Holiday Weekend Road Trip: Writer’s Police Academy Update

Writers' Police Academy


It’s official! You asked for it and we delivered. The Mad Anthony Writers Conference and I have joined forces to present to first annual Writers Police Academy on April 17-18, 2009. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the workshps and faculty. There’s still more to come.

Friday – Police Department and Morgue Tours

Friday night – Murder, Mayhem, and the Macabre, a candlelight visit with Hamilton’s most infamous killers and their unfortunate victims. This night owl presentation offered by Lee Lofland is not for the faint of heart.

Saturday workshops will be taught by some of the nation’s top law enforcement experts. These police professionals are all authors, too!

The faculty (to date):
A police officer with the Matteson, Illinois Police Department for over 30 years, Sergeant Michael A. Black, has served in a variety of assignments including investigations, patrol supervisor, SWAT team leader, and plainclothes tactical officer. He is also the author of two different series and several thrillers. Out now is a re-release of Windy City Knights, the second in Mike’s award-winning Ron Shade private-eye series, and (in hardcover), Dead Ringer, the brand-new fourth adventure for Ron Shade. Mike’s newest series begins with Random Victim, introducing a male/female police detective team Francisco Leal and Olivia Hart. Mike has also co-written the recently released I Am Not A Cop with television star Richard Belzer.


Public Information Officer/Crime Prevention Officer Dave Crawford has worked in several areas within the Hamilton Police Department, including the Patrol Division, Traffic Division, as a Court Officer, Desk Officer and, as a member of the Honor Guard Unit. His current position is in the Public Affairs Section of the police department, which entails a multitude of assignments.

Officer Crawford is a member and board member of many local civic originations. He’s also a member of the Ohio Crime Prevention Association, National Public Officers Information Association, International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association, and MADD.

Dave proudly serves as a member of the board of directors for MADD of Southwestern Ohio Affiliate, Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc., Visitors and Convention Center, Accent Hamilton, Open Door Food Pantry Board Member, Dayton Lane Historical Society, Safe Kids Coalition, FOP Lodge 38, Washington Lodge Masons, and the High Twelve Club.

Verna Dreisbach of Dreisbach Literary Management offers professional representation for distinctive voices with a diverse range of both fiction and non-fiction interests. She is currently looking for emerging and experienced writers to build her list and desires books that present the possibility to affect change. The agency has a particular interest in books with a political, economic or social context. Verna’s first career as a law enforcement officer gives her a genuine interest and expertise in the genres of mystery, thriller and true crime. She believes in building an agency based on dedication, loyalty and trust, representing the voice behind the work, not just the writing. If you are accepted by Dreisbach Literary Management it is because Verna has faith in your abilities as a writer and feels a connection with your goals and aspirations.

Lee Lofland is the author of Police Procedure and Investigation, A Guide For Writers from Writers Digest Books, a 2008 Macavity Award nominee for best non-fiction mystery. Lee is a former police detective with nearly two decades of law-enforcement and crime-solving experience. He was in charge of major felony cases, including homicide, narcotics, rape, kidnapping, ritualistic and occult crimes, fraud, and robbery.

Lee is a nationally acclaimed expert on police procedure and crime-scene investigation and is a popular conference, workshop, and motivational speaker. He writes freelance articles for newspaper and magazine publications, such as The Writer and Slate magazine.

He has consulted for many bestselling authors, such as J.A. Jance, Lee Goldberg (Monk), PJ Parrish, Jeffery Deaver, Jan Burke, Stuart Kaminsky, and Allison Brennan. He’s also worked with television shows, such as Spike TV’s Murder, and a new major motion picture that’s currently in the development stages.

Lee has appeared as an expert on national television and radio shows, such as CNN’s Talk Back Live and NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and BBC Television. He writes and manages the popular blog site The Graveyard Shift.

The Graveyard Shift

His current works-in-progress are a mystery novel, a true crime book, and a children’s book co-authored with Becky Levine called Everything Kids: I Want To Be A Police Officer that’s scheduled for release in early 2009.

Lee and his wife, Dr. Denene Lofland, live in the Boston area, where he proudly serves on the board of directors for the New England Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. He’s also a member of Sisters in Crime.

Special Agent Rick McMahan has worked in federal law enforcement for over sixteen years. During the first six years of his career, Rick worked as a civilian Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations where he worked a wide range of person and property crimes. For the last ten years, as a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) Rick has investigated federal firearms and explosives violations, including conducting investigations into violent street gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs. He has served as an on-the-job trainer for new agents and is firearms instructor. Rick’s short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Techno Noire, Low Down & Derby, and the Mystery Writer’s of America Death Do Us Part, edited by Harlan Coben.

Sheila L. Stephens was the first female Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) special agent in the state of Alabama and one of the first in the nation. She recently graduated from Boston University with a master’s degree in criminal justice. After leaving the ATF due to injury, Ms. Stephens opened a private investigation/security business. She is a criminal justice professor at Andrew Jackson University and a contributing writer and associate editor of The Agent, the newsletter of the National Association of Federal Agents (NAFA). Ms. Stephens lives in Bessemer, AL.

Sheila is the author of Everything Private Investigation Book from Adams Media.

Lieutenant David Swords (ret.) is a thirty year veteran of the Springfield, Ohio Police Department. Nearly half of Lt. Swords’ police career was spent as an investigator, working on cases ranging from simple vandalisms to armed robberies and murders.

David is the author of a novel, “Shadows on the Soul.” He and his family live near Springfield.

Saturday sessions. Many of these workshops are hands-on classes.

Writing Realistic Fight Scenes Interview & Interogation
Rick McMahan & Staff David Swords
Arrest Tech & Handcuffs Writing Compeling Villians
Rick McMahan & Staff Lee Lofland
Police Tools & Equipment Technology & Crime
Dave Crawford & Rick McMahan Sheila Stephens
SWAT I Primer of Handguns
Mike Black Rick McMahan
Nonlethal Weapons Hostage Negotiations
Sheila Stephens Mike Black
Prison & Jail, Slang & Gangs Fingerprinting
til 5:10 Verna Dreisbach Crawford, McMahan, & Swords
5:20-6pm High Rish Traffic Stop Kenesics: Human Lie Detecting
Crawford & Staff Lee Lofland



We’ll be back on schedule on Tuesday. Stay tuned for a surprise for writers later in the week!

5 replies
  1. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Lisa St. James – Spread the word. This is going to be fantastic! I’m looking forward to meeting you and your fellow SinC members.

    SZ – No, I don’t think the toy gun would increase the interest of law enforcement. However; if the thief had brandished it in a robbery the situation would be different.

    The book Becky and I co-authored, Everything Kids: I Want To Be A Police Officer, should be released in the spring of 2009. The last we heard from the publisher was that the illustrator was working his magic. It’s a cute, but very informative book for kids in the 7 – 9 year-old group.

  2. SZ
    SZ says:

    Really Lee, how DO you cram all this in ?!!

    Sounds like a great weekend. Oh to have more time to get out and attend something like that. I still have not made it to a shooting range too try practice and learn gun safety.

    Then two days ago, at the dealership where I write service, a theft recovery came in. The police in Oakland do not have time to finger print these things. It is tough for the customer. That said, this was someone I know, and when I went through his car found a gun. Turned out to be a toy. Very heavy. I was embarrased to not have learned yet enough to determine, though it was my first thought. One of the guys made sure it was fake. I did not want to call the police without being for sure.

    Do you think in light of the person who took the car, that the police may be more interested in finding this particular thief since he has gone out of his way to aquire a very threatening replica ?

    Any dates for your other two books ? Your site has found some great books for me. Yvonne Masons is next. Not a big romance fan here.

    I look forward to see what you and Becky Levine do with the childrens book. I still watch Disney ! What a fun project this must be.

Comments are closed.