Thursday, September 23, 2010


by KJ Howe

When I first read that title, my mind kept playing the Tina Turner song by the same name that was a blockbuster hit! Well, today our guest Shane Gericke is going to rock the house with his blog about two of my favorite things: love and bullets. Here is Shane with his first typewriter, and the man he developed into as a result of that gift! Please welcome Shane to the lair.

Love is in the air.

Along with a few thousand bullets.

Those are the two things that define my thriller novels. Love. And bullets.

Love coming first.

Sounds strange for a crime thriller, I know: love, not blood, ruling the roost.

But it’s true. My books are heavily caffeinated: Bullets fly. Buildings collapse. Cars race. Thunder crackles. Bombs explode. Knives flash, and blood is spilled, often in crimson jets. Bad guys are cruel. Good guys are heroic. Both fight to the very edges of their existences to get what they want.

But without love, it’s just another boring Hollywood actioner with a high body count of who–cares.

I think more of my readers than that. So I take great care to make my characters people you care about deeply. Men and women to whom you relate. People that could be your friends.

For that to happen, I need to infuse them with rich, human qualities. Otherwise, they’re mere cartoons, not to be taken seriously. So my characters are tough, but not unafraid. They’re strong, but falter. They love deeply, but not without bumps and bruises and bitching and balking.

In other words, they’re us.

And love is what makes them successful.

By “love,” I don’t mean sex. Sex is part of it, of course—my good guys dig each other in all the fun ways that make the world go around. But sex isn’t all of it. Or even most of it. To me, love means you respect and honor and cherish people. You care about what they think. Worry that they’re all right. Hope you’re doing your best for them. Feel your heart skip when they get home. Trust them in any situation. Share them freely with others, without jealousy or fear, knowing they always, always, consider you No. 1 in their lives.

Let me share some examples of what I mean from my new thriller, TORN APART. It’s the third in my national bestselling crime series starring Chicago suburban police officers Emily Thompson, Martin Benedetti, Annie Bates, Hercules Branch, and Kendall Cross. This chapter is near the beginning of the book, as a storm of ruthless killers (symbolized by the real thunderstorm crackling outside) gathers to invade these cops’ lives:




“Uh, sorry, ma’am,” Marty murmured as he drew back.

“Honey, it’s okay,” Emily said, interlocking her long, slender fingers with what Marty called his “knockwurst with nails.” She paused to let the thunder echo out. “It happens.”

“Not to me.”

Emily studied Marty’s cupped hand. What it held looked so sad. So drained of possibilities. She reached up, gently pushed the tip to the side.

No response.

“Emptied that bad boy faster than we thought,” she said.

“Yeh,” he said.

A string of thunder claps walked her mother’s tortoise-shell comb and brush set across her triple dresser. Wet wind howled through the open windows. Her hair blew across her face. She finger-combed it into place, opened the emerald sheets.

“You’re still full, though, right?” she said with an arch of the thin white scar that would forever bisect her left eyebrow.

Marty grinned.

Slapped the empty can of whipped cream onto the lamp table.

Dove into bed.

Sheets tangled. Pillows flew. Squeals erupted.

Phone warbled.

“Go away,” Emily groaned.

“Can’t,” Marty said. “You asked her to call.” He checked the number, picked up.


“Nice technique on those stairs,” Marty said. “You learn that in ninja school?” (Note: Annie is head of the SWAT team. She fell off a flight of stairs during a raid earlier that evening. Emily rescued her, and the bad guys were captured.)

“Shut up,” Annie said.

“I would, but I’m too busy laughing,” Marty said. “How are your eyes?”

“Terrible,” Annie said. (Her gas mask failed during the raid and she was engulfed in a tear gas cloud, which is why she fell off the stairs.) “They won’t stop itching.”

Marty sympathized, having swallowed his own share of gas over the years. Raids were the very definition of “Man plans; God laughs.” “They reformulated that brand. Sticks to your eyeballs something fierce now. But I know a cure.”

“Really? I’ll pay anything . . .”

“Go wash your head in grape juice.”

“Say . . . what?”

“Grape juice,” he repeated. “Sounds weird, but it works. Use a gallon or so, and work it in real good. As cold as you can stand it. Get the girls to help you scrub. Don’t rinse, just go to sleep with your hair wet.”

“Huh. And that really works?”

“Well, no,” Marty said. “But thinking about you doing it makes me all smiley inside.”

Annie’s reply was pointed.

“Guinness record for cuss words in one breath,” Marty said, laughing. “Seriously, get a good night’s sleep. That’ll take care of it.”

