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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday Thoughts on Research

My blog posts are eclectic, as anyone who follows me can attest.

My target market for my blogs are not really other authors, as there are scores of authors out there writing how-to tips on marketing, promotion, writing, editing, finding agents and publishers... and everything in between.

I've been told some people follow me for my Freaky Friday posts because they like science and technology. Others enjoy my Tuesday Teasers where I provide an excerpt from one of my books... And others like to know what I'm working on next, which I reveal in Work-in-Progress Wednesdays.

My Monday Musings and Thursday Thoughts are often based on research I've performed. I love learning and when I am not actively learning something new, I feel as though I'm not growing.

My latest book, The Pendulum Files (to be released in March 2014) required a lot of research into cargo ships, exporting goods from China to the United States, military technology... and even the control room of an American submarine.

It's easy to be misled on the Internet. So I look for sites I know I can trust: libraries, government agencies, universities, historical societies, and museums, to name a few. If I want to know what new technology is being developed for the military, I go to the websites of agencies and contractors that are developing them. We've all seen the drone technology - but have you heard yet of exoskeletons for the military? Or robotic soldiers?

Yes, I write fiction. But my readers count on me to have checked the technical accuracy of my books. I know writers who simply use their imagination; that might have worked at one time, but in this golden age of knowledge, readers expect more.

What do you think about a writer's research? Do you like their books to be so close to the truth that the plot is totally believable? Or do you overlook the details in a book?