Research Pot of Gold, Thy Name is Billy Kring!

Posted by K.P. Gresham

Billy Kring (author of the Hunter Kincaid Mystery Series and the Ronny Baca Mystery Series) is a perfect example of why I love research.  He spoke to my local chapter of Sisters in Crime a few weeks back. I realized immediately he was the pot of gold I’d been looking for in researching Murder on the Third Try (the third in the Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery Series.) Why? Let me give you some of his background.

Besides being an author, Billy worked as a Border Patrol Agent and as a consultant on terrorism and international border issues in such places as Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pan Pacific. Talk about stories! This man and his experiences are fascinating. I spent two hours with him over lunch, and I could’ve stayed and picked his brain for much longer. (And shared a few more beers!) Where else can you learn where and how drugs are brought into the port of Miami without talking to someone who actually worked Border Patrol in Miami? What other source can give you info on how different crime organizations can communicate using the internet without ever leaving a digital trail?  The nuggets you get from folks like Billy are not only fascinating to listen to, but add credibility to what a writer puts on the page.

That’s what I enjoy so much about research. I get to meet the most interesting people, and I’m overwhelmed at how willing folks are to give me the time of day—especially other writers. Yes, the actual writing process is a lonely endeavor, but gathering information from experts demands that the writer reach out to all sources who can help make their writing REAL.

Thank you, Billy, and all you folks who are willing to help me get the spewed carnage on the page!

*****

K.P. Gresham, author of the Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery series and Three Days at Wrigley Field, moved to Texas as quick as she could. Born Chicagoan, K.P. and her husband moved to Texas, fell in love with not shoveling snow and are 30+ year Lone Star State residents. She finds that her dual country citizenship, the Midwest and Texas, provide deep fodder for her award-winning novels. Her varied careers as a media librarian and technical director, middle school literature teacher and theatre playwright and director add humor and truth to her stories. A graduate of Houston’s Rice University Novels Writing Colloquium, K.P. now resides in Austin, Texas, where life with her tolerant but supportive husband and narcissistic Chichuhua is acceptably weird.

 

9 thoughts on “Research Pot of Gold, Thy Name is Billy Kring!

  1. Yep, you really found someone with the stories needed for a mystery that has lots of subplots that can be helped by using information from Billy Kring’s career and background. As a retired newspaper reporter, I found myself thinking he would have made a great interview subject that could bring light on a lot of political issues now in the news.

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  2. I was just talking yesterday to a friend about how many famous Authors I have met and how interesting, and gracious they were. All of them were very charming and spent lots of time with me. Glad you got to spend time with someone you admire. Cher’ley

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  3. Interesting blog and love to read about other author’s experiences. I find most other authors to be very friendly and giving, and you are right, research leads to many friendly, giving and interesting people. However, I meet so many remarkable people in any group I’m in and especially in Casper, WY or Arizona or any state I happen to be. Actually, as a writer, I look upon every one I meet as providing me with information I may use in a story.

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  4. What a fun way to learn and get energized and write about what you learned. First person information beats online research any day,

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  5. Billy knows a lot and is generous about sharing it. I appreciate that. And he tells stories so well. I heard him tell one twice; the last time I saw him I asked him to please not tell it again when I’m in the room. He said he knew which one I was talking about. I’m still trying to forget it.

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