Guest Blogger Sue Coletta Acknowledges the Experts Who Help with Research

Hey, gang, I’ve got crime writer, Sue Coletta as my guest today. She’s got a brand new release ready to roll out with Cleaved and it’s up for pre-order at only .99c. I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of this book. Trust me, it’s one you’ll want to grab—then curl up and be thankful you’re safely inside, tucked away from the killers who populate Sue’s fictional worlds.

Banner image for Cleaved by Sue Coletta

Acknowledging the Experts Who Help with Research
by Sue Coletta

In the past I’ve been guilty of not acknowledging the numerous experts who’d helped my stories ring true. That’s a mistake. A short line in the acknowledgements of our books is the least we can do.

Since I have a new release, I’ll share the acknowledgment page from CLEAVED, Book 2 in the Grafton County Series (MARRED is Book 1).

Acknowledgement Page

A special thank you to all the men and women in law enforcement, especially those who helped with my research… first, to my detective friends who mean the world to me: my Partner in Crime Kimberly McGath aka “Scoobs”, Garry Rodgers, and Joe Broadmeadow. Thank you for always being there. Love you guys. A nod toward Adam, too, who also goes out of his way to help. Thanks, buddy.

Next, to Lt. Crystal McLain from NH State Police/NH Marine Patrol for taking time out of your busy schedule to help Sheriff Niko Quintano work with Marine Patrol so my story would ring true; Kristin Harmon from NH Fish & Game for all the information on waterways in the state; Cheryl Hutchinson, Communications Supervisor II for NH Marine Patrol/NH State Police for the information on interagency cooperation; the Grafton County Medical Examiner for taking the time to chat with me about the floating patterns of a corpse in fresh water vs. salt water; and Alexandria Taxidermy for the plethora of information about deer antlers. You all went out of your way, and I’m so grateful. I spoke with other members of NH Fish & Game, too. You know who you are…thank you for dealing with a crazy crime writer who forgot to mention the deceased was, in fact, fictional when calling in a report of a body in the marsh. That situation could’ve gone a total different way!

A quick shout-out to my faithful readers, blog followers, and the writing community. You’re so special to me. And to God, for blessing my life in unimaginable ways.

As you can see, I first acknowledged the friends who help me on regular basis with police procedures. CLEAVED required tons of research, as my stories often do. Perhaps even more than previous books. While writing, I spoke with several members of law enforcement, and each one went out of their way to help me. The local police weren’t as accommodating. Small towns, they can go either way. The state agencies, however, sent a plethora of emails and phone calls. I didn’t run into one person who wasn’t thrilled to chat with me. Oddly enough, they all thanked me for my accuracy. Law enforcement isn’t always portrayed in the best light. When a crime writer wants to show the truth about their incredibly difficult jobs, the blue wall crumbles and they go to great lengths to help with accuracy.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful everyone was to work with. Even the Medical Examiner spent a half-hour on the phone with me. I learned so much information about what happens to bodies in water, including a juicy tidbit that I’m reserving for a future book. Sorry, not telling! In the acknowledgements, I didn’t use her name because she asked me not to. Instead, I used her title. As you may or may not know, several members work in the morgue. I did speak with the Medical Examiner, but that’s our little secret. If you’re curious about the different job positions, I wrote a post entitled What Happens Inside an Autopsy Suite, which you can find HERE.

That brings up another important point. After you receive the answers you seek, ask the expert if they mind the mention in the acknowledgments. Most will love it, but sometimes you run into an expert who asks for discretion. Or, like my friend Adam, agrees to using his first name, not his last, so he doesn’t get in trouble with his department.

I like to end my acknowledgements on a personal note by thanking my readers and community, but it’s a personal preference. There’s no right or wrong here.

book cover for Cleaved by Sue Coletta shows rear shoe of woman tied to tree, superimposed with skeletal deer head with blood-tipped hornsWhat’s CLEAVED about?

Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it. Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots their happy home, and splits the threads that bond their family unit.

Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole—ensnared by a ruthless killer out for blood. How he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop till she dies like the others.

Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes, and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.

Here’s a video excerpt I created instead of a regular book trailer…

CLEAVED is available for pre-order.
Score your copy for 99c and save $5.00.
Releases May 3rd. If you haven’t read MARRED,
you’ll have plenty of time to catch up.

Purchase Links: 
CLEAVED universal | MARRED universal | Tirgearr Publishing 

Sue Coletta, author

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is a multi-published, award-winning author. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and collections, including a forensic article in InSinC Quarterly. In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners In Crime” on Blog Talk Radio. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter, where she helps other crime writers’ stories ring true.

She lives with her husband in a quaint country town in rural New Hampshire where she’s surrounded by moose, deer, black bears, and the sultry songs of nature. Course, Sue would love to snuggle with the wildlife, but her husband frowns on the idea.

Connect with Sue at the following haunts: 
Website Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook 

61 thoughts on “Guest Blogger Sue Coletta Acknowledges the Experts Who Help with Research

  1. I like to read acknowledgments at the end of books. It makes the author feel more real and, depending on what he/she writes, is like having a glimpse of his/her personality.
    It’s also a chance to show the reader how many people are involved in the process. Just yesterday I was talking with a friend about the fact that the complexity of the writing process rarely filters through a book.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I agree, Irene. The acknowledgment page is always fun to read.

      So true! Many readers don’t realize how much work goes into one novel. The acknowledgments give us the perfect opportunity to share that part of our process.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I love to read them as well, Irene. I often discover things about the author and the story itself I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Thanks for visiting and commenting on Sue’s post!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to read the author’s words, too. Who they thank, what they thank them for, what mattered to them as they wrote and published the book. It’s insight into the book and the author. I’ve had work where I didn’t include this page, but I often do, as I like acknowledging the people who matter to me and that work.

    If anyone read your guest post on my site, they’ll know how much I loved Cleaved. Best wishes on your release, Sue.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This story looks right up my alley! I agree with everyone above and always start with the cover(I wish e-books would open there instead of the first chapter!) and work my way through to the story. Best of luck with your new release!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love reading books where the author obviously did their homework and the events come to life on the pages. Kudos to you, Sue, for doing your research. I agree with everyone. I love reading the acknowledgements and dedications in books. 🙂 Thanks for hosting, Mae.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Wow, and here I thought building worlds was time-consuming! I applaud you for your accuracy, Sue! I can imagine the hard work you put into your books. It’s good to know the state agencies may be the ones to go to for details. I may have to use them in the future. After all, bodies appear in my books too, all gooey and in parts. I’ve been hesitant to reach out for fear they’ll think I’m planning a murder, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I enjoy reading the acknowledgements in a book because they really illustrate just how much effort goes into accuracy and other aspects of the story. Another plus is getting ideas of where to go to get information for one’s own book. State agencies, local agencies, and even local experts in one subject or another are great places to get the facts. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good to see you here Sue. I’ve got some catching up to do…lol This really demonstrates the depth of your commitment to excellence. Curious to know if you notify the people you are including in advance of publication? Thank you, Mae, for having Sue here.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congratulations on your upcoming new book, Sue!
    I read the acknowledgements in a book and it’s a sign of friendliness and civility of the author toward those people who, in a way or other, helped in the creation of that story.
    Happy Easter everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Writing Links 4/17/17 – Where Genres Collide

  10. Like most here, I also like to read the acknowledgements – helps me learn more about an author. It’s nice to hear law enforcement was so helpful – and it certainly helps with the accuracy of information in your books, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

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