Annie slowed for the turn into her subdivision. “I’m glad we nailed those creeps, Marty,” she said. “Reminds me why I got into this business.”

Marty nodded at the phone, recalling his undercover infiltration of a violent biker gang. It was a soul-sucking job in which he’d been forced to beat a young man to death or be killed himself. But it ended with twelve whack jobs in maximum security and thirty million dollars of cocaine seized. Ten years later, he still got death threats from their pals. He pinned them on the bulletin board outside his office to his colleagues could vote for the most deranged.

“I know Em was unhappy to be sent home early,” Annie continued. “But Chief Cross was right to get that gas off her skin.”

Marty looked at Emily, whose freshly scrubbed body, backlit by the lamp, slid softly against her emerald silk nightgown. He felt himself stir for the umpteenth time. “Couldn’t agree more,” he said. “And with that I’ll sign off—”

“Wait, wait. I need her one more time.”

Marty gurgled.

“Only a minute, I promise,” Annie said, grinning at the phone. “Oh, and not that you care, but don’t eat too much fat and sugar while you’re gone.” (Marty and Branch will head out around dawn for their annual week in Wisconsin hunting deer.)

“You’re right,” Marty said. “I don’t care.”

He heard her laughing as he handed the phone back to Emily.

“Nice work with that thermal imager,” Annie said. “You handled it like a pro. Keep it up and I’ll put you on SWAT permanently.”

“Cool,” Emily said, knowing her best friend was really saying, Thank you for pulling my ass out of that fire.

“See you in a few hours,” Annie said.

They groaned simultaneously, and then hung up.

“So, my little commando,” Marty said. “Need to get some sleep?”

Emily pulled the gown over her head and held out her arms.

“I couldn’t have said it better myself,” Marty said.


Oh, and did I mention I love humor? It’s the most human of emotions, so I dose my books liberally with it.

In fiction as in life, love is not just boy-girl. There’s friend-friend, as between Marty, Emily and Annie in the passage above. There’s the love of work partners. And there’s the deep love of fathers for their children, as in this scene between Sergeant “Hawk” Hawkins and his daughter Samantha, whom Hawk is trying to keep from dying from a rare cancer:


Hawk wrapped his freckled arm around his daughter’s shoulders, fingers lightly brushing her hip. Its emerging boniness alarmed him, but he made sure not to show that in his hug.

“I love you, Ladybug,” he said.

She whispered, “I love you more.”

“You more,” he said, tickling her belly.

“No fair, Daddy,” she shrieked through high-pitched giggles. “I can’t breathe through the tickles to talk.”

He stopped.

You more,” she said. “That means I win. Yay!”

“Yes, you do,” he said.

He kissed Samantha’s scalp, breathing in her soapy scent. She sang the Alphabet Song backward, to show she knew how. It was only a little out of key. He told her a bedtime story, which started with the Brothers Grimm but tumbled into wizards, soccer, joke-telling vampires, and Barbie going to prom. She squealed when Barbie smeared orange lipstick on Ken.

Thunder shook the house. Sammy clapped her ears, cringing. Hawk shook a knotted fist, warned the storm that this very special 7-year-old was under his protection so scram, and furthermore he’d spank any monsters that came in from the rain. Relieved, Sammy settled back into his chest. Her breathing slowed. Her eyelids fluttered, then closed.

Hawk felt his tension leak away.

This was the time he loved most. Just father and daughter. No doctors. No disease. No runaway mom. Just a long black ponytail that smelled of peaches. Not the canned kind with stale metallic perfume. Fresh peaches, sodden with juice, snapped off the drooping tree in Grandpa’s backyard and broken into clumps by a delighted little girl as Grandma spooned maple ice cream from the hand churn . . .

“Daddy?” she murmured from somewhere near dreamland.

“Yes, baby?” Hawk said.

“Will I’ll be dead by Christmas?”


And finally, lest you think my thrillers are entirely love and tenderness and emotion and understanding, read this passage, in which a Wisconsin sheriff’s sergeant is under attack by four ruthless criminals armed with an Uzi submachinegun:


Abbott pulled the trigger of his pistol, sending flame-geyers at the gunmen. They wheeled and ducked, and the hollowpoints thocked uselessly into the grille of their van. Abbott sprinted for the assault rifle in the trunk of his patrol cruiser, which would shift the momentum back to him. The Uzi acquired him, belched fire and smoke. He barely heard the gun go off. Silencer, his lizard brain screamed.

