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Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Author Insight: Research (Yes, I Googled it.)

What is the weirdest thing you've researched for a novel, and did it spark any sketchy Google searches?

"Oh God, if my Google history is ever laid bare for the world to see, I am screweeeeed. Probably the rotting. I do a lot of research into body rot. Alternately, the weapons research - which may or may not be connected to the body rot." - Lia Habel, author of Dearly Departed.

"It isn't weird, except I'm a forty-year-old dude... I was going to have one of my female characters be a cheerleader, so I researched cheerleader outfits and... uh, apparently there's some kind of serious naked cheering cheerleader fetish out there.  Yeah, very, very uncomfortable (my kids were hanging out in the living room).  I decided not to make Abby a cheerleader after that." - Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast.

"Thank goodness for Google. If I had to ask someone all the things that I've looked up online... for example, 'What does it feel like to be stabbed?' And "How many pints of blood can you drain from someone before they pass out?"

My new book, Drink, Slay, Love, is about vampires and were-unicorns. So my Google searches tended to turn up a fair amount of blood and gore, as well as lots of unicorn/virgin jokes of dubious taste. But I did discover a set of unicorn-head-shaped corn-on-the-cob holders that I totally want..." - Sarah Beth Durst, author of Drink, Slay, Love.
"Oh, I haven’t researched anything very strange…yet. I did spend a lot of time examining Victorian ladies’ undergarments." - Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked.

"Hmm -- the weirdest search results probably came when I researched pregnant virgins. Not the information about Mary and other virgin mothers in history, but contemporary stories. (One infertile, celibate woman who became pregnant by not eating food for years. Uh...?)" - Marianna Baer, author of Frost.

"Heh. Not weird so much as incendiary. Given all I knew about nuclear waste storage facilities and how much more I know now? Or that search into how to construct the perfect e-bomb?

Well, you hear that plane buzzing overhead?

Camera’s trained right on my house." - Ilsa Bick, author of Ashes. 

"The only two I can think of off the top of my head is the research I did for strangulation and also how to break out of a locked floor safe!" - Angie Frazier, author of The Eternal Sea.

  "I did a lot of voodoo research for the Megan Berry, Zombie Settler books. Also, I've written a lot of fight scenes, so I've done my share of searches to find out what it feels like to get punched in different places. That's the kind of info I prefer to get second hand." - Stacey Jay, author of Juliet Immortal.
"Oh, man. That's difficult to remember. I research weird things every day! That's my favorite part of the job. The sketchier, the better." - Stephanie Perkins, author of Lola & the Boy Next Door.
"For a ghostwriting project years ago I had to research slaughterhouses. It was pre-Wiki, and I didn’t even get much on Google, which was still pretty new. Turns out not many people want to talk to you about how cattle is slaughtered for your Big Mac. Shocker." - Amy Garvey, author of Cold Kiss.
"I Google all kinds of things that have probably put me on every security watch list out there.  Blood spatter patterns, different kinds of poisons, how best to strangle someone to death.  If anyone I know ever ends up dead, I'm so going to be the prime suspect.  But the strangest thing I've ever researched is probably how to break into and hot wire a car.  It's shockingly easy to do.  I installed an alarm on my car after that." - Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool.

  "Once I was looking up Cheetara (the cartoon from Thunder Cats) and didn’t have my safe-search on and got some really racy Cheetara wannabe’s. Also, researching mermaids got me into trouble once too. Anytime I have to check out some slang in the urban dictionary, I’m always in for an eyeful. It’s the innocent searches that end up in disaster and I want to bleach my eyes." - Brena Pandos, author of The Emerald Talisman.

"Well, I am researching all the time, but it has not taken me into sketchy territory—not yet, anyway.  Gosh, does that make me sound boring. But then again, I am researching things like the price of oranges in 1871, the infiltration of the Spanish Civil War, the history of the rumba, and the height of Centennial buildings with overlooking views.  Perhaps the wildest research that I have yet done was into the lives of urban explorers.  I spent about three months rooting around their videos and web sites in preparation for writing You Are My Only.  Only about 1/500th of what I found there ended up in the book — in a few paragraphs that have nothing to do with urban exploring." - Beth Kephart, author of You are My Only.

Find out Tuesday what mark the authors hope to leave on the world!

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