Wesley Harris

wesley harris pic

Today we welcome Wesley Harris, author and writing consultant, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

 

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Wesley: The one book I’ve read over and over since my introduction to it by a Godly high school English teacher is The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. Back in 1974, teachers weren’t afraid to bring God into the classroom, even if it had to be indirectly by use of Christian literature. The story provides a unique perspective of Christ’s death from the viewpoint of the Roman centurion in charge of the crucifixion. It tells us that a man whose every physical need and want is met still needs Christ. The Robe presents the message of salvation without turning Christ into a storybook caricature.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Wesley: The first one that comes to mind is Archie Goodwin, the private detective who works for Nero Wolfe in Rex Stout’s mystery series. Archie is “suave and debonair”–something I’m not!–along with being cocky and clever and courageous with a healthy sense of humor. His boss, Nero Wolfe, is irascible and eccentric yet Archie manages to get along with his opposite as they solve murders together. I’ve solved murders myself during a 36-year law enforcement career but usually through Archie-like persistence and legwork, not Nero Wolfe-style brain power. If I could only sell millions of books like Stout did!

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Wesley: I’m not much on traveling outside the USA. My travels are usually linked to American history and the great natural wonders of our country. There’s so much in America I have yet to see–Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, all the out-of-the-way historic sites.

 

Thank you, Wesley, for joining us on 3 Questions Wednesday. Please leave a comment. Wesley is offering a free 2,500-word critique to one lucky winner. The last time he did this, the author won the ACFW First Impressions contest in the suspense category. So scroll on down to the comment section!

 

During a law enforcement career spanning nearly four decades, Wesley Harris has worked in police departments in Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas as a patrol officer, detective, trainer and police chief. As a noted author and lecturer on police procedures, he has written several books and many articles and taught in police academies in thirteen states. Harris now works for Louisiana State Parks and serves on the Criminal Justice Faculty of the University of Phoenix. He owns WriteCrimeRight.com, a consulting service for writers. He can be reached at campruston@gmail.com. His website is http://writecrimeright.com.

7 thoughts on “Wesley Harris

  1. Wesley,
    How do you find your inspiration to write from the mindset of evil villians? Do you find a difference in writing about murderers that commit pre-meditated crimes, and those that are sporatic?
    -Jonathan

    • Hi Jonathan,
      For me, writing from the villian’s point of view would be much more difficult. I can identify with the “good guys,” having been in police work for nearly four decades. In my current work in progress, the point of view of the villians is never given. I have two protagonists and I’m focusing on them and their mindsets. The bad guys’ perspective is never revealed. Some great novels jump back and forth but it’s possible to have too many points of view.

  2. I’m running into a lot of young people, especially women interested in Forensic Science. They are working on their degrees in this whether in a Jr. College or University level classes. Do you have any idea why? Another degree some of them are heading for is Criminal Justice. I like to do research in a lot of areas and love to watch for what is coming. I have a grand daughter in college. She’s a Sophomore and keeps changing her degree plans. I know that’s normal. I’m still working on what I want to do when I grow up! I do know that a lot of these younger people love to watch Judge Judy and Crime shows but I would love to understand better the motivation behind their choices.

    Also Wesley, thank you for your kind offer to help us writers with your gift.

    Sincerely,
    Paulette L Harris (Not cousins to my knowledge!)

    • Hi, Cuz! (maybe). I have a brother named Paul. I guess if he had been a girl, Mom would have named him Paulette.

      With the popularity of TV shows like “CSI,” many colleges are now offering Forensic Science degrees. It is a fascinating field but I’m afraid the job opportunities are very limited. The “crime scene investigator” as it is portrayed on TV just doesn’t exist. The CSI techs who collect evidence at crime scenes do not interrogate and arrest suspects. They are civilians in the very few police agencies that have CSI units. Most police departments do not have CSI personnel–detectives and patrol officers collect the evidence and send it to a crime lab staffed by scientists with biology and chemistry degrees.

  3. I’m not a mystery writer but I am a “light” mystery fan, not a hard core blood and forensic science type. After watching the show Endeavor last week, I wondered … Why in all the who-done-it stories, it’s the detective who tells the criminal how the crime occurred? The detective chronicles for the audience how and why the person carried out the crime rather than letting the criminal explain themselves.

    • Hi Theresa,
      I can only guess that it’s a TV mechanism for showing how smart the detective is. I would think it would be more capitvating for the suspect to explain the crime. I’ve conducted some interrogations where the suspect’s account was absolutely chilling. In a novel, I would think the suspect’s version would grip the reader more forcibly than a detective reciting the facts.

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