2013 Public Safety Writers Association Conference

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The 2013  Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) was held at The Orléans hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 11-14th.  It was my first time attending the conference, and I have to tell you it was a wonderful experience.

Members included- police officers, civilian police personnel, firefighters, fire support people, emergency personnel, security personnel, FBI, homeland security, psychologists, social workers, and others in the public safety field.  They accept writer’s who write about public safety including mystery writers, magazine writers, journalists, and crime fiction or those who are simply interested in the genre.

Not only did I gain knowledge from this talented group of writers, but also I was surprised they had a pretty even mix on the writing craft itself.

Panels were as follows:

  • Adding Realism to Your Novels/Stories
  • The Prostitution Culture, Different Types of Prostitution, How Pimps Work, the Pimp Law and How Best to Investigate Them
                           Presenter: Joseph B. Haggarty, Sr.   Police officer working as a vice detective from 1973 until 1996 in Washington DC.

Presenter: Joseph B. Haggarty, Sr.
Police officer working as a vice detective from 1973 until 1996 in Washington DC.

  •  The Mystery of DNA
The Mystery of DNA  Presenter: Susan Connell Vondrak  A 27 year forensic veteran of the Illinois State Police.

The Mystery of DNA Presenter: Susan Connell Vondrak.
A 27 year forensic veteran of the Illinois State Police.

  • The Non Professional Sleuth
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The Non-Professional Sleuth
Panelists: Ilene Scheider, Lorna Collins, Madeline Gornell, Mata Chausee, Marja McGraw and moderator Susan Smily.

  • Real vs. Reel Crime Scene and Evidence Collection
  • Going from Book to Blog
  • Writing Believable Dialogue

I joined this group because the first book in my Victims of Love series is NOT a romance.  It is crime fiction and I wanted to get the details right.  Luckily for me I learned after  joining this group, I had to re-write my ending because DNA was not around in 1986 where Genesis (my prequel ) takes place.

And I found out siting in Denver International Airport (DIA) smoke lounge that in 1986 there was no Denver International Airport it was called Stapleton International Airport (SIA). My hero Johnny Gaston, catches a plane to Denver, I had him going to DIA now he is going SIA.  Also, Denver International Airport is massive in size compared to old Stapleton International Airport.  Two very BIG boo-boo’s! Two major re-writes!

So-it pays to research your book, it adds realism to your story, and readers will call you on any mistakes. Research is very IMPORTANT!
PSWA also had publishers to pitch to. Kathy Contrell from Wild Rose Press, Billie Johnson from Oak Tree Press and for those of you who want to self publish, Geno Munari from Houdini Press.

He showed us an interested concept on how books will be distributed in the very near future.

Vending machines!

The hotel was also wonderful. Staff was friendly and the lunches provided for the conference were out of this world!

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The Orléans Hotel-Las Vegas, Nevada

It had been at least twenty years since I last went to Las Vegas and, boy, has it changed! The strip almost looks like New York’s Times Square . My husband Tom and I visited with family while we were there. Four days was not enough time. I not only acquired a great deal of knowledge but I also made a few friends. I would encourage any of you who write books about murder, mystery and have any type of law enforcement or public safety characters,  to think about joining this group of experts and writers.

Here’s where you can find PSWA at:

Until next time, happy writing!

Diane Kratz

Blog edited by: Sally Berneathy

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My husband Tom and I, standing in front of a waterfall at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino.

9 thoughts on “2013 Public Safety Writers Association Conference

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Diane! I hadn’t heard of this conference – sounds fascinating.

  2. That sounds great for any mystery writer, Diane. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  3. […] 2013 Public Safety Writers Association Conference (profilesofmurder.wordpress.com) […]

  4. marilynm says:

    And I loved meeting you at the conference!

  5. Emma says:

    I normally attend the Emerald City Writers Conference because, like you, I have nothing against the RWA Conference but you can often accomplish a lot more at a smaller regional or specialty conference. I don’t do crime writing. But you made this sound like so much fun I may reconsider!

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