Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Laurie Lynn Drummond

From a Q & A with Laurie Lynn Drummond, author of Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You:

Q: There seems to be a rather striking spiritual/mystical element in some of the stories, when the officers feel the presence of a victim. Katherine wonders "how dead we ever really are." How should a reader understand these encounters in the larger context of the collection? Does constant exposure to death tend to make believers of those in such fields, or does it depend on the individual?

A: I know from speaking with police officers around the country that my experience of death is not unique, that the essence of a person lingers after death. Certainly there are some officers who will "pshaw" this idea or can't bring themselves to even contemplate it; that is partly their personality and mostly their defense mechanisms. However, no matter your personality or disposition, seeing a body brutalized is deeply unsettling—whether from a traffic accident, homicide, suicide, or accidental death. I can only speak for myself, although other officers have echoed my experience: you enter a scene with a job to do and a large part of you does that job—secure the scene first and foremost then deal with the victim, friends and family, the perpetrator, the evidence, call for support (detectives, ambulance, crime scene, coroner, district attorney, child services, etc). You work efficiently and professionally, because that is the job. But another part of you—for some this may be a very small part, for others like me, it's larger—is registering the emotional impact, is seeing the person who is dying or dead as a human being. And if you are paying attention, if you are really seeing, opening your heart for even a few seconds, you...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue