As Richard Castle likes to say, “There are two kinds of folks who like to sit around, thinking of ways to kill people: psychopaths, and mystery writers.” Assuming (and really fervently hoping) that everyone reading this post is the latter, then I have the perfect resource for you:
Dr. D.P. Lyle, a forensic consultant for writers (and a published writer himself), has a free service where authors can ask him a medical or forensics question via email. Anything you need to know for your story, whether it’s about DNA evidence, hereditary medical conditions, or alien bio-weapons, Dr. Lyle is always willing to lend a hand. I used his service earlier in the year, and was very satisfied with the results. Dr. Lyle wrote back to me within an hour of when I sent my question, and his response was very detailed (several paragraphs long), giving me many different possible avenues for my story.
Whether you write fan fiction, short stories, or novels, you never know when you might need to accurately describe a dead body that’s been in the desert for three days, come up with a hard-to-trace poison, or find the name of a drug that causes auditory hallucinations. If you are hung up on a medical/forensic detail that you REALLY need for your story, and research isn’t yielding any results, I would highly recommend asking Dr. Lyle:
Just make sure you follow the directions in the “contact” section. You do have to give your full name and address, which is understandable, considering the nature of the information Dr. Lyle is giving out (he has to make sure you’re really a writer, and not a psycho trying to kill someone).
Hope this is helpful to someone out there!