The Big Reveal

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 much research for your novels?


Valerie Cole, Agented Author
I love to research. It’s my favorite part of writing. I usually research before, during, and after (to check, double, and triple check).

Jay Bendt, Un-agented Author
No, not yet, although I think that’s a definite possibility.


Mark Koopmans, Un-agented Author
LOL… that’s one of the reasons WIP#1 took so long. (I co-wrote a memoir about Donald Braswell, a former opera singer who lost his voice.) For WIP#2, I am writing first and researching later… I am *truly* scared I will use research as an excuse NOT to write, so I want to finish the first draft and then will correct all my mistakes. (But at least I will then have a first draft and not two chapters!)

Eileen Cook, Published Author
I love research- and not just because it’s a great way to procrastinate. I’d be writing- but first I need to do all this research. I’ve never done a historical novel that’s required a huge amount of research, but with every book there has been some. My next book has a character who is adopted so I spent quite a bit of time talking to teens who were adopted, reading about it, etc.

Kelley Lynn, Published Author
Most of my novels needed some research. A lot of the Contemporary ones need research on the places in the story. My Science Fiction one needed a lot of research on outer space. That one was super cool and even though I don’t know a whole lot, I know more than I did. (And hopefully it sounds like my MC knows EVERYTHING 🙂 ). My thriller needed some research too because it takes place in Chicago and I know a good amount about the location, but not a ton. Plus I’ve never been in trouble with the FBI so I had to research how all of that worked.

Ironically, the only novel that didn’t’ need research is the one that’s currently published…haha.

Lara Schiffbauer, Published Author
I started a novel that I had to research the location and facts about a manuscript I was using in the story, and I did that before I started writing. For Finding Meara, I researched as I went along. I was already familiar with most of what was in the book, so I could write along until I got stuck.


Chloe Banks, Agented Author
I don’t do historical novels or anything like that, but all novels require some research. I do a bit before I write Draft One, then at the end of that I know how much more I need to do. My first novel required me to know about the major abstract art movements which I knew nothing about so that was really interesting to learn. My current novel requires me to know about the system of points and signalling on British railways – not so fascinating!


Have you ever written a novel that required a lot of research?

12 Responses

  1. I enjoy writing novels based on worlds I create. For me the less research the better. But if you have to do lots of research, you have to buckle down and do it. Hey Mark!

  2. I do some. Usually after I’ve written or when I run into a question during my writing. But I’ve never done a ton.

    I have a couple story ideas and they’ll need more research that needs to be done prior to writing.

  3. I research as I go, but am ALWAYS researching something. I don’t know how you can write a novel without researching something new. You’d have to be a total brain with a photographic memory and some teleconnectic abilities. 😉

  4. It really depends on what I’m working on. Sometimes I do a bit of research into the initial idea and then I get on with the writing, making notes along the way to go back and check this or look into that when the first or second draft is done. Once in awhile, I will stop the writing to research a point but only if I’m feeling blocked and unable to move on with the story because of it.

  5. Rachel Schieffelbein

    So far I haven’t had to do much research for the mss I’ve written. Other than researching how to write, of course. 😉

  6. I applaud those who do research for their novels. I HATE research, and I can thank my homework for that. However, I have had to do some slight research for my current book, but nothing overwhelming – thank goodness!

  7. What a fantastic idea! Not only asking questions that most people don’t but then getting a whole panel of people to answer. I love all the various replies, too.

  8. Yes I have done research for all my books, but I tend to write stories where the research only adds detail. It’s never the basis of my story.

  9. Almost every novel I’ve written has required research, but I really enjoy it. It gets my mojo pumping and boy does it help with the drafting.

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