This week’s topic is:
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
So far I’ve been able to mostly write what I know about, but sometimes (as in ‘For the Sake of a Child‘) I’ve had to email or phone somebody who could give me advice. Ferdi Nazim from the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children was most helpful when I asked him about RSPCC procedures for reporting child abuse.
When I wrote ‘A Rather Unusual Romance‘, I looked back on all the meticulous notes and diaries I had made at the time whilst undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer – some of the procedures I had quite forgotten.
At other times I just use Google to find out what information is available, or ask my husband if it’s something technical, like in ‘The Noise Effect‘; Sam actually made the device to interfere with a neighbour’s incredibly loud stereo on the other side of the party wall some years before. It was rather effective too as I recall, and at last we could get some sleep!
For The Pilates Class, I attended a Pilates exercise group for 18 months, and by then I knew exactly what the exercises were (I still practise them today). My paranormal story Finding David is the result of many visits to mediums over the years, and the character Gerrie in A Marriage of Convenience is very loosely based on a wonderful larger-than-life South African singer in a band that my guitarist son played in many moons ago.
I’m currently writing a mystery/thriller, and can use the information gleaned over one year spent working in a college to help me. However, I’m fast running out of things I know about, but I can’t be bothered to do much research while the sun’s shining and the outside beckons. When winter comes and the van is closed and drained down, then perhaps I’ll get the enthusiasm to research something I don’t know about and write an entirely different novel!
Do you research your novels, or just write what you know? Click on the blue button to discover what other blog-hoppers do.
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