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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

How to get away with murder!

The Writer's Circle shard this picture, which inspired today's post

The Writer’s Circle shard this picture, which inspired today’s post

Yesterday I was browsing on Facebook, as one does, when I spotted a wonderful photo being shared by the Writer’s Circle. It not only made me laugh, it got me thinking about everything that I have learned so far from writing my two bestsellers, INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD.

I had to learn all about forensics, for Invisible, and how it would be possible for someone to get away with violent crimes for so long – and also the tiny clues which could come together and slowly add up to guilt. I had to learn about the judicial process, and how little a wife would be actually be told, and spent a long time quizzing a criminal lawyer. It was utterly fascinating.

With Flowers For The Dead, there was even more to know. I had only a vague knowledge of the meanings of different flowers before I start the novel; now I am something of an authority on the subject. Learning taxidermy was both fascinating and vaguely creepy (you try working out how best to stuff a person. I’m glad I decided against the idea in the end!).

Then there was learning about the most efficient way to strangle someone, and the best knife to use within the plot. I spent days and days trying to work out how to rig a car to make a crash look like an accident, even though only a tiny fraction of the research ended up being used (I feel much safer in a car, knowing it is actually virtually impossible to do this!)

The most disturbing thing for me, though, was learning all about surveillance equipment. It’s so readily available, so cheap, and so sinister… But I’ll save that for another blog! After all, I’m an expert in it now…!

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