Hello all, Katy Lee here. First off, on this tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, my appreciation and prayers go out to all of our law enforcement and first responders. Thank you for keeping our towns and cities safe every day. God’s blessings to you all.
Now, as writers, we can only depend on research to get the story right, and today I have Sandra Orchard, a fellow Inspirational-Romantic-Suspense author, here to discuss how she came by her research for her Undercover Cops series and novel, DEEP COVER. FYI- One lucky commenter will be drawn tonight at11:59PM (ET) for a free copy!
Sandra attended a writer’s police academy, and I just had to have her here today to share a few of her hair-raising experiences with us all.
Thanks for having me here, Katy Lee. The hero of Deep Cover is undercover cop Rick Gray. Fifteen months ago he let the woman he loved walk out of his life, rather than expose her to the dangers of his job. Now, he’s back with a new alias, posing as a foreman on a development project to bring to justice the man who caused his partner’s death. That man is the heroine Ginny’s uncle. And the project is a group home for her mentally challenged sister—a group home Ginny is very much involved with seeing built. Only Rick’s mission could destroy that dream and her family, and he can’t tell her what he really is, or why he’s there for fear of jeopardizing the case. But someone else wants to make her uncle pay, too. And Rick must face his worst nightmare—that someone he cares about will be killed because of his job.
I have had the pleasure of devouring this book, and it had me on the edge of my seat from page one. Great read, Sandra!
Now as a writer, I want to dig in to how you came by your research. Can you explain to us what WPA means, how this experience helped you revise Deep Cover, and shape the subsequent books in your series?
WPA stands for the Writer’s Police Academy. It offers hands-on, interactive and educational experiences to enhance the writer’s understanding of all aspects of law enforcement and forensics. Every imaginable kind of police and rescue vehicle and equipment are on display with knowledgeable officers answering questions. You can choose from a variety of workshops from fingerprinting and arson investigation to the gruesome details of autopsies or undercover operations. The event takes place at a police college, and one morning, they actually staged a school shooting, complete with lockdown, real police officers doing exactly what they’d do in the actual scenario and EMTs dealing with the casualties afterward. For my series, the most enlightening class was presented by a former undercover officer. Not only did he share many of his experiences, he gave us glimpses of what went on in his head and heart during that time, which is where the real meat of my heroes’ stories lie.
Can you share one eye-opening tidbit you learned from WPA that gave you a whole new perspective on what it’s like to be a law enforcement officer?
I participated in Fire Arms Simulation Training, FATS for short. We were given Glocks and faced with a floor to ceiling screen that showed videos of shoot and don’t shoot situations. When we took a shot, the hit would show on the screen. We were surprised more than once by the post-simulation explanation of why we should have or shouldn’t have taken a shot. The most adrenaline-pumping moment for me was when I had to face a hostage taker alone in an office (depicted on screen). A disgruntled employee had his boss in an arm lock and was waving a gun. I was telling him to put down the weapon, he really didn’t want to do this etc. to no avail, all the while training my own weapon at his head—the only part of his body visible past the hostage. The instant he lifted his gun to the guy’s head, I took the shot. His brains splattered on the screen behind. The officer in charge of the simulation turned to me and said, “Great shot.” I pretty much freaked out on him, saying I could have hit the hostage. I was shaking, heart pounding. It was unbelievable. It certainly gave me a whole new perspective on the split second decisions officers are called upon to make and the emotional havoc it can wreak afterward.
Wow! What an amazing experience. As a suspense writer, that sounds like an event I’d love to attend. Where can writers get more information on one of these experiences?
WPA is organized by author (and former policeofficer) Lee Lofland. The 2011 academy is September 23rd to 25th in Jamestown N.C. The FATS training portion is already sold-out, but there is still time to register for the conference. Members of Sisters in Crime are being offered an incredible discount. I am so disappointed I’ll miss it this year, because ACFW is the same weekend. This year some lucky participants will get to go on ride-a-longs with on duty NC police officers! You can learn more at: http://www.writerspoliceacademy.com/
Sandra, how can readers keep in touch with you on the web?
Visit my website ~ www.SandraOrchard.com
Visit my personal blog ~ http://www.SandraOrchard.blogspot.com
Connect on Facebook Page ~ www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard
Subscribe to my newsletter ~ http://bit.ly/SandraNews
All right, Readers, I’m opening the floor up to you now. Do you have a similar law enforcement experience you would like to share? Do you have a question for Sandra about hers? Do you have a question about her new Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, DEEP COVER, and let me remind you, one lucky commenter will receive their very own copy of Sandra’s book delivered right to their door!
So comment away!