Know Your Shit or Wing It? by Gina Fluharty

This month it’s all about research. Hopefully, we’ll all have discovered something cool during our explorations for our books.

Some writers wing it. That’s fine and dandy but I’ll tell you this—I’m not their reader.

I prefer to know my shit. Not for nothin’, I’m an educated reader and I have a nose for bullshit. I should. My dad is a born bullshitter, so I learned at the knee of the best. I can smell a lie like a fart in a confessional so when an author is trying to write about subject matter that just isn’t so, I check out and put that book down. If you’re writing about a cop, you better go talk to an actual cop. If you’re writing about a dyspeptic dentist, you better know the consequences of that. If your hero is a mechanic that’s all thumbs and no brains but still manages to fix a multi-million dollar crane, he’d better have a fucking grease money fairy in his bibs.

Well, Gina? What lengths have you gone to in your research, you may be asking. I’m friends with a retired Sheriff from a major county in the greater Portland area. We have coffee and he lets me quiz him like a game-show contestant. My brother-from-another-mother is an expert in martial arts and we talk about the entire spectrum of knock-down, fight-for-your-life fights. He’s also a voracious book-whore and lets me pilfer his library.

Best thing I’ve found in my research? A book of curses. And yes, I plan to use them. Settle down, settle down. In a book, of course.

Readers—what do you like to take away from a story?
Authors—what are some of your research joys?

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About Gina Fluharty

Author of paranormal romance. Like chocolate, I like the darker side of love. It's okay, you can hold my hand as I walk you into the heart of darkness in order to show you the light inside. It's time to embrace the beast within.

Posted on May 1, 2014, in General and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Make sure you aim those curses at inert targets, Gina! I’d hate to think what we might find lurking in the wilds of Portland if they should go awry — something worthy of a Grimm episode perhaps? Or wait…the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters springs to mind.

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  2. Great post, Gina!!!!!!!!!!!

    My favorite research was traveling to Romania and visiting the original Dracula castle that now sits in ruins on top of a ridge. You have to actually hike up to the castle. I will never forget climbing up the side of the mountain. Oh the tales that hatched with each step. I swear I could almost see the Turkish soldiers down in the valley below and when I stood the tower at the end of the cliff, I felt Dracula’s wife’s presence. It’s as if she still haunts the place where she leaped choosing death over being captured by the barbarians ready to overtake the castle. And thus the Vampire Novelist was birthed.

    PS. 2nd most favorite research is chatting it up with the supervisor of the morgue at the hospital where I work at. I swear he stepped right out of a horror novel.

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  3. Jessie Smith

    Awesome post Gina! I love Jessa’s idea and I’m glad you know the VP of Programming 🙂

    I am always seeking useful nuggets of information which I store for future reference. But I’m also bummed when I learn a belief is false. Example, there are so many movies/books where the villain inserts air from a needle into the victim and it stops their heart. Then I became diabetic and had to take insulin by needle. I was so scared about air bubbles and the insulin instructor was very polite when informing me that wasn’t accurate.

    There you go, a belief debunked.

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  4. Ooh, let’s book your martial arts brother for a workshop! It’d be fabulous to be able to ask him questions. Plus, he could demonstrate 🙂

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  5. Diet Mountain Dew snorted out my nose when I read “dyspeptic dentist.” 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the book of curses.

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