Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Writing and Research

People often ask where I get my ideas as a writer. My answer is always, from the world around me. Well, the other day a member of a group I was presenting to said, "You may be able to get  to Nubia, but how do you know about ancient time? You're not that old?" Yes, the comment came from a 'Tween and their emphasis was on the word 'that'. Once everyone stopped laughing, me included, my response was 'research'.

I research just about everything. When writing about ancient Nubia, it's pretty clear that I need to delve deeply into history. I have archaeological and anthropological texts that I get information from as well as graduate papers from universities.

If you've read any of my work, you know that I'm an action writer. All of my stories have some type of action scenes or battle scenes in them. So how do I research that? I've had to become a huge fan of the history and military channels on television and I stage battles in my home. My husband teaches me about holds, take-downs, and strikes. I have even watched the football team he coaches to gain an understanding of how people fall and escape.

Most recently my poor husband was the victim of one such session. We were working together so that I could write the climax in one of my books. I was performing a particular strike he had just taught me and was supposed to pull the punch before it made contact, but my foot slipped. He was supposed to dodge the punch by ducking to the right. Well, when my foot slipped he reached out to catch me and instead of moving to the right he went to the left. This is what he looked like when he fell. Yes we staged it for the photo. You didn't expect me to hit him again, did you?

This is what happened...my fist connected with his ear and plowed it into his head. Sheesh! now we both need ice packs. But here's the thing, every experience in a writer's life is grist for the story mill. Now I know what it feels like to really punch somebody.

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