Research and Reminders

I have been heavily revising and editing my YA horror Phobic, about a girl who finds out the truth about the murder her mother committed and also has a haunted house, and I just want to give a shout out to my awesome CP's:  Morgan Shamy, Elizabeth Briggs, Anne Pfeffer, and Juliana Brandt. You guys--there are no words. What would I do without you?

Most of the research I do for my writing is online. Thank you, Google! I've never really done any in person, aside from asking my brother who works in the ER and my other brother who is an ex-cop, and my other brother who is in the military. 

Anyway, there is a scene in my book where the fire department is on hand and Liz was like---are you sure? Cuz that does NOT seem like it would happen. (Don't want to give away too much, since it's kinda the FINAL scene.)

I had the thought as I was writing it too, whether it was believable or not. SO NOT BELIEVABLE. So then I had to do something a little scary. I called the fire department!!! Aaah! Okay, so it wasn't that scary. The fire chief was a little surprised when I told him I was writing a book and needed to check a fact, but he was more than willing to go along with it. And I felt so proud afterward! I'm an OFFICIAL FACT CHECKER FOR MY WRITING!!!

Have you guys ever done any in-person research? Was it scary at all or fun?

Also, a reminder!!! The bloghop I'm co-hosting with Theresa Paolo starts on Thursday! If you haven't already, sign up below! We hope you'll join in on the fun!!! Here's the link to the original post, it's going to be a blast! Get your shelved WIP's ready, guys!! :D



19 comments

elizabeth seckman said...

I cold called some people who live on the Outer Banks (just pick a few from the phone book at random) to get a general idea of the opinions of locals about travelers, the movement of the light etc.
People are surprisingly eager to help!

Joanna said...

I bet you made that fire chiefs day!

I spent a day at a therapeutic riding stables on Long Island during my vacation in the US last summer as research for a chapter book!

Avery Marsh said...

You're a lot braver than I am. The only research I've done so far is via google. I need to talk to an actual doctor about some hypotheticals, but I'm too chicken to call them. I feel like they're too busy saving real people to talk about fictional characters. At the same time, the medical aspect of the story is pretty integral to rest of the plot, so if it's totally implausible I need to know before I invest even more time in it.

Cortney Pearson said...

Good for you! Yeah, I think they're eager too! It's kind of fun!!

Cortney Pearson said...

Wow, cool, that sounds like fun!

Cortney Pearson said...

I totally hear you with that! I'd be scared to call a doctor too!! And what would we do without Google?

Morgan said...

Oh my gosh! Cort, you DIDN'T!!!! LOL!

Man. With Westridge, I did take a couple out to dinner whose son went to a military-like rehab facility. They were SO helpful and open with the insides of the facility and what went on and etc. I couldn't have written the story without that research! :D

Cassie Mae said...

That's awesome!!!! Ya, I'd never have the guts to do that, lol. I'd just rewrite the scene, haha!

Jaime Morrow said...

Um, I'm wondering why you didn't invite the firemen over to pick their brains. I mean, have you seen those guys?! :P That's cool that you called them up to fact check, though. Good for you! :)

Jenny Morris said...

I haven't had to but that is SO cool. Your brothers sound like mine. Military, cop and ex-EMT/ex-cop now lawyer. Onsite research could be fun if it included firemen. ;0)

Doreen McGettigan said...

I am so sorry about the Zippidy-doo-dah...its been in my head all day too! I wrote a true story about a murder. I wanted to get the trial facts 100% correct so I searched through case files in a storage trailer, in 90 degree weather, for hours each day for 5 days. It was mainly boring, with occasional shocking finds that kept me digging. The files were not in order so it was a pain to put the timeline together. My next book, also a true story takes place partly in Phoenix. I went there in January to research the area. I love the name of your book...

Suzi said...

I went to talk to a police detective about one of my WIPs. I'm glad I did, because he told me a few things I didn't know. It was hard, and I was nervous, but he was pretty nice. I know I'll have to do that type of thing again.

Leigh Covington said...

hahahaha! I love that you called the fire department! That's freaking awesome. I wish I could have watched the Fire Chief for that phone call. Would have been awesome. I bet he's flattered! Keep it up girl! :)

Cynthia said...

That's awesome that you contacted the fire department- it's good to get accurate details!

For my last WIP, I sought out a number of people to interview. One of them was a paramedic, who told me that they often arrive to their scenes in fire trucks (which I thought about when you mentioned the fire department in your post)as opposed to actual ambulances, which is what you often see in TV and the movies.

Tara Tyler said...

my in person research was with my neighbor, nothing scary. she gave me some great info about india & translated a few lines for me since my characters pop over there for a chapter =)

Kelley Lynn said...

That is so cool Cortney! You go girl!

I actually just met a writer in person (my first in person writer friend! Ah! :)) haha) and we got to talking and she knows an astronomer. My book relies heavily on astronomy, the stars, etc and she said she'd be more than happy to ask her friend to look over a few spots to make sure my facts were correct. I'm kinda nervous, but at least I won't have to worry about anything being incorrect! :)

I'm SO pumped for the bloghop :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey Courtney,

That was the cutest post I have read in a long time... I could so imagine you getting off the phone with the fire chief and pumping a YES! fist into the air :)

Your book sounds great and if Morgan is a CP... you is in wonderful hands :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Ah Knickers... I knew I misspelt your name as soon as I hit click... sorry :)

(I have a male buddy whose last name is Courtney, so I was thinking about him as I wrote "your" name :)

Lordy Lord, what a plonker I am :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Not in person. I've emailed an ex-cop friend and asked him questions, and I'm glad I did. His info changed the scene. Made it more realistic.

I have to be careful with my research because I live in Canada and write stories that take place in the States. While there are similarities between the two countries, there are also a lot of differences. I have to keep that in mind when I do research.

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