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It’s In The Blood

By: Ben Sutherland

After umpteen seasons of watching CSI on TV, I’ve often fantasized that I’m just one more bloody crime scene away from being fitted for my own, CSI windbreaker. I know all about arterial spray…blood spatter…the purple-blue glow of Luminol and lifting fingerprints from anything that has a surface.

I like to think I could add a little something to the team. Maybe jump inside the TV and lend the CSI pros a hand. Join in a little brainstorming session with them to solve that week’s impossible-to-crack murder.

Come on, I’m the only one out there. TV has made crime scene “experts” out of all of us. Right?

Who knew I’d actually get my chance?

Sharon Plotkin is a real, honest-to-God CSI expert and a certified, 20-year CSI veteran with the North Miami Police. She has all the experience and the credentials a bloody-curious writer like me could hope for: membership in the American Academy of Forensic Science, Bloodstain Pattern Analysts and International Association for Identification. She is also a full time faculty member at Miami Dade College and teaches law enforcement throughout the country.

And here’s the best part—she’s coming to the Florida Writers Conference in October to peel back the bloody sheet and let us see how it’s really done. All kinds of stuff, too. Crime scene reconstruction, blood spatter analysis and shooting reconstruction, of course. She’ll also walk us through arson investigations, crime photography, and fingerprints.

I’ve killed tons of people on the page. And I’ve splattered my share of blood. Now I get to see what I’ve been doing right—and wrong—all these years!

Sharon’s workshop is an all day affair and happens Friday, October 16. If committing/solving crimes is in your work and in your blood, mark that Friday on your calendar with a big, bloody “X.”

Find more clues to Sharon Plotkin’s workshop here.

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Follow Mark McWaters:

Mark McWaters, married 32 years to Meredith, has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina and is an award-winning 25+ years advertising veteran. Creative Director/copywriter stints at several national advertising agencies kept his writing wheels greased. Multiple RPLA Collections, Short Fiction and YA Novel winner.

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