The Writing Show

Thursday, August 29, 2013


What do writers get wrong about the justice system from the street cop to solving the case? And how can a writer research for books in the crime and thriller genre?

No matter what you write–memoir, fiction, or non fiction–chances are you will need to interview someone to fill in the gaps in your research.

Recap by Kathleen Sams Flippen

Learn the skills from someone who does it for a living.

Political correspondent and professional journalist Joe Williams will interview professionals in the realm of crime and punishment, including a forensic technician, medical examiner and former police officers, to find out what writers get right and wrong about the journey to justice.

Get a glimpse behind the scenes, straight from the source, while exploring how to get people to open up and give you the true story and prepping and teasing out the best stories from your sources.


Dr. Lauren N. HuddleDr. Lauren N. Huddle is a native of Virginia, growing up in Wytheville. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of South Carolina with a minor in Criminal Justice. She obtained her medical degree and subsequently trained in anatomic and clinical pathology at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Huddle is currently the Forensic Pathology Fellow at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. She has been a medical examiner since 2010.


Mike JonesVariety sums up the life of Mike Jones – police officer, college professor, consultant, husband, Dad, student, writer, adventurer….all these things and more describe a person who loves to tell a story……he has experienced triumph, sorrow, tragdy and victory…..from humble roots in Southside Virginia where he learned “reading, writin’ and the road to Richmond”, his appointment as Virginia’s youngest deputy sheriff, to his love affair with VCU to the hallowed halls of the Va State Capitol, Mike has a wealth of experiences that provide such a rish backdrop to this guy who, one day, will figure out what he wants to do when he grows up!

Virginia State Police Special Agent James R. “Doc” Lyons has received numerous certifications in Homicide Investigations, Hostage Negotiation, Incidence Response to Terrorist Bombings, and Crime Scene Investigation. At the police academy, he has taught on various subjects such as violent crime investigation, crime scene investigation, and testimony and court procedures.  He has been a Chief Medical Technologist, a Virginia State Trooper, and a K9 Handler (with partner “Rambo”).  His wide-ranging experience has brought him a wealth of opportunities, but he prefers to remain in Northumberland County.

Robert N. TomsRobert Toms retired from an almost thirty year career in law enforcement to pursue a second career in writing. While advancing to the rank of Lieutenant, he attended local, state, and federal government training and wrote articles, which were published in trade magazines. His law enforcement career involved working in specialized fields, including patrol, criminal investigations, background and security clearance investigations, interstate criminal extraditions, executive protection, and command level supervision. He holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Richmond and studied abroad, in Salamanca, Spain.


Joe WilliamsA freelance journalist, writer, political analyst and blogger, Joe Williams is a seasoned, versatile journalist whose experiences include covering then-Senator Barack Obama speaking at Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit in Atlanta to writing personal essays about dating and relationships in the modern world. Williams has nearly 30 years in journalism, including stops at, where he was an editor and reporter for the White House team covering the Obama administration’s domestic policy agenda; Deputy Chief of the Boston Globe’s Washington bureau, where he covered Obama’s historic run for the presidency; Assistant Managing Editor for local news at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis; and writer-editor for the Miami Herald’s Broward Bureau.


Back to Writing Show


Share on social media:Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone