By Jay Stringer
First up, I'll point you in the direction of the new podcast I'm working on. People who follow me on Facebook will have already heard about it. I'm keeping announcement's pretty low key right now; I'm still figuring out how often I'll be able to do it, what the schedule would be, and a few other details.
I'm also still waiting to see if itunes will approve it for their listings, so while there's still a chance that I might need to re-title it or tweak the format (or even if we go it without itunes) I'm considering this more of a beta testing period.
The basic premise of the show is to give a space for crime writers to talk rubbish. One of the best things about being a crime writer is hanging out with other crime writers and cracking jokes, talking craft, debating politics and trading stories from our past. Readers don't always get to see that side of things, so I'm hoping this podcast could be win/win; something new for readers, and a venue for writers to hang out between the conferences.
Episode one featured Steve Weddle, who I think you may have heard of. We talked a good mix of crass and craft. Episode two had a couple of sound issues, but was a really great chat with Josh Stallings. As with episode one, we covered both the gutter and the brain, but I really enjoyed the chance to trade stories, opinions and ideas with Josh, and I think (keep this a secret, okay?) we got quite deep at times.
That show has been in my thoughts ever since for one main reason-
Josh asked a question during the discussion, where now for procedural writers in the wake of Fergsuon?
I'm not a big reader of police procedural booksa, and I don't write them, either. I think both McFet and I have talked on DSD before about the prevalence cliche of the crusading cop over the idea of someone just doing a job. But there's another cliche, too; the maverick. The cop who keeps breaking the rules, who keeps getting sued or charged or suspended, maybe a cop who has killed someone in the past, but we still come to follow them in the stories because they are our protagonist.
It's nothing new to say there are large communities of people out there who don't trust the police, and many crime writers have been living in that area already for their stories, but the media is now bringing that idea to more and more people, as well as exposing and raising some very important questions about authority, accountability and abuse of power.
So I'm interested. I don't feel I would be a big player in this conversation since it's not my area of crime fiction, but where now for the police procedural? What is the honest approach?