Research for Crime Fiction

You know when you have a little idea sitting in the back of your brain that just won’t go away? And it builds up so much detail and energy that it demands to be shared? And then, when you finally say it out loud (or by email), suddenly there’s this rapid dominoes effect and the idea is actually happening, a real thing, out in the world?!

I had one of those last year. I dreamed up a workshop for writers to explore ideas and information to create cracking crime stories. To my surprise and utter delight, the workshop was a hit.

This year, I had another idea to take the workshop in a new direction. I approached the Queensland Police Museum to see if they would host it. After all, what better place to learn about juicy resources for crime writers!

picture of a display from Queensland Police Museum
QPM: crime story ideas

I have just spoken to the curator of the Queensland Police Museum, the awesome Lisa Jones, to organise final details for next Saturday. Lisa has confirmed that for the ‘hands on’ part of my workshop, in addition to our tour of the museum, we will also have a BACKSTAGE PASS to all the good stuff behind the scenes at QPM.

From an overview of crime fiction subgenres and how they set your research agenda, through finding useful resources, to letting your muse loose in a room full of artefacts – there’s nothing like devoting a whole day to thinking, writing, touching, breathing ideas for your stories.

If you’d like to come along and join the fun, you can book online here, or call Queensland Writers Centre on 07 3842 9922.

  • Research for Crime Fiction workshop
  • Saturday 16 June 2012, 10:30am to 4:30pm
  • Info: Any crime fiction author will tell you the secret to compelling crime is in the details. Learn how to access primary and secondary research resources to find great ideas for your crime writing, and to flesh them into gripping stories. Meg Vann will show you how to best locate and engage crime experts for advice, and at what point in your project to consult them. You will explore creative writing techniques and structures to prompts and strengthen your use of research, and develop a research action plan for your own crime story premise.

Crime Writers Go Tribal

One day, I will make it to Harrogate for the Annual Crime Writing Festival, “Europe’s largest gathering of crime writers” (according to The Guardian). Which is happening RIGHT NOW, by the way.

Yep, I’m sitting here in my Brisbane loungeroom while mere continents away, PD James is being honoured with a veteran award, the Crime Novel of the Year is being announced, and thousands of crime writers and readers are generally festivalling like mad.

It’s just not right! I should be there!

The freak nature/nurture confluence that moulded this dedicated crime fic tragic instilled in me, from a tender age, a deep compulsion to know everything there is to know about my home genre. And there’s only so much of that goal I can achieve from my wi-fied microsuede bullet-proof couch.

But look! It’s Sisters in Crime to the rescue!

Logo for SheKilda Again 2011

Australian and international crime writers will gather in Melbourne for SheKilda Again on 7-9 October. 

The Plot: To celebrate women’s crime writing on the page and screen and bring a collective critical eye to the field.

The Motive: To mark the 20th anniversary of Sisters in Crime Australia Inc by a 500-strong gathering that brings together women writers, true crime practitioners and those who enjoy women’s crime writing.

Oh happy, happy days. My tribe is gathering, and I am SO there.

The Lincoln Lawyer’s in town…

Squee! My awesomely smart and talented friend, Donna Hancox, is in conversation with Michael Connelly in a couple of weeks:

Author pic Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly

Brisbane Wednesday 25 May 6.30 pm

  • Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Writers’ Festival and Brisbane’s Better Bookshops present: Michael Connelly in conversation with Donna Hancox
  • Venue: QUT Auditorium, Kelvin Grove
  • Cost: Free. Bookings: Not required
A journalist and crime writer, Michael Connelly is an articulate and hugely successful author. And Dr Donna is just the person to stimulate a fascinating discussion with him. Can’t wait!