You know the feeling. You’re reading a novel, perfectly content, when all of a sudden, a character behaves in way that stretches your belief too far. Or the author describes a place, a profession, a period of history, or something else in a way you know isn’t accurate. For many people, that’s enough to give that book a one-way ticket to the DNF pile. In general, people want authenticity in their books.
Let me let you in on a secret. Authenticity takes work. By that I mean research. Even novels that take place in a fictional setting, or are speculative, can benefit from research.
Every author does research in a different way, and I’m honoured and excited that crime writer and fellow blogger Sue Coletta has asked me to share some of my own research experiences. And I couldn’t have a more knowledgeable host on the topic. Sue’s done thorough research for her crime novels (Pssst….you want to read them!). And many of her blog posts are devoted to helpful real-life information for crime writers. Her blog is a rich resource for facts on everything from interviewing/interrogating suspects to blood spatter, and much more. So I’m especially pleased to be invited.
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from John Denver’s Calypso.