He jinked like a Green Bay receiver. Most of the slugs flew side. But one smashed into his belt, sending his key ring into the river below. Another whacked into his bulletproof vest. The shock wave sucked out his momentum. He lurched now rather than ran.

The Uzi fired . . .

Three bullets stitched his vest, breaking ribs underneath. The crushing pain made his brain clicky.

The Uzi fired . . .

He tripped on a pothole, smashed face-first into the bridge deck. Bullets buzzed just over his head. He rolled like dervish, blood sputtering from his broken nose. Bullets pinged off the pavement the moment he left it. He reached the back of the cruiser, where he was relatively protected. He fumbled for his keys. Looked down when he couldn’t find them. Shot away, he realized. He couldn’t unlock the trunk to get to the rifle.

Bullets closed in on him.

He returned fire one-handed, the other fumbling for the panic button on the radio. His numbed index finger dropped it like a one-putt. He bared his teeth. No matter what happened to him, his brothers would blow so many holes in these bastards they’d look like a Swiss fuckin’ cheese—

He heard a clatter. Looked down again. Went cold. The panic button had fallen off the radio, along with the faceplate and battery. One of the bullets had shattered his two-way.

Did the signal get off in time . . .


Thanks so much for reading. It’s a pleasure talking with you.

Great job, Shane! Thanks for joining us today. I'd love to hear which passages people like and why. Also, another intriguing question I've always wondered is if men write love scenes in a different manner than women. Can you tell Shane is a guy from his passages? I'd pay big money to hear your thoughts on that one!

Shane Gericke is the national bestselling author of TORN APART and other thriller novels. His work, published by Kensington, is in translation worldwide, and his debut, BLOWN AWAY, won the Debut Mystery of the Year award from Romantic Times. He’s a past chairman of ThrillerFest, a founding member of International Thriller Writers, and belongs to Mystery Writers of America and the Society of Midland Authors. A senior editor at the Chicago Sun-Times before switching to thrillers, Shane lives in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, where his series is set and is also the home of famous crime-fighter Dick Tracy. See more about Shane, whose last name is pronounced YER-kee, at


catslady said...

I knew he wanted to play with my cats again!!

jo robertson said...

Hi, Shane! Welcome to the Bandita Lair. In case KJ didn't mention it, the first commenter of the day wins our virtual Golden Rooster. The chook actually thinks he's real and we and our Bandita buddies allow him his little fantasy.

KJ, thanks for bringing such a fascinating guest.

Congrats on getting the rooster, catslady. Isn't he afraid of the kitty claws?

Tell us more about your series, Shane. Do they have to be read in order or can we just dive in?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Catslady! Whoo hoo on the chook! You might need to buy him a bullet-proof vest today with all the bullets flying around!

Shane, what a fascinating post. I did a library talk last night and I said to someone who wanted to learn to write a novel that actually they could do much worse than joining Romance Writers of Australia. Because basically a love story gives the heart to every genre I can think of. As you say, even the most hard-bitten thriller generally has that element of romantic love in it to show the characters' softer sides. Or perhaps stronger sides because the love stories are often what prompt our heroes and heroines to their greatest feats of bravery and daring!

Kim, thanks so much for bringing Shane here today. I really enjoyed the insight into a male thriller writer!

SiNn said...

holy wow nice post i haventheard of Shane before today but im going tohave to check out his books

id love to know more about them great post

Sheree said...

Love is universal so romances can encompass so many genres, including mysteries and thrillers. Thanks for the great excerpts!

Caren Crane said...

(Catslady, I wouldn't necessarily trust the GR with your cats!)

Shane, welcome to the Bandits' Lair. We are so glad KJ asked you to stop by. Never mind the ruckus and mayhem, that's typical for us.

As for men and love scenes, I think men and women perceive both love and sex very differently. We are two sides of human nature and our filters are vastly different. So, yes, men write about love differently, though men and women want the same basic things for themselves: love, affection, security, understanding and acceptance.

I think our chemical makeup has us pay attention to different moments, different nuances. My husband loves me deeply, but he shows his love by doing things for me rather than speaking words of love. I show my love by doing as well, but I talk about it a lot more.

His perception of any situation and mine could not be more vastly different, as the past 22 years have shown us in technicolor. Somehow it works, though. It tickles me when men try to write as women, because they always have a "tell", no matter how good they are. It's harder for me to tell women writing as men, though I'm sure a man could spot it a mile away!

Thank you, Shane, for sharing your work with us. I know you will be writing about love and bullets for a long time to come!

Shane Gericke said...

