It’s Writer Wednesday! Yes, it’s that time again when a bunch of us writer friends get together and blog about the same topic. Today we’re talking about one of an author’s favorite things:
procrastinating on the internet research!
I’m currently writing a book about a US Senator. That’s been…interesting. I knew politicians who are eyeing the White House are typically married and I had the idea that it was practically a requirement, so I decided my hero needed a wife if he had any prayer of becoming the president. But my editor questioned whether it was really true that a candidate had a better chance of being elected if married, so I did a search. Turns out only SIX presidents in our nations history were unmarried when they entered office. James Buchanan never married. Grover Cleveland married while he was president. Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and Chester Arthur were widowers when they were elected and never remarried. Seems like my hero needs a wife for sure to increase his odds!
My senator’s heroine is the chief financial officer of a cosmetic company I envision being a lot like Urban Decay or Hard Candy. I did a lot of research on both and then tried to figure out how to get her and the senator together. Of course the answer is that my heroine is bringing out a new product that requires FDA approval and voila. My guy happens to know a few people in Washington…except guess what? Turns out that cosmetics don’t need FDA approval UNLESS the company claims the product diagnoses or cures a disease, and then it’s considered a drug. Oops. Now my heroine’s product is a wrinkle-reducing lotion with healing properties and yup…she needs help because she’s never had to go through the FDA approval process before. Crisis averted! Thanks Google.
Last but not least, I needed a good conflict. My heroine, she messed up a lot as a teenager and was arrested. Not a great track record for a future Mrs. President. I had a sneaking suspicion juvenile records are sealed, but I also didn’t want her to lie about it. I hate romance conflicts where someone is being deceptive, plus I didn’t want to go through all the rigmarole of whether he was the kind of guy who’d use his influence to unseal it (he’s not, by the way). Turns out in Texas, it’s pretty easy to get juvenile records sealed if you commit a misdemeanor and a little more difficult if you commit a felony. And then my editor pointed out that if she’s just going to tell him, it’s not much of a conflict. So yeah. It’s just a small part of her past now and I had to completely redo her conflict. But I learned some stuff, which is cool.
Look for Scandalizing the Senator next year from Harlequin Desire! In the meantime, I have a book about a soccer player on the shelf now (THE PRINCESS AND THE PLAYER) and I had to research that too. But that was way more fun than doing a search because I have writer friends from England who poured out so much soccer knowledge on me, I nearly drowned! But I looked up Cristiano Ronaldo on my own because I’m thorough like that…
I’m not the only one with a new release–Check out Kristen’s new Port Provident book:
And then go check out these other great authors and their last three internet searches: