Odd Bits of Research

I have to say, one of my favorite parts of writing is researching. Why? I enjoy having a wide

Target from my first visit to the shooting range.

array of both useless and odd information to share with others  during idle conversation.  Well, it's not always useless info, but...mostly it is. Aside from its use in my stories.

Many times I find myself asking questions I would never ask. What does it feel like to be shot in the chest? What does it feel like to shoot a gun?

Sometimes I even find out.

No, don't worry I wasn't shot in the chest, nor have I killed anyone, aside from the paper target to the right.

The funniest part of it, is my family has gotten used to hearing these questions from me. If I ask my husband what type of knife is both concealable and would easily eviscerate someone, he doesn't stare at me sideways... He opens Google.

My aunt, a retired nurse with 30 years under her belt didn't bat an eyelash when I asked her to help me accurately capture how blood gushes from one's chest if they are shot in the heart. To my horror, she told me in complete, accurate, and gruesome detail.

Sometimes I find myself digging into old medical textbooks, books on witchcraft, books on psychology. There is a used bookstore I frequent in the historic district of Sanford and many times, no matter what the subject I am wanting to know, I find an amazing book on it there. That place always has great books on famous criminals, killers, and druglords for some reason.

On the rare occasion I travel somewhere I am writing about, I try to take in everything I can.  Granted, Midtown is not a real place, but one I created for my stories to take root in, but there are other places in which my stories go as well.  The places that I haven't been I try to learn as much as I can. One of my favorite places to research had me up until 5AM, hovering over my computer screen as I studied the map of a campus, poured over picture after picture of each historic building, and read about the architectural make-up of these beautiful facades.  Hopefully when someone reads that part in my book, they will think that I actually walked the path the goes by those buildings and through the gorgeous gates I fell in love with.  Truth be told, after researching that campus, it's a goal of mine to do just that.

There are times when research can be a pain in the ass, but generally I find it fun, exhilarating even. I love to learn and uncover inspiration in places I never knew about. I learn  new things about the world around me and then I have to figure out how to convey them into words so that someone else can see these things too.

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