To help me transition from writing speculative fiction to tackling my first contemporary mystery novel, I've joined Sisters in Crime. Yesterday I attended the first meeting of my local branch, Sisters In Crime of Columbus Ohio. The guests for the May meeting were Lara Baker-Morrish and Annie Murray, both prosecutors for the city of Columbus. Murray is the director of the Domestic Violence and Stalking Unit.
Their talk was fascinating and frightening; it's sobering to realize how much negative impact a stranger can make on one's life if they choose you as an object of fixation. In addition to some fresh ideas for my plot, Murray also shared some of the ways most people make themselves easy victims. Case in point: not putting any sort of lock on one's cell phone. I never really understood the point before. But after Murray detailed all the ways your phone can be used against you (and to track you), I now realize the importance of that basic measure.Granted, if someone's dedicated enough, all but the heaviest personal security won't make much of a difference. But I can at least try not to be a walking turkey.
My only regret is that I had to leave before the meeting ended. I look forward to seeing what all the group has to offer.