Good morning, friends. Nona Raines here. I'm proud to be a romance author. Unfortunately, romance writing is often downplayed as not being "real writing." When it comes to fiction genres, ours tends to be looked down upon as Cinderella sitting in the ashes. Never mind that ours is the top selling genre of fiction. And sadly, too often romance writers are not looked upon as "real" authors. But we work hard at our craft, and it also involves a good amount of research. Today I want to share some of my adventures in research.
*No, I don't mean that kind of research, LOL.* Kindly get your mind out of the gutter! :-) Though truthfully, I've been known to research sexy topics when trying to spice up a love scene.
In my first book, One Good Man, the heroine was a librarian. For the character of Andie I used my own career in public librarianship to guide me.
For more on One Good Man, please go here.
For other books, I've had to research my characters' careers. I've also researched locations, cities, and landmarks. Having friends and family who live in certain spots can be very helpful. Good old Google is your friend. Google Maps and Google Earth can be very helpful when trying to get the "real feel" of a place.
You can go old skool and use books, as long as they are up to date. Sometimes even an out of date book can give you insight into how the job has changed through the years. Your local library is a great resource and if it doesn't own a copy of the book you need, can often borrow a copy through interlibrary loan. Speaking of the library, let me give a shout out to the fact that internet access is available for free at most public libraries--in case a person does not have the means or the access to their own computer or modem.
But let's face, nothing beats the internet. When it comes to researching careers, you can find a lot of information. There are plenty of blogs and websites devoted to different types of careers and jobs. I found a lot of info this way when researching Emergency Medical Service personnel for No Promises. I found not only interviews, but video as well. Even comments on blog posts can be extremely enlightening. And don't forget good old YouTube--though there you must be careful to separate the wheat from the chaff.
For more on No Promises, please go here.
But our best resource is always other people. Interviewing folks about their real life jobs is so rewarding. Talking to someone provides real insight into a person's career and relationship to it. I've found most people more than happy to share information. During my research I've interviewed several EMTs and paramedics, a highway worker, an owner of a consignment shop and a 911 operator. If you're polite and respectful, most folks are only too happy to share. Facebook friends too can be amazingly helpful. I've quizzed a few about working retail for my current WIP.
That's about it folks. As important as research is, we authors have to be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole and get lost. At some point we have to get busy and write! :-) Delivering a good story is what it's all about.
Have a wonderful week, all!
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic