My unyielding search for information for this blog has taken me to some dark places; googling groups of poisons and their effects on the body, getting inside the mind of a murderer to understand why they might take trophies and looking up the most common ways people are killed in fiction.
My search does, on occasion, also take me to some fantastic, bright and happy places. Those places are blogs.
In this round up I want to shout about some of the brilliant blogs I have found squirreled away on the internet. They are a real mish-mash, but all will help you write crime fiction and all are worth following!
Ex-Sergeant Ellie Bloggs wrote frequently in this blog between August 2006 and April 2016, and it is a wealth of info on what it’s really like to be in the British police.
Not only is this an interesting read from a general interest point-of-view, but houses tons of little details about the force that could help you bulk up your crime fiction stories. For example, great reads include A Routine Call, where we get a glimpse into real life events and language used between the control room and PC. I also liked Part One of My Solicitor’s Guide and Police Press Jargon Explained.
Bloggs also writes about wider police issues such as policy, pay and the public’s perception of police work which could help you bring in some background tension for your detectives. How might changes in policy affect your detective’s ability to carry out an investigation? What tensions might exist within the team?
If you’re interested, Ellie has also written a highly rated book called Diary of an On-Call Girl which is an account of the work she did as a Constable and then Sergeant in the UK.
Garry is a retired homicide detective and forensic coroner, who blogs about all things death and forensics. His blog is fascinating, and most importantly hosts lots of ideas for stories, scenes or methods for killing off your characters!
Dying Words also contains accounts of famous murders, told from Garry’s unique viewpoint on what might really have happened. He covers all kinds of cases from Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and JFK to the fascinating JonBenet Ramsay murder. *Heads up* there are graphic images on this site so just be prepared if you don’t like to see real crime scene photos.
I really love the setup of this blog. Seven published crime fiction authors (Susan C. Shea, Terry Shames, R. M Greenaway, R. J. Harlick, Cathy Ace, Dietrich Kalteis, Catriona McPherson, James W. Ziskin, Paul D. Marks and Danny Gardner) are set a question for the week, which they each take it in turns answering from their own experiences. This is meant to work much like a panel at a crime writing conference, and I’m really enjoying trawling back through the archives to see what stories and advice have gone before.
A few I liked include How to Make Your Book Stand Out, Getting in the Zone and A Window into My Writing Life. I have to say this blog isn’t the easiest to navigate around, it’d be great to see the question and then everyone’s replies underneath in some format. But I guess you could also just subscribe to receive alerts when a post is ready and get your daily fix that way!
Over to you
What did you think of my August picks? Do you have any you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments!