Writers are told to write what they know, and to research what they don’t know. Aimee Machado, the protagonist in Due for Discard, met her problematic boyfriend, Nick Alexander, at a gun range. How to write about that when my experience with firearms was limited to the single shot Daisy BB gun of my childhood?
I had never been to a gun range before, so I asked my son to take me for shooting lesson. I came away with a new sense of reality about what it’s like to fire a weapon. I discovered that it involves four of the five senses. The gun was heavier than I expected, the sound was louder, the shell casings flew faster and farther than I expected, and, of course, the smell of gunpowder lingered in the air. Come to think of it, that smell was so strong I could almost taste it.
But the best part was seeing the look on my son’s face and hearing him call me “Deadeye” when 10 of my eleven rounds hit inside the little green box in the center of the target.
It turns out Aimee Machado is a crack shot with a semi-automatic 22 Smith & Wesson. That might come in handy. The hospital where she works as a forensic librarian has more than it’s share of intrigue, and the rural northern California county where she lives has more than it’s share of crime.