Let’s Talk with Tina Whittle
The Joys of Research
by Tina Whittle
One of the most famous pieces of writerly advice goes something like this: write what you know. So I decided to write about a woman who owns a gun shop catering to Confederate reenactors. Then I added a co-protagonist, her partner in crime and romance, a former SWAT sniper turned corporate security agent who drives a Ferrari.
I know nothing about any of these things. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Therefore, I spend a lot of my time in research. Just recently that meant learning about high end whiskey and bartending grifts (for “Liquor, Larceny, and the Ordinal Classification of Courtship Rituals”), less-then-lethal use of force and the dietary preferences of donkeys (for the upcoming Necessary Ends), and best practices during a bank robbery (for my as-yet-unnamed work in progress).
Research is a rabbit hole for me. I find so many fascinating tidbits that I must watch myself or I’ll waste hours happily wandering in Trivia Land. And of course I immediately want to use all of these bits in a story or novel. Also impossible.
So here are a couple of fascinating trivia bits that I’ve learned over the past few weeks (none of which are scheduled to be in a book, alas, but who knows? Maybe one day!):
• Deep in the heart of Amish country, there is a design studio that builds live stage sets for U2, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift.
• The Library of Congress keeps an archive of every single tweet ever tweeted.
• Human infants develop cooperative communication skills more like dogs do than chimpanzees.
• A man was recently convicted of murder partly on the evidence provided by his victim’s Fitbit.
What fascinating thing have you learned recently? Share in the comments for a chance to win a pre-release Kindle copy of Necessary Ends, coming in April!
While you’re at Booklover’s Bench, visit our contest page for a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy tablet! The contest runs from Feb 1-18 — click here to enter!
Posted in Let's Talk, with Tina Whittle, zed: Former Authors • Tags: BLB Discussion, Let's Talk, research, Tina Whittle | 6 Comments