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  • Sara Braas

#writingyearinreview2023 2/10

9. Number 9 writing accomplishment this year was attending Writers’ Police Academy in Green Bay/Appleton, WI. https://writerspoliceacademy.com Some highlights:

·      Got to meet Hank Phillipe Ryan – what a classy, inspiring and beautiful author

·      Homicide 101 class – taught by two homicide detectives about maintaining a crime scene was enlightening

·      Jeffrey Dahmer Investigator – showed real photos (polaroids?) Dahmer took of his victims (this was also a lowlight as it was highly disturbing) and shared how flubbed this investigation was and how race and homophobia played a role in why they didn’t catch him sooner, which was tragic. Also interesting how a city coped with learning a killer of this magnitude was living among them. In some cases, they used humor. There were Jeffrey Dahmer menus at restaurants – “You kill ‘em, We grill ‘em.” Oh, and he ate his victims’ bodies with potato chips. I mean. This presentation was visceral.

·      Coroner’s Life – also gruesome photos but this was just a guy doing his job, so way different than the Dahmer photos. Taught us some tips for authenticity.

·      I learned to fire a Taser, which made my Taser scene in TPYP more authentic! And all about police tracking drones.

·      Drug enforcement – showed us how to create your own pills (not that I need to know that, but maybe for a character one day?)

·      This was in my hometown so it was fantastic to make contacts with local police and have people I can reach out to for questions.

·      K9 unit session – did you know tennis balls are the biggest choking hazards for dogs? I have two big dogs and I never knew. Buy the ones with the ropes attached and learn the doggie Heimlich maneuver (essentially pushing the blocked item out of the throat with your thumbs while they lay on their back). Also, dogs are amazing and police dogs getting wounded in the line of duty is so hard to see.


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5/10 #Writingyearinreview2023

In 2023 I got up the nerve to pitch my novel at PitchFest (Part of ThrillerFest). I pitched 13 agents. The first one I talked to flat out turned me down. It stung, but I kind of knew he wasn’t for me.

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