Author David Putnam joins The Author Biz in session #6 to discuss getting the details right when writing crime fiction.

David Putnam

David Putnam

David is the author of THE DISPOSABLES, a gritty crime novel that New York Times best-selling author Michael Connelly called, “raw, powerful and eloquent.” Prior to writing THE DISPOSABLES David spent 31 years in law enforcement, primarily in California.

I met David at SleuthFest in Orlando, Florida earlier this year and was extremely impressed by his ability to explain, in terms that even I could understand, how things actually worked at crime scenes. I invited him to be a guest on the show to discuss THE DISPOSABLES, the first book in a new series he’s writing, and to help us understand how we, as authors, can educate ourselves to get the details right in our own crime fiction.

We covered a great deal of ground in this interview, and there were a number of highlights. I’ve noted some of them below for people looking for information on specific topics. (The number in parentheses is the time in the interview where the specific discussion begins.)

David Putnam’s overview of his crime novel, THE DISPOSABLES. (7:55)

Making the decision that he could be a writer, and writing his first four manuscripts, longhand, while on surveillance. (12:30)

Getting the details wrong in crime fiction. What David has read that turns him off when reading crime novels. (19:00)

David’s thoughts on authors attending programs like Citizens on Patrol, where they can gain real world police experience, and make valuable contacts. (21:10)

Advice from David on learning about guns and some specific, often misused, terms to avoid when writing about them. (24:00)

How much of a role does television play in establishing incorrect information in the minds of authors and readers? (25:46)

Proper handling of fingerprints by law enforcement personnel. (30:10)

Details on securing a crime scene (32:52)

The process and timing for getting a search warrant from a crime scene (37:48)

David had several A list authors blurb THE DISPOSABLES. He explains how he, his wife, and his publisher got them to agree. (41:51)

David has been attending writer’s conferences for twenty-two years. He explains the benefits, and what he’s learned from those many conferences. (47:31)

Interview Links

David Putnam’s Website

David’s Twitter Page @daveputnam

David’s Facebook Author Page

David’s Publisher Oceanview Publishing

News for Authors Links

Amazon Forum Post on their goals with Hachette

Author Earnings July Report

Smashwords Survey Results

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