Ha! I thought I'd stopped by the wrong cave o'banditas when I saw "play with my cats" and "chook." (Great word, that last.)But happily I found I'd arrived correctly.

A delight to be here. I've known KJ for five years, ever since we met at the first ThrillerFest in Phoenix. A delightful friend and helluva writer, and I jumped when she offered me this guest post. How could I not dig a chance to hang out with y'all?

jo, I conceived this series in a wild fit of caffeine. I wanted a bang-bang cop thriller, but with a female lead. First, I dig chicks :-) Second, a female lead gives a writer a lot more emotional territory to explore. Male leads are limited in the emotions they can bring to a story--readers, for instance, just will not like a manly cop hugging his best friend and crying when he's overwhelmed. Female cops can interrogate suspects far more subtly than can males. And so on. Gives me a bigger palate onto which to paint my little stories.

Which is not to say Emily and friends aren't tough. They're as bad-ass as the next heroic cop. But they've also got family and other emotional connections to keep them sane.

You can read the series in any order, jo. The series debut, Blown Away, delves more deeply into Emily's background, and explains why she is what she is today. But all three stories stand on their own.

Shane Gericke said...

You're so right, Anna. We equate all "romance" books with "mushy kissy-kissy love writin'" and it taint so. True "romance" is just strong emotional--human--stories, and if handled in the context of the book being written, it adds grace and charm and emotion and richness to the plotty stuff. Plotty is a technical writer term, y'know.

RWA is a fine organization and does well by its authors. It's ideal for a budding writer in the romance field, and pretty damn good for writers in any field.

Shane Gericke said...

siNn, it's great to meet you here. Find out more about me at I'd happily buy you coffee while you're visiting, but it's digital and the creamer wouldn't dissolve :-)

Sheree, you're right. Romance does inhabit many of the great reads of our time. I mean, how romantic is Dr. Zhivago? And nobody thinks of it as a "sissy" book. And if anyone called Emily a sissy, she'd beat them to a frenzy as her SWAT commander friend Annie stood by laughing.

Shane Gericke said...

Caren, ruckus makes me happy. I spent 25 years in a newsroom before moving into thrillers, and ruckus hardly defines the chaos that could erupt. Like when a sportswriter became, er, annoyed with his supervisor and threw a chair through his office window ... while the supervisor was sitting there ... and the supervisor just looked up, shook his head and said, "Decaf?"

Avoiding the "tell" of cross-genderistic writing--wow, that sounds like a PhD dissertation--is difficult. Men and women DO approach life differently, and not just in the cliche of leaving the toilet lid up. Tiny things like men's shirt buttons are on the right and women's are on the left (why would a manufacturer do such a thing, I ask) are overlooked and there's your "tell."

I try to avoid that by watching every female that passes by. You can't imagine many hours I was forced to spend watching female legs to get the description right. It was a tough job, that endless observation of the two finest things God ever put on Earth (well, three with the, uh, bridge) but KJ will tell you that I'm selfless that way. I suffer for the Reader.

More seriously, I do a lot of observation of people and talk to a lot of women seriously to get the details right. My wife, sisters, mom, friends, fellow authors, all are unceasingly generous when I ask stuff.

Occasionally, that research leads to writer nirvana. I once asked a female cop--a good friend--what she wore under her uniform. I was writing a scene in which Emily gets dressed for battle, and was portraying her from the shower up. Turns out my cop friend wears thong underwear ... and told me why. Made perfect sense, and led to one of the coolest scenes in the first book.

Which goes to show that you just can't ask too many questions.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Shane & KJ! Thanks for bringing all those bullets to the lair--we're not short on them but we do enjoy a fresh supply. :-)

I love the sounds of your series--I like it when cops get to be lovers, too. Looking forward to getting my hands on the whole series!

Shane Gericke said...

Back a little later. Gotta go mangle a few verbs and nouns at my permanent blog home: Today, I talk about the nightmare of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Party!!

Anna Sugden said...

Hey Shane - good to see you! Love and boom? Works well for a number of us in the Lair!

I don't have much boom in my stories - but plenty of blood and dead bodies along with the romance!

I'm so glad to read your post - I'm a big believer in a love arc strengthening a good story arc. And I hate to see it being given lip service. Sex is great *g*, but the emotions really make a story zing.

Yes, KJ, I think you can tell a male writer (though Leigh Greenwood is a possible exception for me). As Caren said, I think there are 'tells'. I think it comes down to the way points of view are handled.

Shane Gericke said...

