Monday, March 9, 2015

DEFYING REASON

Please welcome Elizabeth Seckman, author of Defying Reason. Today she's sharing part of her writing journey with us.
 
UNIQUE RESEARCH
 
There is always something in a book that needs researched that a reference book or Google search just doesn't quite cover.

In the first book of the Coulter men series (Past Due), I needed to know if the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was turned off during its move inland. None of the articles written on the subject mentioned whether or not it glowed, so I called people who lived on the island to get the answer. Which was no, it didn't glow.

For book two in the Coulter men series (Healing Summer), I wanted to know where a traveler could get lunch in one of the tiny half-horse Montana towns. While we vacationed in the region, I would ask cashiers and clerks, and on more than one occasion, someone offered to whip up some food.

For book three in the Coulter men series (Fate Intended), I needed some dirty words translated into Russian, so I hired a translator.

And for the fourth book in the Coulter men series (Defying Reason), I needed to know the rules on phone calls in and out of jail. Fortunately, a single shout out on Facebook had my inbox filled with real life prison contact stories.

For me, one of the funnest parts of writing the story is the unique research required by each one.

The Blurb:

Jo Leigh Harper comes from a long line of trouble-making, white trash stock.
Tanner Coulter comes from a longer line of wealth-creating, blue blood stock.
Jo graduated college top of her class, moving toward a future full of possibilities.
Tanner dropped out of college, trading a law degree for drinking games and one night stands.
A family crisis throws the rich party boy and the poor genius girl together. The attraction is immediate, though neither one is a heart-in-the-sand-drawing believer in true love. But as the summer sun heats up along the shores of the Outer Banks, so does the connection between them. Maybe, just maybe, they can win at love by defying reason.

 
Author Bio:

Elizabeth is a multi-published author of books for people who are believers in happily-ever- after, true love, and stories with a bit of fun and twists with their plots. The mother of four young men, she tackles laundry daily and is the keeper of the kitchen. She lives along the shores of the Ohio River in West Virginia, but dreams daily of the beach. 
 
 
 

What avenues have you pursued for your research?
Please share your Unique Research story.
 
 

24 comments:

  1. I sometimes think research is the best part of writing! Hard to let it go sometimes. But it pays off. You don't want people putting your book aside because your 'facts' are wrong. Your series sounds intriguing Elizabeth.

    Hi Yolanda!

    Denise

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    1. Thanks Denise! Yes, getting research blatantly wrong will make me put a book down. I once grabbed a story that was supposed to take place in West Virginia (where I live) and on the first page, the story was supposed to take place on a dusty ranch with long horn cattle. In WV, we have farms and we cut the horns off the cattle. I think the writer confused us with Texas.

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  2. Nothing beats asking a real person for an answer.
    Although the response to your jail question is a little scary.

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    1. Yep, an awfully lot of people with family in the pokey.

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  3. I hope the NSA isn`t looking at some of my google searches lol

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    1. I hear ya! I looked up how to make Napalm and stealing identities in the same day.

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  4. I have read every one of these books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I love the way you do your research Liz.

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  5. Thanks for having me over Yolanda!!

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    1. My pleasure Elizabeth, I enjoy research and love a great romance! Continued good luck!

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  6. Yay for Elizabeth! I love doing all the weird research, and shouting out like you did often produces tremendous results. Today I was researching dental tools and procedures for my newest novel, and I realized I'm so fortunate never to have anything really wrong with my teeth! *LOL*

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    1. So true Christine, I was researching the sound a gun makes when you fire it, and when you cock it. Amazing the things you can find online!

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  7. the move of Cape Hatteras was quite fascinating. I love the Outer banks. I go there to sketch and paint.

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  8. Wow Elizabeth is everywhere! Sometimes research can be so much fun. But with my stories I'm a little nervous sometimes that the FBI could be following me LOL.

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    1. Hey Julie, from what I understand they are! :)

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  9. I agree. Research always plops something on the plate I hadn't anticipated, and I always learn something new. I love research. My first novel was over 700 pages and my mentor said, "I get it. You're in love with your research, but you have to cut at least half of this page count." I almost cried. But I learned how to weave the research into the story better and how to filter what is necessary to the story not to me. Thanks for having Elizabeth on your blog today Yolanda!

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    1. Lisa, I could easily write 700 pages. Such fun, but readers really hate that don't they. Fickle readers. :)

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  10. Research sounds complicated but good writers put forth the effort. It pays off in the story.

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  11. It would've been fun to research that lighthouse. :) When I had to do research about earthquakes and California, I checked a bunch of books out at the library and then had someone who lives in California to read a few scenes to see if I wrote them accurately.

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    1. Chrys, the research is great from a distance especially for earthquakes and hurricanes! :)

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  12. I'm a research freak. It's so easy to fall into a research rabbit hole, but I enjoy every minute of it. The Internet has an almost endless supply of info... when researching the existence of a girls' reform school in MD in the late '50s, early '60s, I even found and joined a discussion group for women who'd actually spent time there during that time period! They've provided me with a huge amount of information. I, um, won't say anything about all the stuff I've researched online about homemade explosives, etc. I have a feeling NSA has its eye on me.

    As far as in-person research, my hubby and I visited a tony development in a former factory in Baltimore. Since I had one of my characters live in it, I figured it'd be a good idea to see what it looked like with my own eyes. Fun!

    Your books sound terrific. Time for me to get onboard and read them! (I'm a huge fan of happy endings.)

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    1. Susan, just like I told Julie, I think they already do! :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by - love your comments! Happy endings are my favorite too, there's just too much misery in the world as it is.

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