One of things I think I enjoy most about being an author is finding out about strange places and people. Writers cover a wide spectrum from "I just make it up as I go" to "I want to get as much right as I can" to nutcases like me who are total research hounds!
|"Bloodhound Trials Feb 2008 -79" by John Leslie - Flickr: Wikimedia|
This habit of asking: "What's over there?" has led me to innumerable odd places over the years, an ice & snow climbing class on Mt. Rainier, hiking in the wilderness of a half dozen states, flying and jumping out of airplanes (though not the same one), and bicycling around the world for a year and a half to name a few.
All of that experience gives me the jumping off points for my stories that lead me to yet stranger research corners. And sometimes it is the juxtaposition of those corners that is the most fun.
This month I have an ice-bound short story and a blazing wildfire novel. Writing those back to back was particularly amusing because, as a writer who is a research hound, I immerse myself in the environment.
To write Heart of the Storm I drew on dozens of climbing texts that I've read (mostly when I was younger and it would scare my parents to death--I then started building plastic model motorcycles which really freaked them out, though I've never owned a real one), winter climbing blogs, equipment sites, and my own experience riding my bicycle around the base of Mt. Rainier (a 14,000' peak in Washington state that's at the center of this story).
To write Wildfire at Larch Creek I was abruptly back in my Firehawks world of wildland firefighters, specifically the smokejumpers. For that tale, in addition to all my prior research into wildfires I was off into mircoclimates in the valleys around Denali and just how do the small village survive out in the Alaskan bush, I also went reaching back to the tiny town where I spent six years as a kid in upstate New York (1,200 people and 10,000 head of dairy cow).
|This is pretty much the whole town; the school and gas station take up the other side of the street.|
(image from Google Maps--new sidewalks! Very cool!)
|A Night Stalkers short story (click for more info)|
How Michael and Mark came to fly together.
|A Firehawks / Larch Creek romance (click for more info)|
Two-Tall Tim finds returning home is never easy on the heart,
especially when true love awaits.
They were certainly fun to write!
Also look for (or pre-order), the next Night Stalkers novel coming March 3rd!!
|A Night Stalkers novel (click for more info)|
Delta Force Colonel Michael Gibson gets his Night Stalker...for life.
Perhaps I should have titled this blog, "A Bro-mance and Two Romances" or maybe "Cold, Hot, and Steamy Releases!" I do so love writing!
Now I'm off to research...but that would be telling!