Research. I hate it.
Except when I love it. For the most part, research frustrates me. I’m never sure I’m getting accurate information, and that’s even if I’m lucky enough to find what I’m looking for. More often than not, I end up sidetracked onto something mildly interesting. An hour, or hours, later I realize I should be writing, so I jump back into the manuscript and find a gaping hole. Oh yeah, that research I was going to do. Whoops. And back I go again.
That’s the frustrating part of research. But sometimes it all just clicks. You find what you’re looking for and then some. Today I was researching some old myths for the second book in my relic seekers series and I remembered a picture I had seen online a few days ago. It took me a while to remember where I had found the picture, but when I did, and when I read the history behind the picture, OMG! I was blown away. I had found the perfect thing that fit into my plot like pieces of a puzzle falling into place. And the more I researched, the better it got.
I was excited about the story before, but now I’m feeling that raw joy I used to have before I had to face writing deadlines and a lack of personal reading time. The beautiful thing was that I had even inadvertently laid the groundwork for this new plot twist in the first book, Guardians of Stone. By now, I’m rubbing my hands together in glee. Not my usual reaction or result from research, but hopefully the second book in the relic seekers will be better for it.
Guardians of Stone is the first book in the series. It’s described as Indiana Jones meets Stephanie Plum. A feisty heroine with a sixth sense, and two sexy heroes, a mercenary, and a dark, eccentric billionaire are on a hunt for four paranormal relics that could change their lives…and the course of history. This story has all the elements I love. Powerful relics, mysterious curses, catacombs, myths and legends, ghosts, and two alpha male heroes that the heroine will have to choose between. Another exciting thing about this series is that it’s gotten movie interest from some big studios. So I have my fingers crossed.
And for my readers who like their alpha males in kilts, I have a new Connor Clan story. This one is a novella, a prequel to Awaken the Highland Warrior.
Faelan: A Highland Warrior Brief. Faelan Connor was the most powerful warrior the clan had known, until a demon locked him in a time vault where he slept for 150 years while he waited to save the world and meet his destined mate. You know how his story ends. Now we’ll travel back to the 19th century and experience Faelan’s journey through his eyes. We’ll find out how he became the Mighty Faelan and if it’s possible that he met Bree before she was born. And for the first time, we’ll find out what really happened inside the time vault.
Research, love it or hate it, it’s a necessary evil or a playground, depending on the day. Today was a good day, but I’m always curious how other writers do their research. Does anyone have any tips for researching accurately without getting overwhelmed or sidetracked? I need help!
One commenter will win an autographed copy of Guardians of Stone.
WINNER ANNOUNCED – Patricia G.- congrats!
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney writes mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense, including the bestselling Connor Clan series. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory, a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and has been a secretary, executive assistant, and a real estate agent. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia.