Saturday’s winner is Toni Whitmire! Toni, congrats!
Email me to arrange delivery of your prize! ~DD
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If I should die… The truth about research
If I should die before I wake, I pray hide my laptop before the FBI can take…
Ask any author and she’ll agree, there are some interesting, and often frightening items in our search histories. Things that probably wouldn’t look so good to an outside observer who doesn’t realize we’re really only researching a book. Mostly, anyway. LOL
What do authors go through when researching a book? Personally, I do anything and everything I can to get what I need. At times, I basically turn into an internet stalker.
For instance, right now I’m writing Three Weeks with a Bull Rider (Oklahoma Nights, Book 3). It’s a contemporary western romance and the hero is, you guessed it, a bull rider, and the heroine is studying to work in sports medicine.
I’ll admit I do have some interesting search histories thanks to this book, but that is par for the course when writing. In just the past week, I’ve searched the following things online…and yes, for dramatic effect I’m drawing a comparison between points one and two in the book.
Size and dimensions of an average grave
- Dimensions of a bucking chute
- Degrees in Sports Medicine
- Map of Oklahoma
- SEBRA (Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association)
Probably nothing there that could get me in trouble with the FBI, unlike in the past. If my online searches while writing my military scenes for A Prince Among Men (Red, Hot & Blue series) that encompassed 1980s Soviet weapons available to insurgents in Afghanistan today didn’t land me on the Homeland Security watch list, nothing will. The clit piercing research I did for Flanked (Studs in Spurs series) was also pretty eyebrow-raising.
But Google can only get a girl so far, and that’s when the stalking begins. Do you know that the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team has a Twitter account? Guess who I’m following now? I also recently added a bunch more bull riders and bull fighters to my Twitter list.
My keeper shelf has morphed since I became a full-time writer. Now, amid those classic romances I can’t part with are little non-fiction gems such as War by Sebastian Junger. Also a memoir about a woman who spent time in a real life modern-day harem, a book that follows the lives of pro bull riders, and one written by a homicide reporter about the rash of murders of Army wives in Fayetteville, NC in the early 2000s. Right now, I have a browser open to the Journal of Neurosurgery page for a study on concussion rates in sports. Tantalizing stuff, huh? But necessary to add those layers to a story that make my fiction, resonate as real with readers.
I’ve found research helps me in the creative process as well. Sometimes searches will lead to plot ideas, or fun scenes—such as the fried bologna sandwich on the menu at Joseph’s Fine Foods in Drumright, OK that inspired a sexy scene in One Night with a Cowboy (Oklahoma Nights, Book 1) and has led to a great friendship with the restaurant’s owners. You can read all about that strange collaboration on my blog at http://catjohnson.net/2012/10/17/the-infamous-fried-bologna-scene/ .
Nope, you never know where our internet travels might lead. I guess you just have to hang on and enjoy the ride!
Look for ONE NIGHT WITH A COWBOY from Kensington Brava on preorder now for a February 26 release in both paperback and eBook!
An Oklahoma Nights Romance, Book 1
One Sweet Ride…
Oh yeah. A single look at the leggy blonde in the stands and Tucker Jenkins is
ready to buck all night long. It’s time to forget all about his cheating ex and his usual hands off policy.
One Hot Night…
Becca Hart is an East Coast professor. Not a buckle bunny. But no degree can prepare her for the moves of the sexy bull rider she hooks up with at her first rodeo … Or the shock of finding him at her first Oklahoma State University staff meeting.
One Happy Ending…
Tuck knows it’s all about holding on, no matter how wild the ride. Now he just has to convince Becca that a rough start out of the chute doesn’t mean they aren’t a smokin’ combination …
“…a sweet and hot hero you’ll want to keep around for longer than one night! Cat Johnson knows cowboys and the Oklahoma Nights series is a must read for fans of western romance.” ~ Lorelei James, NY Times Best Selling author