But before I go ... Susan, I'd be honored for you to read my work. Buying links are on my website,, or check them out at your local bookseller. The debut is difficult to find, as it's out of print. (Grrrr ...) But the buying link brings you to resellers who seem to have plenty of copies in a variety of conditions. The other two are plenty available. And ALL of them, I'm happy to say, are available as e-books. Thank God for electrons! E-book links are on my site, too.

KJ Howe said...

Hey there, I am at the Writers Police Academy with Bandita Jeanne Adams, so I will check in later after we have met the SWAT boys and canine unit. Such fun! A big welcome to Shane and all our visitors today!!! Let's talk love and bullets...

p226 said...

Hmmm.... love and bullets.

Topics near and dear to my heart. See, I once bought my wife a case of 7.62x39 for Valentine's day. I figured, "nothing says 'I love you' like a thousand rounds of Russian machine-gun ammo."

She seemed pleased.

My problem, as an experienced and well-trained shooter is always with the technical mistakes made by writers regarding firearms. Usually, whenever an author is writing about some firearm or other, I have an example of it sitting in the safe, and I've probably put ten thousand rounds down the bore. So writers screwing up the technical stuff is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

But then, writers like to talk about Glocks a lot. This is understandable, because over the past ten years, so many law enforcement agencies have moved away from Sig Sauer and Smith & Wesson towards Glock. It makes good fiscal sense, because Glock sells their pistols to law enforcement for about $300. Hard for purchasing agents to argue about a reliable, accurate $300 pistol that's very simple to maintain and repair.

Except, I hate them.

Did you know a Glock has over a pound of metal in it? Yep. The rest is plastic, evil, and darkness.

Writers tend to mess up a lot of things both about the firearms and terminal ballistics. This happens so often that I have to wonder if most writers have ever been to a range. They also mess up a lot regarding what people do when they're shot. The cinematic industry is the absolute worst about that.

A colleague of mine has been compiling tons of data on defensive shootings by LE and civilians alike, and has come up with some really interesting numbers. Responses to being shot are almost perfectly broken into 3rds.

1/3 - person will drop
1/3 - person will turn to flee
1/3 - person will keep right on doing whatever it is they were doing before they were shot.

Another huge thing to consider...

Newton. Yes, Isaac. When shot, it's all en-vogue to have the shoot-ee go flying. Except, Newton disagrees. For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction, right? So if the shoot-ee goes flying, there has to be enough energy to send the shoot-er flying, too, no?

Ok, ok, enough of my pet-peeves on firearms and fiction. Shane, if you ever want to burn some powder in West Virginia, give me a shout. Since I put tens of thousands of rounds downrange per year, I'm always looking for an excuse to shoot. See you on the range.

p226 said...

Oh sweet!

See what I mean about any excuse to shoot?

Any of you guys ever shot at night? Have any clue how visually debilitating muzzle-flash can be? Yep, it'll blind you.

About 30 seconds after I hit "Publish Your Comment" two buddies hit me up on facebook. "Want to do some night shooting tomorrow night?"

Wheeee, shooting in the pitch black. It's pure awesome, and exceptionally challenging. We always do it with ambient light first, and then move to using flashlight technique.

Me and these two other guys are actually developing some truly cutting-edge low-light shooting technique. One of us has been to just about every tactical training school in the country, and no one is teaching this technique we've discovered. Time to refine it and put some science behind it.

Hehehehe, I love shooting stuff. Shooting stuff is fun.

Shane Gericke said...

Susan, Anna, couldn't agree more. Emotions make you CARE about the characters, which gives the entire story the lift it needs to connect with readers. Fiction is life distilled into 400 pages, and you need to make all the connections, not just the blood-and-bullets, to keep the reader enthused. And the writer ...

Anna Campbell said...

Plotty works for me, Shane! ;-)

Shane Gericke said...

P226, if I'm in your neck of the woods someday, I'll happily take you up on your kind offer. Like your comment about nothing says love better than machine gun bullets.

Now, about your observations about how writers suck at describing firearms, I hope that was in general, not to me specifically. I've been shooting since I was a kid, have put thousands of bullets downrange in more than 300 weapons, and in my spare time I write for gun magazines. My professional interest is writing about cops, and so I study the firearms field as well as the human side.

So yes, I know how bullets work, and how people react when they're shot.

Realize that the needs of fiction are quite different from the needs of nonfiction. Fiction has to be dramatic in order to rivet the reader. We are writing an entertainment, not a how-to guide. So if I get a chance to push a guy over a bridge by shooting him--as opposed to the boring but real-world likelihood that he'll just slump at his feet like a sack of wet oatmeal--I'll take the dramatic flipover, thank you.

