on Career Authors:
When people ask me how I research my Kinship Historical Mysteries—inspired by Ohio’s true first female sheriff in 1925—I share the following anecdote.
When I was drafting The Widows (Book 1 of the series), my husband asked me during an evening stroll how the writing was going.
“Oh, it’s so hard right now!” I exclaimed.
“Character motivation? Plot snarls?” he asked. (Note: He’s a statistician, not a writer. But whereas I have picked up nothing from him about statistics over the course of our marriage, he’s learned a bit of writerly lingo.)
“No, no,” I replied. “I spent all day trying to figure out exactly what kind of egg beater Sheriff Lily would have used back in 1925!”
A long pause ensued.
And then Dear Husband gently asked… “Couldn’t she have used… a fork?”
I share this anecdote to illustrate how easy it is to get caught up in researching details, or even to use research as a way to procrastinate actually, well, writing.
Properly researched details do matter in every genre, whether you’re writing historical or contemporary fiction. But remember—you’re a fiction writer, not a professional researcher. So how can you thoroughly research your novel’s background without sabotaging your precious writing time and energy?
Try these tips: