In which I answer the twelve questions that I am most frequently asked and recommend a book for that hard-to-buy-for person on your holiday list.
FIFTH DAY OF BOOKMAS
Question # 5: How do you research your stories?
I’m a former librarian – there are no ex-librarians – so that part of me likes to get the small stuff right. I use the Internet but I don’t depend on it, especially when it comes to obscure details. I prefer books written by authors who have credentials in their field and, of course, I love primary sources when I can find them. Still, there is a risk of getting bogged down in the research. It’s a balancing act.
In addition to satisfying my desire to get the details right I often discover cool plot ideas along the way. For example, when I was researching Victorian-era photography I discovered that almost every amateur photographer kept a bottle of cyanide in the darkroom. As you can imagine, lethal “accidents” were common. It wasn’t hard to spin a murder mystery out of that small factoid.
Day 5 Book Recommendation for Holiday Gifting:
My brother, Steve, likes novels of action and adventure that are based on solid research. He favors fast-paced books in which the authors get the facts right so I asked him for a recommendation for other readers who demand a similar high standard of accuracy in their adventure fiction. He suggests the Isaac Bell series by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott. The latest title in the series:
Released: November 29th 2016
Published by Berkley
When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.
Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.
After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…
When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way...