk building entry. Although it does make it more exciting for your main character to lead the way by kicking in the door and rushing into a hail of bullets, the truth of the matter is quite different: one, it's darn hard to kick in a door, and two, if they work for a large enough department, SWAT will usually make the high-risk entries. If time is of the essence or if the entry is in the jurisdiction of a small town cop, then patrol officers will make the entry. Sure, sometimes, if the detective gets to the scene in time, and if he can find a vest, and if he can locate his gun in the trunk, he might be able to sneak onto the entry team. (Just kidding guys. I used to be a detective, and I love to jerk their chains.)
Finally, equipment issues. To any cops reading this, need I say more? For you authors, in your novel, does your main police character ever experience dangerous and often embarrassing moments in the patrol car? These examples came from a friend of mine with somewhere around thirty years of police work under his belt. "Ever had a cop in a murder mystery where either the radio just wouldn’t work or there was an oversaturation of airtime and he can't get on the air? I was in a chase once and couldn’t tell anyone. One time I was going Code 3 (lights and siren) while leaning out the window and banging on the light bar to keep it working. Another time a cab driver stopped traffic so I could get out of the 4th Avenue tunnel on a Code 3 run when all my equipment quit. Another time I was about to stop a drug car for MANTIS (Metropolitan Area Narcotics Trafficking Interdiction Squad) and my car died every time I hit the lights." If you want realism, write the most ridiculous equipment failure you can think of. I guarantee that some cop somewhere will read it and say, "Hey! That happened to me!"
Thanks for letting me bend your ear. Oh, and by the way, yes, the cops in some of my books often act "uncoplike" simply because it's more fun to write them that way. I would have loved to be able to act like my main character in Credo's Hope, Book One of my Alex Wolfe Mysteries, but the reality is I would have lasted all of about one month before I was hauled up in front of a board of inquiry and fired. In other books I've written, such as The Door at the Top of the Stairs, my characters are spot on in their reactions and personalities. The difference is essential because one of the books is a lighthearted, humorous look at police work while the other is deadly serious. With the one, feel free to take liberties with your character, with the other, you'd better know exactly how real officers will react in certain situations. Hopefully, this little blurb will help you on your road to writing your next great detective novel.
If you'd like to read more Police Pet Peeves, or if you'd like to peruse one of my books, you can find them at http://www.Alisonholtbooks.com.
Now for the GIVEAWAY! Alison is offering up THREE Ecopies of her books, so there will be THREE lucky winners! See the rules and form below to enter!
RULES and GUIDELINES:
~ Fill out the form below to enter. Comments do not count as an entry.
~ There will be THREE winners.
~ Contest ENDS Sunday, July 17th, at 7 PM EST. Winners will be announced Monday, July 18th.
~ Open INTERNATIONALLY (prizes are Ebooks).
~ You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
~ Novel Addiction is not responsible for items lost in the mail or authors/publishers failing to deliver prizes.
+1 for following Novel Addiction
+1 for commenting on the guest post!
Be sure to check out Day 1 of my Blogoversary Celebration! Lisa Beth Darling, author "The Heart of War," stopped by to talk about anniversaries, and offers up a copy of her book to one lucky winner! Go HERE to enter.
Then head over to Day 2. Jessica McHugh, author of "The Sky: The World," "Rabbits in the Garden," and more stopped by to chat about the end of her epic fantasy series. She's offered up a LIMITED EDITION print copy of "Rabbits in the Garden" to one lucky duck! Go HERE to enter!
And be sure to enter my giveaway for three print books by Lori Foster! One winner will receive Lori's three newest releases! Go HERE to check that out.
Want to get me a present for my birthday? *Wink wink* Check out my RAK wishlist!
Happy Reading! And be sure to come back tomorrow for more fun tomorrow!
~!~ Amanda ~!~