This is a new feature I’m trying out. When I get questions — about anything — I’m going to try to answer them on Wednesday. :)
So here’s the third one for the feature from a lovely fan:
How much research do you do per book, if any (by that, I mean location and so on)?
Oh it totally depends. Sometimes I do a lot if some detail is important, but sometimes just a little is enough.
Let’s tell you what I mean.
There are a few locations like cafes and parks in Reunited in Love and Redemption in Love. Exactly what chain / brand they are and the precise location aren’t particularly important to the plot or character growth / emotions. So I just say it’s near so-and-so’s place and maybe do some high-level description to set the scene.
Sometimes places I’ve been to inspire me to set certain parts of the story in that locale. For example, Kerri’s old job was in Hong Kong. I went to Hong Kong for a few days to visit some i-banking friends, so I drew on that a bit. (And i-bankers work insane hours…)
And if you’re a long-time follower of my blog, you might have noticed that Hero Material and went to Thailand for our honeymoon. Guess where Gavin and Amandine have their second honeymoon? ;) I had to set it there because I absolutely loved Thailand. As a matter of fact, we’re going back next year with The Boy.
But when I was writing an SF thriller with romantic elements (still unfinished, alas), I actually had to figure out how each character would get to certain places and how long it’d take. Why? Because if I want to have the Villain to hatch some evil plot in Location A, I better make sure that the Villain has enough time to get there and set things up. Otherwise I’m going to hear from annoyed readers. And I had to make sure that the science tech I was using was, if not actually possible at the moment, at least somewhat plausible. :)
Oh and for the current book I’m working on (Mark Pryce and Hilary Rosenberg’s romance), I had to watch a few videos of girl fights and something else (I can’t talk about it because I don’t want to spoil the story!). I’m not the most athletic type, and have never gotten into a fight like the one I’m writing, so I headed over to YouTube and watched some women duke it out.
Sometimes if the characters are involved in something finance/ economics-related, I don’t have to do a lot of research because that’s what I studied in college. They say you should write what you know… I think that’s generally good advice and I try to leverage a lot of what I already have in my head.
Also I read a lot of articles and stuff from various newspapers, esp. the Wall Street Journal. One of those articles inspired Natalie’s background / adoption story. I won’t talk too much about it since that’s a big spoiler. :) But if you want to discuss more, you’re welcome to contact me privately via email or private FB group.
If have any questions about me, my writing, books, characters or anything else, feel free to drop me a line by leaving me a comment, using the contact form or via Facebook or Twitter. I reserve the right not to answer if the topic happens to be politics or religion. But anything else is more or less fair game. Thanks! :)