Welcome to The Big Reveal
I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them.
Do you do a lot of research for your novels?
Dahlia Adler, Agented Author
Not nearly as much as, say, a historical novel would. I mostly research just to get little details right, like with locations (thank you, Google Earth!), for example. The novel I’m writing now probably requires the most research of any I’ve done, but it’s all little things here and there, so I tend to look them up as I go.
Jenny Morris, Agented Author
Not yet. I do plan on basing a novel out of London and I know I will have to do tons of research.
Theresa Paulo, Agented Author
Yes and I love research. I think all of my books have had a little research involved. Last years Nano I wrote a book about a girl who time travels back to 1925. I researched for a month before Nano so I had it all fresh in my mind and didn’t have to stop writing to cross reference anything. I bought books on the era and spent way too much time on the internet. I also watched youtube videos, one on how to start a Ford Model T. That was probably the most interesting thing I learned from my research. If I lived back then I don’t think my car would ever leave the driveway.
Right now I’m also working on a book that requires a lot of research, witchcraft, the Kilkenny Trials, it’s been a lot of fun. However, I chose it for Nano and I didn’t do my research beforehand. Needless to say I didn’t complete Nano this year.
Lynne Schmidt, Un-Agented Author
I research as I write. If I say something and realize I don’t know what I’m talking about a quick google search usually helps. Or I’ll ask people who know more about the topic, or, if all else fails do real research that times a lot of time…
Mindi Scott, Published Author
I research for all of my novels. For the major topic of a book (say, alcoholism, grief, or sexual abuse), I’ll do a ton of research before I start writing. Then I’ll do even more research while I’m working on the draft. But I also research every tiny thing that might or might not go into the book–like whether Twizzlers contain Red 40, what’s required of a baseball shortstop, how long it takes to drive from Sedona to Las Vegas, what time the sun goes down on February 28th, etc.
Steph Campbell, Published Author
I think that because I write more character-based stories, rather than heavily plot-based, I don’t research a ton. I have several unfinished manuscripts that have required a lot of research. I didn’t stop working on them because of the research required, more because I didn’t hear the particular characters voice and moved on to something I felt more strongly about. The book that I am working on now is definitely requiring a lot more research than some of my other works.
Christa Desir, Pre-Published Author
I research tons of stuff. But my research is sort of hilarious because it’s like hanging out in a skate park or talking to my friends who have been to crack houses. I obviously had worked in sexual assault for over a decade before I wrote Fault Line. A lot of my research involves me texting teenage betas and asking them things like “Have you ever heard of Beevis and Butthead”?
Do you do much research before you write?