Hi everybody! I’m so excited to be included on this blog, in the company of such amazing authors. Since this is my first post, I wanted to very briefly introduce myself. My name is Wendy Toliver, and my first Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy, The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, is coming out this December.
In the meantime, I’m busy working on a new book, and I’ve run into a few things I need to research.
Research. The word conjures up all sorts of images, and most of them are unpleasant. Sitting in a dusty library surrounded by walls of books, cooped up in your room surfing the Internet and hoping what you find is factual and not someone’s prank to the world, making phone calls to other parts of the country when you’d rather be chatting with your BFF.
So I do everything in my power to make my research actually fun. For example, if a character is going to do something I’ve never done before, I try it out. In one of my books, a character of mine takes snowboarding lessons. So, just to make sure everything was totally legit, I learned how to snowboard. Another fun way to research is to go somewhere, like on a vacation. Many authors do this to get the right feeling of a place they recreate in their books. One of my stories takes place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I’ve been there a million times, but once I started writing about it, it was amazing how many details started popping out at me. Another way I make research fun is talking to people in the know. This came in very handy with The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren when I needed my neighbor who’s a nurse to help me realistically create a hospital-based scene.
And what about watching TV, movies, or reading novels for research? That’s not so terrible, now is it?
So my question for you today is this: What do you do to make research ( for a book, a school report, an article, etc.) fun? Have you ever learned something that has contributed to the project you’re researching AND something else in your life?