Welcome to the Mystery/Romantic Suspense chapter of Romance Writers of America, also known as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. We hold one annual meeting of the general membership and the rest of the time function as an online specialty chapter of RWA.
What We Offer
What’s unique about this chapter that you won’t find anywhere else? Expertise. This is the one place that combines the literary genres of suspense and mystery with romance. In addition, you’ll find considerable support for your journey as a professional romance writer from our many members following similar paths.
How To Join
You can join KOD at any time. First, you must already be a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and be signed up on their website, myRWA. Click on the graphic to the right to view your next steps.
Board members serve one-year terms. A general election is held each fall. Board decisions are made through online meetings, which general members may elect to attend.
Members and What's New
Our members come from all backgrounds and geographic locations. Some are multi-published, either in romantic suspense or other genres, while others are just beginning the writer’s journey. As a group, they bring a diversity of experience, knowledge and opinion to our midst, which we prize.
Workshops - COFFIN
Our workshops in the College of Felony and Intrigue (COFFIN) are open to both members and non-members. Workshops occur throughout the year; one Murder One and one Killer Instinct class per month. Our COFFIN committee works a year or more in advance, seeking the most qualified, knowledgeable and interesting of presenters.
The World of a Forensics Specialist
LECTURE # 1: Welcome to my World: what kind of people want to work in a morgue, anyway?
LECTURE #2: The History of Fingerprints: how did such a huge facet of crime detection come about…and he answer is not as smooth or high-minded as you might think.
LECTURE #3: Crime Scenes: what are we doing all that time, and why?
LECTURE #4: DNA and Blood: the different analyses of and information obtained from bodily fluids.
LECTURE #5: Fibers: we all wear clothes, and they both leave and collect traces of the crime.
LECTURE #6: Hair and Glass: down but not completely out forms of trace evidence.
LECTURE #7: Paint and Soil: we can’t commit a crime without our wheels.
LECTURE #8: Toxicology and Clothing: why poisons can go undetected, and how a victim’s clothing can speak volumes when they can’t.
LECTURE: #9: Gunshot residue: the mechanics of an exploding bullet and what it leaves behind.
LECTURE #10: New Technology: cell phones, computers, and tablets have become indispensable to us--what we can (and can’t) glean from them.
LECTURE #11: Evidence Submission: dealing with bags, evidence tape and bad smells.
LECTURE #12: Courtroom Testimony: nowhere near as glamorous as it looks on TV.
In The Price of Innocence Forensic Scientist Theresa MacLean and her homicide detective cousin Frank are caught in an explosion possibly aimed at a local inventor/entrepreneur, the northeast version of Bill Gates. Ignoring her bruises and forced to relinquish the investigation to the feds, Theresa tries to dive back into normalcy at work only to have a cop assassinated nearly at her feet. These two apparently unrelated cases begin to move closer and closer together as Theresa encounters the unpredictable world of methamphetamine production, an attractive and mysterious man, a circle of new money and old power and a conspiracy of silence going back twenty years--the reach of which she could never have imagined.
Self-editing for Mystery Writers
“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.”
Justice Louis D. Brandeis
Why not begin 2015 with a workshop that will help you learn to efficiently and productively rewrite your WIP? In this workshop you’ll learn to start large and work small. Through exercises, you’ll assess whether your WIP’s plot functions as it should. You’ll consider whether you have the right scenes to carry the plot. You’ll learn to evaluate your characters, combine or eliminate bit parts, and present their multi-faceted personalities. Next you’ll consider individual scenes to make sure they have depth and are compelling. We’ll address the special rewriting needs of the opening scene and book’s ending. Finally we’ll explore techniques for polishing your manuscript. While some discussion revolves around mystery-related considerations such as red herrings, this workshop will benefit anyone, regardless of genre, who has completed, but not finalized, their manuscript.
Daphne Winners Announced!
Tread lightly...But know that while we are all working together here, the conversation can turn quickly to death, destruction and mayhem. And we are fine with that. We'll even abet you as you work to do the same, to become the best spinner of romantic mysteries and thrillers that you can be. So come on in, the water's warm...as blood.