Sunday, May 23, 2010

Crimefest V: Hit 'em where it hurts

Zoë Sharp (far right), author of the Charlie Fox series, offered some practical advice at Crimefest Saturday: Go for the throat.

If an assailant grabs you by the neck with both hands, Sharp said, swing one of your forearms down hard on his wrists, then pivot so your back is to the attacker and whack him in the windpipe with your free elbow.

Using elbows rather than fists confers the dual advantages of disabling the attacker and leaving the innocent victim's fingers and thumbs safe from injury and free to write realistic mystery thrillers.

Sharp spoke at a mini-workshop on self-defense, and this creative bit of programming sparked a discussion at the evening's gala dinner (left): How might future conventions go even further in supplementing the usual fare of panel discussions and interviews?

A lock-picking demonstration, suggested one author whose protagonist is a thief, though the dubious legality of such an undertaking under U.K. law put the kibosh on the possibility.

But you can help! What sorts of practical demonstrations would interest crime-fiction readers, writers, reviewers, editors, agents, fans, and folks who are just there waiting for the hotel bar to open? What would interest you?

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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Blogger Gary Corby said...

How to dispose of bodies. With practical tips.

May 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lots of potential for good demonstration there. Thanks.

May 23, 2010  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

I suppose a video/Powerpoint demonstrating the different way banknotes have been forged.

Although it wouldn't be a demonstration of how to make counterfeit notes, it would give tips to potential counterfeiters what to avoid, while at the same time being entertaining and skirting the illegality problem.

(I think William Friedkin had a brief discussion about counterfeiting in his introduction to his film of 'To Live And Die In LA)

May 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's a good one, with potential for humor in addition to useful information. I wonder how realistic a depiction U.K. law permits.

May 23, 2010  
Blogger Gary Corby said...

There was a case years ago in Britain in which an artist was in the habit of drawing pictures of banknotes by hand (on canvas or whatever, so there was no possibility of confusion).

Each note he drew, he sold for the price of the note drawn. So if he painted a 10 pound note he sold it for 10 pounds, even if the customer offered more. The paintings were excellent and worth probably thousands, so every time he sold a painting he made a technical loss.

The artist was arrested and tried for copying the Queen's currency!

Fortunately common sense prevailed and the jury found him not guilty.

May 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Gary, I agree that the common sense of the people prevailed in this matter. The case puts me in mind of "filth," "plod" and "the law is an ass."

May 24, 2010  
Blogger Pat Miller said...

Speaking of 'artists', I'd like to see how a court illustrator works. What do they look for and how do they capture a 'decisive moment' without using photography?

May 30, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's not a bad idea. I'll consider passing it on to organizers. I can well imagine an illustrator getting participants to yell or otherwise carry on to give the illustrator a strong emotion to capture.

May 31, 2010  

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