That said, I try to keep things as close to real-world in my books. I agree with you that many writers get it wrong because they're (a) unfamiliar with firearms and have probably never fired a shot, (b) aren't willing to learn, or (c) believe the guns are so minor to their story that they just don't care if it's right or wrong.

But that's hardly all writers--there are some monstrously good weapons experts in the ranks of thriller writers--and it's certainly not me.

Thus, you'll never see a revolver with a safety in my books.

Glad to talk with you today!

p226 said...

Oh man, no.

I should have been clear. I was NOT speaking of you specifically. I was absolutely talking in general!

The "revolver with a safety" thing probably grates on your nerves as badly as mine.

I'll go looking for some of your articles in the gun magazines. I generally don't read them for a variety of reasons. But every now and then I pick one up and see some insightful thoughts here and there.

And consider the range-invite to be open ended. The banditas here know how to find me should you head this way.

Shane Gericke said...

P226, I forgot to add: I like Glocks. They shoot accurately, are very reliable, hold a lot of ammo for their size, and because of the plastic frame, can be dragged across gravel, dunked in frigid mud, dropped onto concrete, and still come up firing. They're not glamorous like those beautifully blue-polished Sigs, which are works of art unto themselves. But Glocks get the job done, every time, and for half the money of the Sig-Sauer.

Police departments chose well. They went with Glock because they were cheap, yes. But they got fine, sturdy weapons for the money. That's smart thinking.

jo robertson said...

Thanks, Shane, and LOL at the inspiration from caffeine. I suspect many of us write at the altar of Lady C.

Glad the series can be read out of sequence. I just ordered the last one from Amazon.

Ha, I see you lured P226 out of lurking mode. Good to "see" you P226!

p226 said...

Hey.... come to think of it....

Once we have this low-light shooting technique ironed out, and have the physical/medical science behind it, want to write an article on it?

It would be of great interest to the LE/military/self-defense shooting crowd.

We are still developing it though, and I don't have an ETA.

Shane Gericke said...

Thanks, P226. I didn't think you were, but it gave me an opening to blather on about how cool I am :-)

You are definitely correct in that many fiction writers screw up weaponry. It's not malice; it's more that they don't care.

My feeling is that authors owe readers their best effort to get the fact stuff right in their fiction. To do less is to cheat the reader, and that's wrong. Whether we're writing about guns, cars, dresses, or fancy black thongs under one's polyester uniform pants.

Which I like writing about even more than bullets :-)

Shane Gericke said...

LOL, Jo, worshipping at the coffee gods.

When I was in newspapers, I drank 14 cups of coffee a day. The really thick newsroom stuff with the red floaty oils on top. After a decade of that, I had to cut back a bunch, lest my stomach start punching me back :-)

At the tender age of 54, I drink five or six cups daily, but only the first leaded. The rest is, sadly, decaf. Though decaf has come a LONG way from the foaming orange powder of Sanka--remember that swill from the Sixties??--it's not quite the same.

But I sleep soundly at night. That alone is worth the switch!

P226, I wonder if you could clean weapons with that old newsroom swill? It's certainly strong enough!

p226 said...

Hehehe, you've gone and done it.

Now I have to expound upon my glock hate.

First, I must absolutely concede that the glock is an accurate, reliable handgun that is easy to maintain. Armory budgets drop nicely when a department shifts to Glock.

And, I must also concede that I'm a long-time Sig Sauer koolaid drinker. Sig's had some issues of late, but I remain faithful, since mine run like tops.

Now. The reason for the glock hate.

Grip angle.

See, I've done tens of thousands of presentations with Sigs and other pistols with a more standard grip angle. While my presentation out of the holster isn't going to break any speed records, my draw is fast, fluid, and accurate. My bar for speed and accuracy is the old Federal Air Marshal qualification that was scrapped because so few feds could pass it. That's the baseline.

So I have developed reflexive shooting with the standard grip angle. I do not think about any of the mechanics of my draw. I think "threat" and I'm putting rounds on target. Trainers will tell you that it takes roughly 3000-5000 good repetitions to develop reflexive muscle memory, as I'm sure you're aware. When I draw with a glock, due to the radical (by pistol standards) grip angle, I am always pointed high. This makes my reflexive draw a three part process. Draw. Realize my sights are pointed at the sky. Correct.

