The perils of research
It’s tough being a writer. The work is often dangerous. There are risks and sacrifices and perils lurking all the time.
Take the novel I’m working on right now for example. I’ve set it in a small river town in Missouri. A husband and wife visit the town and stumble upon a little mystery. While there they partake of the delights of the town. I mentioned here that I have an actual town I’m using as a template for my fictional town. In a few weeks my wife and I are going to spend some time in this town, doing the things my fictional husband and wife do in the novel. It’s research, folks, and I do it because I must.
My protagonists spend the weekend at a bed and breakfast. I think it’s only right that I should do this. I have to get the facts right. They have a nice dinner at an upscale restaurant. You can’t fake those kinds of details. You have to do the research. They wander through antique shops and cafes and art galleries. They walk the peaceful streets in the autumn air with leaves falling at their feet. They learn a lot about the local history of the little burg. They drink a lot of wine and have long, rambling conversations.
So my wife and I are going to endure a similar weekend purely for research purposes. It’s part of the writing process, but it lacks the glamor of sitting before a blank screen for hours waiting for the words to come. I don’t suppose I thought of the research implications when I first came up with my idea for a series of novels with a husband and wife staying at bed and breakfast inns. Or maybe I did.