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.