With each new WIP, I inevitably go off on tangents researching. Sometimes I’ll do this on the front end, sometimes just as the need arises. But I always end up finding out new and interesting things, which totally fits my personality as a trivia hound. This would be why no one in my family or among my group of friends is willing to play Trivial Pursuit with me. Which is really sad, as I really love Trivial Pursuit (beyond the fact that I usually win…really). My years writing romantic suspense left me with a solid knowledge of police procedure, forensics, forensic psychology, and even a bit of forensic anthropology. I have a shelft in my bookcases that might well be called the Shelf of Murder, as that’s where all my research texts on the subject are. Anyone who didn’t now I’m a writer would probably be really horrified and puzzled as to why I have a copy of Practical Homicide Investigation.
Hunted in Shadow didn’t have nearly as much research as a lot of my past work simply because I did so much worldbuilding myself. I did research on wolf packs and wolf behavior, psychopharmacology of barbiturates, seizures, and who gives out ID cards to people who don’t/can’t drive (FYI, it’s still the DMV).
For this novella, I’ve already started my random research. Hospitals in Las Vegas. Trying to figure out the procedure of what happens when someone turns up with amnesia. And learning the details about mixed martial arts and UFC matches.
That was what I did yesterday. Spent about 2 hours watching YouTube clips from Ultimate Fighting Championship matches. See my amnesiac hero in this novella becomes a UFC fighter in the ten years that elapse between Chapters 1 and 2. I know a bit about this because my husband enjoys UFC and we both have martial arts backgrounds (it was actually how we met, in an online interest group for martial arts). I’ve had a bit of training in taekwondo, aikido, and jujitsu, though I never made it to my black belt in any. Hubby has an 8th degree black belt in kempo karate. He’s very handy to consult on fight scenes. One of these days, when my life is not completely and totally insane and full of multiple jobs, I’d like to go back and finish–most likely in aikido, as I felt it suited my stature best. But I digress. The point is that I have a bit of a background in this, so when I was watching these clips yesterday, I knew what I was looking at. The challenge was communicating that on paper to people (and by people I mean women, as I expect the bulk of my readers to be women–I write romance after all) who are unfamiliar with the sport and who don’t care for a nitty gritty blow by blow but need a basic foundation in what they’re looking at in the scene. Evidently I succeeded as my CP got sucked into that part of the scene well enough that she forgot to actually read it to pick it apart.
Next up on the odd research plans–military bunkers. No idea where I’ll find info on that.
What are some of the stranger things you’ve researched for a book?