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Friday, August 24, 2007

Research and the Writer

First, before I start my topic of the morning, I want to announce that I fixed my email settings and I can now send email again! Hurrah! It was a pain to figure out, but after checking out the help screen on my cable provider's website, all is well. Yes, yes, I know, but I have a motto: If all else fails, read the directions. All else failed.

Okay, now let me talk about research. I love being a writer. Not just because I love telling stories, but because I never know what I'm going to be learning next. Like for The Power of Two where I dealt with quantum brain nanotechnology. I had some basic information on nanotech because I'd found it interesting years earlier, but I had to really dig in deeper than I'd gone years previously.

When I worked on Through a Crimson Veil, I read up on demons--and found some scary stuff that I never want to find again. I've had to tread into this territory again with my Light Warriors series, only this time around, the demons are the bad guys, not the h/h. I've also been researching for Shona and Logan--gemstones, dragons, etc.

But I think my latest research takes the prize. For the last two weeks I've been reading about quantum mechanics, string theory and M theory. It's fascinating stuff, but if you'd asked me two years ago, heck, even one year ago, if I had any interest in reading on this topic, I would have said no way! I've barely scratched the surface, but I think I'm reaching a point where I need to home in on what I specifically need to know for the idea I'm tossing around.

I even research little facts, things I end up not even needing to know. For example, in In the Midnight Hour, my h/h fly to LA. I looked up the kind of aircraft NWA flies between MSP and LAX on the computer at work. I never used it. If you read the book, you'll see that there's absolutely no mention whether or not the plane is a wide body (2 aisles) or a narrow body (1 aisle). All I mention is how they had middle seats and couldn't sit together. I do this constantly, research little tiny facts that either don't get spelled out or don't really matter anyway. Shrug. I can't help it. I want my work to be "right" unless I choose to deviate.

To round back to my point, this is one of the reasons why I'm almost never bored. If I'm not listening to the people in my head, I'm reading up on a huge variety of topics. From pyramids to demons to nanotechnology to M theory. Wow. And who knows what it'll be next. How totally cool is this? Yes, I am a complete geek and I loved school. :-) I like the fact that I get to learn new things with every book. Even if quantum mechanics makes my head hurt.