Friday, December 19, 2014

The Joys of Research by Regan Black

Back in school, research was a boring necessity. Like most kids who don’t understand what they’re missing, I’d procrastinate until the last possible moment, and then I had to rush past the points that caught my attention to finish the project on time. What can I say? Google didn’t exist and while I loved everything about libraries, I preferred researching topics that interested me rather than those that were assigned. 

Now, as an author of contemporary romantic suspense as well as paranormal romance and urban fantasy adventures, research days make me giddy. I love all the possibilities that open up as I explore those few corners of the world I know well, those I’ve never seen, and those places that are completely fictional.

While co-writing The Hunk Next Door with my friend and mentor, Debra Webb, we researched several locations as we fine-tuned the plot of our story. We wanted a port, a small town, proximity to major cities, and oh yeah, a local holiday tradition to set the mood. In fiction all of those elements can be adjusted, but it gave us a starting point and after a fabulous research day with Google Earth, Belclare, Maryland was born.

In similar fashion, researching an established city like Austin, Texas required time, effort and more than a little fun as Debra and I worked out the details that would bring the setting of our next book, Against the Wall, to life for readers. Music, history, food, and that bigger-than-life Texas spirit shine through as Jane Clayton and Dylan Parker, a Protector and investigator from the Guardian Agency, navigate the city to find her father’s killer.

For me, research is all about finding what makes a setting or character tick, be it the villain or the heroine. It’s about showing what makes an area or problem significant within the story so the reader can take that ride for the duration of the story. And that makes for productive, enjoyable days at ‘work’. 

Too bad I can’t go back and assure my younger self that research gets better with time, experience, and the freedom to choose which adventure to explore next.

If you need a romance to warm up your holiday season, try The Hunk Next Door or Against the Wall and look for Too Far Gone in January!

Live the adventure!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...