So. I could transition to Glocks. Glocks are fine pistols and I have no reliability or accuracy based objection to doing so. But if I did, I'd have to do 3000 or more strong-hand or weak-hand presentations to correct the reflexive muscle-memory. And if I *did* do that, if I wanted to transition back to just about any other handgun on the market, I'd have to repeat that process, or I'd be putting rounds in the dirt in front of my target.


So, there's the summary of my glock hate. I sure wish Gaston Glock would've utilized a more standard grip angle. I admit it. If he had, I would be a Glock shooting fool.

Shane Gericke said...

Banditas, the discussion between P226 and the me is living proof that if you want a man to come running, just blow something up!

And hi, Kimberley! Hope the Academy is going well. The Banditas, P226 and I are having a great time hanging out, and I thank you for making it happen. They're cool folks.

p226 said...

Hi Jo!

I've been kind of... absent from the lair lately. I've had a high demand on my time from both work and ....

oh I so do not want to admit this....


And no, I will not elaborate. :D

p226 said...

Hmm.... newswroom swill.

I bet it's about the same PH as the coffee here. I'm pretty sure it will dissolve a lot of things. I haven't tested it to see if it's useful as a copper and lead solvent.

I could perform a scientific study at my desk. Sadly though, I don't have a second firearm with me today to use as a control. Nor am I willing to subject one of my firearms to the coffee here. I'm not sure it'll survive it.

It might be like dissolving a glock frame with insect repellent.

(Bahahah, couldn't resist another Glock jab)

p226 said...

Hmmm.... blowing things up.

I miss blowing things up. I'm going to have to get some Tannerite just for nostalgic purposes.

catslady said...

All this talk of guns has us all hiding lol.

But I do love excitement in my reading. I have found later that I've read a book written by a man was really a woman and vice versa. I couldn't tell the difference. I'm assuming that the author's voice takes into consideration what genre they are writing. You are a new to me author but your book sounds like it has all the right ingredients :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Shane! And BIG THANX to KJ for inviting you to join us today. I'm one of those Banditas who likes to write a little boom now and again, so I'll definitely be on the look-out for your books.

And WELCOME BACK P226! We've missed your smiling (or is that scowling?) face around the Lair lately. The rooster has grown quite soft and cantankerous without you to put him through his paces. :-P

And CONGRATS to Catslady for capturing that lazy Chook for the day. I hope your cats keep him busy and out of trouble.


Shane Gericke said...

P226, I'm forced to agree: grip angle is not ideal on a Glock. The new Gen 4 has a much nicer angle than the other three generations, one that doesn't force you to cock your hand down a fraction to line up the sights. But I don't like the new springs and grips. Sigh. Wish they'd just go back to Gen 1 with a nice, clean frame, but make the angle the same as the Gen 4. Is it too much to ask, Gaston????

Shane Gericke said...

Thanks, catslady. With luck you won't figure out I'm a man who used to be a woman who used to be a man who used to be a tree stump from a primeval swamp, with shirts that button sideways :-)

And Loucinda, thanks for the hearty welcome. You folks are great.

And p226, like Col. Kilgore, you clearly love the smell of napalm in the morning. Coooooooolllll ...

KJ Howe said...

I have to agree that while the glock is a fine weapon, it lacks any real style or flair. I think something Italian and nickle plated goes better with most outfits.

And while I do (and currently am) make sure that technical details are kept as accurate in my work as possible, one must be careful not to overwhelm the reader with technical detail. A reader comes to a book for character, tension and events...they are the elements of the novel that cannot be sacrificed.

p226 said...

Smells like.... VICTORY!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, KJ, thanks for bringing such
an interesting writer to us today!

Welcome to the Lair, Shane! This
grandmother is definitely not into
firearms, but I do appreciate that
you make certain that the infor-
mation imparted to us through your
books is accurate. I will be sure
to add your books to my TBR list!

Congratulations, catslady, on the
GR and hello to your cats!

Pat Cochran

Pat Cochran said...

Forgot to include one more note:
welcome back, p226, you have been
missed! Hello to Mrs. p226!

Pat Cochran

catslady said...

LOL Hope some of that humor carries over into your books - not a lot but just a bit.

They've all called a truce - seems that the chook's talons are an equal match for my cat's claws lol. (As long as they don't figure out they can gang up on him).

Shane Gericke said...

How right you are, Kim. Glock is a workaday weapon, completely practical, with no style whatsoever. But load it with silver bullets, then you're talkin' ...

