7/28/2019 0 Comments
This week on The Writer's Detective Bureau, foreign language interviews, long-term undercover investigations, and witness protection. I'm Adam Richardson, and this is The Writer's Detective Bureau.
Welcome to episode 52 of the writer's detective bureau, the podcast dedicated to helping authors and screenwriters write professional quality, crime-related fiction. And this week, I'd like to thank gold shield patrons, Debra Dunbar from debradunbar.com, CCC. Jameson from ccjameson.com, Larry Keeton, Vicki Tharp of vickitharp.com, Dharma Kelleher of dharmakelleher.com, Chrysann, Jimmy Cowe of crimibox.com, and Larry Darter of larrydarter.com for their support.
I'd also like to thank my newest coffee club patrons Ann Bell Feinstein, Zara Altair, Terry Thomas, and Carol Tate, along with all of my other loyal coffee club patrons for their support month after month. You can find links to all of the writers supporting this episode in the show notes at writersdetective.com/52. And to learn about setting up your own Patreon account for your author business, visit writersdetective.com/patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N.
If you're new to the podcast or you haven't subscribed to the APB mailing list yet, it's a once a month email from me that's just a handful of curated links to things I think you will like, or at least will find useful for your crime fiction writing, things like news articles for story inspiration, white papers from think tanks about anything from advances in CSI or technology or best practices or blog posts from writing experts, things like that. So if you're interested in getting an email from me once a month with those things, you can join by going to writersdetective.com/mailinglist.
So when I launched this podcast nearly a year ago, I started out wanting to help as many writers as I could, and I was just a detective with a microphone. Okay, I had a few hundred writers that would read my blog, but they weren't necessarily podcast listeners. One year and over 25,000 downloads later, 25,000 times, writers like you took a few minutes to listen, writers from 62 countries and 49 of the 50 states plus the district of Columbia. And by the way, what's up, South Dakota? Are the Badlands really that bad? Come on, show me some love. I know you've got crime writers in South Dakota.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am grateful for you, so thank you so much for listening and sending in questions each week for me to answer. When I started my blog in 2015, I started with the same number of readers or listeners or viewers as every other creator out there, and that number was zero. If you're a writer, you started there, too. You may feel like you have zero readers now, but so did every other writer, and not just when they started out. It takes years of work, of honing any craft, to get halfway decent enough to even be noticed. So do not judge your skill or your worth especially by the size of your audience or by the reviews on some marketplace or any other vanity metric.
Create every day and ship out your work. It needs to be going out in the world to get noticed. And even then, being noticed does not matter. Stats do not matter. You can skew stats. Take my stats. 25,000 downloads in a year. What does that really mean? My best estimate is that I have 500 friends like you listening to me right now being one of those friends. I have 500 friends that listen each week. That's not some huge number, especially if we're having some sort of popularity contest. It doesn't make me Internet famous. It doesn't land me advertising deals, but nor does it mean that I'm a failure. It means I have 500 people like you holding me accountable every week to create an episode. It means I have a real reason to improve at whatever I'm creating and where there are five, there are 50 which will become 500, 5,000, and so on.
And it's a pretty good thing that we do most of our learning and our screw ups when we have those five or 50 or 500 fans, rather than making those big beginner mistakes that we all make with five million people taking notice. So enjoy the creation process. That is key to persisting. Creating is what matters. Getting better, moving forward is what matters. Learn your craft and block out your time to create. What you do today creates your tomorrow.
This week's first question comes from Louise Barton who writes, "Dear Adam, I listen to your show on the way to work. Thanks for taking the time to answer so many interesting questions. Your podcast gives me loads of food for thought. I want to set a story in France. My detective needs to interview two witnesses to a death, but they don't speak French, only Arabic or English. My detective also speaks fluent English, so could I conduct the interviews in English, but I'd like to know whether, generally speaking, there are any legal requirements with nationals of other countries to conduct interviews in their native language. Would a detective be allowed to use a foreign language, in this case, English for conducting interviews and then perhaps have the recordings of the interviews transcribed or translated into French at a later point to comply with legal requirements?"
Thank you for the question, Louise. You have two competing issues here. First, you need the witness statement to reflect the actual intention and meaning of the witness to capture the most accurate description of what happened. So naturally that would occur through the statement given in a witness's native tongue. And this also brings up the issue of how effectively the investigator can adequately question the witness. And by that I mean if both are trying to communicate with each other in a secondary or tertiary language, a lot of information or description can be lost along the way.
I don't know of any formal rule that requires an interview to be conducted... Continue reading...
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