If you write crime or military fiction, then you generally need to know a thing or two about weapons, even if you're writing cozies. But if you're not one who has an interest in guns or knives, you may be making mistakes in how you write about them.
That's when having a good resource, written in understandable language, comes in handy. While there are plenty of gun and knife guides out there, they're written for aficionados, not for writers. But then there's The Writer's Guide to Weapons by Benjamin Sobieck.
As a mystery/science fiction writer, I mess with guns, and lately, knives in my stories on a weekly basis. And while I have friends I rely on for asking questions, it gets tiring going back to them time and again, especially when I have something basic I need to know. So picking up a copy of The Writer's Guide to Weapons seemed like a good idea.
I wasn't disappointed.
Mr. Sobieck is a lifetime enthusiast of guns and knives, and has written for many publications that I'm familiar with, such as Gun Digest and Modern Shooter, so he has instant credibility. He knows his stuff, and it comes out clearly in this guide.
This is the kind of book where one may be tempted--as I was--to pick it up and have it handy to flip through when you need an answer. But once I decided it wasn't just reference material, that I was actually going to read it, I was glad I did. With quick one-liners, and the occasional "right way" and "wrong way" scenarios featuring his own PI character Maynard Soloman, this was an informational and entertaining guide to the nuts and bolts behind weapons.
What I particularly appreciated was how everything is broken down into their own sections, so you learn about Firearms in one section, which is broken down into the various types of guns, and another on knives, and then you learn about those (I had no clue there were so many types of knives out there! But now I have a good idea about the type of knife my detective keeps concealed on her person.) Each section has a bit about legalities, which, even though this was written in 2015, he strongly encourages you to learn about your locality and keep on top of changes to the law. In the back of the book, there's a section with a guide to specific weapons, which is oh-so-handy if you just need to get an idea of what a character might be carrying, pictures included!
The Writer's Guide to Weapons has a list price from Writer's Digest of $19.99, but you can get it on Amazon for $14.99 for a paperback (my choice!) or for Kindle for $9.99. If you write anything--ever--set in the last couple hundred years where weapons might be present, this is definitely a guide you need on your shelf.
Linda Apple is the author of Writing From Your Soul, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter, Connect ~ A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers, POW; Promises Kept and Women Of Washington Avenue, her debut novel and the first book in her Moonlight Mississippi series. Her personal experience stories have been published in 16 of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her devotions have been published in numerous devotion magazines and books. She lives in Fayetteville Arkansas with her husband, Neal, their five children, five children-in-love, and ten grandchildren.
Jody Bailey Day writes inspirational fiction from west Texas. Her debut novel, Washout Express, released June 2013 from Harbourlight Books. Her short stories, poems, devotionals, and articles have appeared in Mature Living, Splickety Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Southern Writers Magazine, and Christiandevotions.us, She is a two time Grand Prize Winner at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference, and a Faithwriters.com Best of the Best award winner. She and her pastor husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.
Deborah Dee Harper writes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, by way of Michigan, Kentucky, Alaska, Mississippi, and Alaska (again). Deb is a graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild classes and writes Christian humorous and inspirational books for both children and adults. Her children’s adventure series, Laramie on the Lam, available in both e-book and print, is being re-published as six individual print books. Her Road’s End series (Misstep, Faux Pas, and Misjudge) for adults is also contracted and should be published soon. She is currently nearing completion on the first book of another series. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.
Lisa Lickel is an award-winning multi-published inspirational novelist, blogger, reviewer, and writing mentor. A freelance editor, Lisa loves all things historical. Her work has appeared in Writer's Digest and Christian Fiction Online.
Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, you may find her gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and chocolate Labrador, where she could rival Captain Jean Luc Picard in consumption of Earl Grey tea. She is the author of Emergence, Retaliation, and Capitulation, novellas and novels in her series featuring superhuman and police detective Darby Shaw.
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His poetry has appeared in leading journals and is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond.His fiction includes a light-hearted mystery, Rhapsody in Red, and two suspense novels, Deadly Addictive and The Lazarus File, and a historical romance, Lightning on a Quiet Night. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ groups and conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.
Editor/Author Linda Yezak lives with her husband in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She is a speaker/lecturer for various writers' groups and conferences. Her fiction books include Give the Lady a Ride, The Simulacrum, and The Cat Lady's Secret. Her nonfiction books include Writing in Obedience, co-written with Hartline Literary agent Terry Burns.
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