Currently working on: A YA paranormal series with kids with special psychic powers
Mood: Very excited as the RWA National convention is only one week away!
I write contemporaries and romantic suspense with a futuristic bent. One would think these two genres don’t require much research, but I always find I need to do some anyway. In my contemporaries I’m often doing research on places. For the most part I write about places I know, like
Clothing is an area where I am very challenged. I know nothing about design and anyone who knows me can attest to that in my personal attire. So, when it’s time to pick clothing for my characters I use catalogs and Internet stores. I’ll find models dressed in something I like or think fits my characters and describe that. I have to keep careful notes though, because I certainly won’t remember it. Oh, and I love watching Project Runway on TV. :)
For my suspense novels I do a lot of research through interviews with people—policemen, firemen, soldiers, etc. I’m fortunate in that I have a husband and two sons who know a lot about guns, the military, law enforcement etc. One of my favorite research books for suspense is The Writer’s Complete Crime Reference Book by Martin Roth. It includes the fundamentals of investigation, criminal motives, escape methods, weapons, rules of evidence, slang used by criminals and police, and much more. It’s a great starting place and then gives me ideas of where else to do research.
Finally, for my futuristic research I primarily do a LOT of reading. I subscribe to Nature, a magazine that gives brief summaries of all types of cutting edge research from which I can extrapolate to the future. I subscribe to a number of journals or go to the library in medicine, physics, and computer science. This is where University libraries are a godsend. I also read the daily newspaper voraciously. Ideas are everywhere!