One of the writing projects Laura and I have been kicking around requires knowledge of guns and knives. In the interest of full disclosure, I shot a rabbit once. A kill shot to the head. It was the first time I’d ever fired a gun, and for years after thought I was Annie Oakley. I never again was that competent and missed groundhog after groundhog as they dug out the foundations of our Harford County, Maryland barn.
Knives for me are kitchen utensils, not weapons to take down an intruder skilled in Krav Maga. (More disclosure here…I only know a tiny bit about Krav Maga because I just read three terrific mysteries by Melissa F. Miller in which the heroine was skilled in the martial art. When I took karate classes with my boys I was the only person I ever heard of who got cut by a foam knife and bled all over her gi.)
For this writing project we are going to need someone who knows more about knives and guns than either Laura or I do. We need an expert.
It turns out that my son, who lives in Montana, has a friend who is a knife and gun expert, so on a recent visit to Big Sky country I met with Sheldon Wickersham who showed me the kind of knife a female assasin might hide in her bra. I held it very carefully. If Laura and I ever write this character she’s gonna have to wear a 34 Triple D to be able to hide a 4” double bladed Gerber Guardian. Inside a boot or attached to a garter might be a better idea ‘cause if I drew a blade like that out of my bra I’d probably cut off my breast. I have no reason to think I’d be any better with a knife that I was with a gun.
I asked Sheldon if I could call on him with dumb writer questions about knives and guns. He graciously agreed, probably in no small part because we were eating strawberry shortcake made with berries fresh from my daughter-in-law’s berry patch. Then I asked him to pose for a picture to put on the blog, but had to take several because I thought he should look sinister. Sheldon is not a sinister person—his dog Jake knows he’s really a pussycat—so this is the best I got. If you want to know more about Sheldon, check out his website at www.bluestarknives.com. He is a noted Randall knives expert, the author of Randall Knives – A Reference Book.
Writers need experts. We all love the easy access of information on the web, but a knowledgeable person always trumps Google. Thanks, Sheldon, you haven’t heard the last from me.