I often worry that the authorities will someday look at my browsing history and decide I'm a menace to society.
I imagine them breaking down my door, confiscating my computer, and leading me away in handcuffs as my neighbors gawk and gossip.
My defense, I've already decided, sounds a bit flimsy. "I was doing research for a book."
When I was writing THE FIRST VICTIM I researched serial killers and pistachio muffins. (Yes, some research is incredibly difficult, but there comes a time when you just have to bite the bullet...or in this case the muffin.)
I also asked too many questions of a former FBI agent and a forensic psychologist.
For CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN I spent a lot of time researching guns and prison visits.
I also spent endless hours reading up on the diets of lizards....don't ask.
Right now I'm working on a book that has had me searching out information on meth labs (did you know people now "cook" it in cars???)
and how to remove blood and other bodily fluids.
Now, I'll tell you my dirty little secret. This research, this suspicious activity that could land me in jail or worse, I don't enjoy doing it. BUT...you knew that was coming, right? BUT research is a necessary evil. Understanding how things work, gettign all those little details right, are what sells a story. The reader needs those details to believe in the world the author is creating.
I sometimes wonder if less dry research would be more enjoyable. The FBI's Citizen's Academy looks like fun, as does a police ride-along, or maybe I should just take myself to the nearest firing range and pop off a couple rounds.
If you're a reader, do you appreciate it when an author gets the little details right? If you're a writer, what's the strangest thing you've looked up/done in the name of research?