Let’s Talk with Tina Whittle

Cool Facts
by Tina Whittle

Tina with azaleasWrite what you know, they say (they being smart teachers of writing). It’s excellent advice. I just happened to ignore it.

I decided instead to write about wildly complicated things like neuroscience and Special Weapons and Tactics. Which means I spend an enormous amount of time neck-deep in utterly fascinating facts and tidbits, practically swimming in irresistible curiosities.

The research for Reckoning and Ruin was especially an especially rich adventure. I learned about the migratory patterns of great white sharks, alligator attack strategies, and jailhouse protocols for video visitation.

Here are five interesting tidbits I learned while researching this latest Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver adventure, fascinating stuff that I couldn’t quite fit in the book:

Reckoning and Ruin1. The top speed of a great white shark is 24.9 miles per hour.

2. Alligators like to eat marshmallows.

3. Between 500 and 750 women – both on the Confederate and Union sides – fought in the American Civil War as soldiers. Of course they were disguised as men. Some did it to be near their husbands or other loved ones, but several joined the front line out of a sincerely held desire to fight for their cause.

4. Tybee Island – the beach town on the coast of Savannah, Georgia – doesn’t currently have a nude beach, but there’s a petition going around that could change that.

5. The little indention on the back of a handgun, the extended grip safety, is called a beavertail. I love that for some reason.

What interesting tidbit have you learned recently? Share it for a chance to win one copy of “Not Even Past,” a Tai & Trey short story featuring research into North Georgia wildlife, Confederate gold, and best practices for recording supernatural activity.

Comments

  1. I just got back from a week on a cattle ranch, where I picked up lots of “new to me” facts, such as grass tetany, a magnesium deficiency, can cause rapid fatalities in cattle. I also “learned” how to cut a calf from a herd.

  2. cashews are drupes

  3. maggietoussaint says

    I’ve had to bone up on fingerprint records and handgun laws. Did you know that not all states have the same rules about carry concealed permits? Since we get fingerprinted here in Ga for Carry Concealed, I dumbly assumed that was universally true. Not True. Glad I double checked.

    • Yes, state guns laws are a patchwork of difference, and since firearms violations are often a felony, anyone carrying a gun (even in the car, much less on one’s person) needs to research all the vagaries before crossing state lines (like you, I didn’t know this until I started writing Tai as a character — she runs a gun shop, which means she has to know all this stuff, which means I have to know all this stuff. And it’s a lot of stuff!)

  4. I’ve learned everything from speaking Italian to the symbolism in a cemetery. It really is fun to go where the research takes you.

  5. I learned that food products may contain an additive derived from processed human hair. It’s from research for Facials Can Be Fatal, my next mystery.

  6. I recently learned not all violets have blue or purple flowers — some have yellow (and we have them in our woods).