The purtiest pistol in the world is the old Colt Single Action Army. That's the pistol we saw in many an old cowboy movie--the so-called "six-shooter." My dream version is rendered in modern stainless steel, polished to a pure silver glow ... with dark blue screws and trigger and high-polish French walnut grips.

Talk about your Manolo Blahniks of the gun world ...

Shane Gericke said...

Hi, Pat! Well-said. You don't have to be into guns one itty-bit to appreciate my work. So jump right in!

KJ, I've got a perfect garter gun for you, to wear on those dark and mysterious nights ... when love and bullets are in the air ...

Shane Gericke said...

I'd keep it for myself, but garters don't look so good on me. They scream for mercy.

KJ Howe said...

I can assure you Shane's books are very accessible to people who arn't "hooked on ballistics."

His work really is premised on relationships, tension and love, but his accuracy on firearms is just adding a sense of realism in the same way that using real restaurants from say...Boston add reality and draw the reader into the feel of those neighbourhoods.

I think his books have broad enough appeal to satisfy a wide variety of literary appetites.

Sorry I have not been on as much as normal today, but they are keeping us busy down here!

Helen said...

Well done catslady have fun with him

Hi Shane what a great post these books sound really thrilling fantastic stories I must find them because they are sure to be great reads.

KJ thanks for bring Shane to meet us today

Have Fun

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey, Catslady! You got the rooster! WTG!!!

Shane, welcome to the Lair! So glad to have you with us today.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Shane, you said: jo, I conceived this series in a wild fit of caffeine. I wanted a bang-bang cop thriller, but with a female lead. First, I dig chicks :-) Second, a female lead gives a writer a lot more emotional territory to explore. Male leads are limited in the emotions they can bring to a story--readers, for instance, just will not like a manly cop hugging his best friend and crying when he's overwhelmed. Female cops can interrogate suspects far more subtly than can males. And so on. Gives me a bigger palate onto which to paint my little stories.

I think you and Caren C have pegged it here, in that the different perspectives make a much richer and more complex story. Fabulously put!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Shane said: You're so right, Anna. We equate all "romance" books with "mushy kissy-kissy love writin'"

Okay, one word for this:

SNORK!!! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: Did you know a Glock has over a pound of metal in it? Yep. The rest is plastic, evil, and darkness.

Awww, c'mon, tell us how you REALLY feel! Snork!!

hey P226, the Guilford Cty Sherriffs agree w/ you. They got rid of all their Glocks. They went to S&W's

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

P226 said: Hehehehe, I love shooting stuff. Shooting stuff is fun.

I would never have guessed this...grins. I'm still gonna come over and shoot sometime with you and Mrs. P226, because, to paraphrase, nothin' says friendship like going shooting together. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Shane said: if I get a chance to push a guy over a bridge by shooting him--as opposed to the boring but real-world likelihood that he'll just slump at his feet like a sack of wet oatmeal--I'll take the dramatic flipover, thank you.

Snork. Yep. KJ, I like this guy. Shane, you can hang out in the Lair anytime. Heehee. I just love that "sack of wet oatmeal" line.

And those familiar with the Lair know that I'm pretty much always up for people falling off of bridges....bwah-ha-ha-ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Shane said: They shoot accurately, are very reliable, hold a lot of ammo for their size, and because of the plastic frame, can be dragged across gravel, dunked in frigid mud, dropped onto concrete, and still come up firing.

Interestingly enough, Shane, this was the point the OTHER Guilford cty deputy made, who hated giving UP his Glock. He said " can't kill 'em"

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Shane said: that if you want a man to come running, just blow something up!

Is THAT why they're all hanging around? I thought it was because KJ and I are blonde....snork.

Shane there are a number of us who really, REALLY like to blow things up. *raises hand* I would be one of them....(Not that you couldn't tell!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Now that I'm caught up a bit, I'll add in that KJ and I are having a blast at the Writers Police Academy. Wow! What faboo info. We didn't get to see the K9 crew - much to MY disappointment. I don't know if it was too hot or if they got called out...gonna ask tomorrow.

We did, however, have two fabulous lectures, one on criminalistics, and one by the NY Medical Examiner, Dr. Jonathan Hayes. Wow. WOW. Gory, but WOW! Grins.

Of course, ya'll know that I teach that body disposal class, so this was really cool for me. I don't think everyone was in that part as I was....grins.

There were some hunky highway patrolmen, some NC highway motorcyclists, and the SERT (Special Emergency Response Team) fellas who gave a great presentation too.

KJ and I will be blogging about all of this at some point, but I do wish we could have hung out here too, with such a cool guest here. Shane, you've been fab!