Tuesday, April 28, 2015
From William Wallace, May San Joaquin SinC Speaker
I am up for talking about most anything related to crime. As an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle for 26 years, I wrote extensively about organized crime, white collar crime and crime trends. I have also written extensively about police corruption, use of force and police brutality.
Though I do not focus on serial and spree killers, I have written about both. I did some work on the Zodiac killer when I first was hired by the Chronicle, covered the trial of Charles Ng and did reporting on the Trailside Killer, Richard Ramirez and a variety of other homicide repeaters. I have done TV interviews on the Trailside case and on the Chinese triad group headed by Raymond ("Shrimp Boy") Chow and Peter Chong.
As a fiction writer I have written one private detective novel focused on an outlaw biker gang, drugs and automatic weapons and another set immediately after World War Two that deals with the Japanese internment program. A third novel is set during the California gold rush and involves a plot to grab control over the territory on the eve of its first constitutional convention.
Possible "craft oriented" subjects for discussion during your meeting include: (1) how did you get started writing about crime, (2) do you plot your stories in detail or work "by the seat of your pants" and let the story develop itself as you write, (3) how do you do research on the factual material in your books, (4) how did you break into crime fiction as a writer nobody had ever heard of before?
Other topics that may be worth pursuing include finding sources of inspiration for stories, what is attractive about a particular subgenre, and what do you think about mashups such as mixes of fantasy and crime, detective stories set in the old west, noir horror stories, science fiction mysteries, etc
Editors Note: You'll have to come to the meeting to see what Wallace ends up talking about. From the aboves, it's bound to be interesting.