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Research is Critical to your Work In Progress

This photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after taking a blogcation. I needed one because I had a whole week of Classroom Visits to do and I wanted to concentrate on those. I have to say, I enjoy getting in front of my readers and talking about writing and what inspires my stories.

I’ve just finished my coming of age story, “Gideon Lee.” I can’t release details yet, but I’m excited about it. I did speak about it during my visits last week and there were sparks of interest in the story. That certainly did my heart good!

In writing my novels, I’ve found that research is critical. I’ve found that my readers, even though they know they’re reading fiction, want the stories they’re reading to be authentic. They want them to have the ring of truth echoing throughout them.

That’s why research is so important. Whether I’m writing a mystery where I must research police procedure, or a story that has musical inclinations and I’ve got to research different types of music it has to resonate authenticity.

I enjoy research immensely because I love to learn something new. I’m a firm believer in the concept that we never stop learning and I try to learn something new every day.

I do a lot of research on the internet. There’s an incredible amount of information at your fingertips, all you have to do is search for it. However, occasionally, I like to talk to a real person. When I was researching police procedure for my first Super Spies novel, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer,” I spoke to a sergeant at my local police post. I received invaluable information and made a new friend. You never know when knowing a police sergeant will come in handy! 😉

When I first called down to the post, the officer that answered the phone wanted to make sure that my request was legitimate. Here’s how the conversation went.

“Hello, I’m Lisa Orchard and I’m writing a story about three young girls finding a dead body and I need to know about the procedure police follow at a crime scene.”

I heard some fumbling around and I imagined he was turning on a recorder, the officer said, “This is fiction, right?”

“Yes. This is definitely fiction.” I laughed, because he was being cautious. However, he needed to be, you just never know when you get a phone call like that.

After he felt confident that I wasn’t planning anything dangerous or illegal, he transferred me to the sergeant and she answered my questions. I’ve established a great relationship with her and she has been my source for most of my mystery stories. She has answered questions ranging from police procedure at a crime scene, to bombing questions, to inquiries regarding pings of cell phones. I must say it has been quite an education.

Research gives your story authenticity and that’s incredibly important in today’s book market, wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today and thanks for your patience during my blogcation. If you have any humorous stories you’d like to share regarding your research antics, please leave a comment! I’d love to read them!


Thanks for stopping by!









I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

2 thoughts on “Research is Critical to your Work In Progress

  1. Wonderful post, and sooo true, Lisa! Research can make or break a story. All I can say is, thank goodness for Google! Stepping out is also great to meet people face to face. Cheers!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sharon. You’re right, face to face meetings are always good too. When I researched my post on Cutting, I met with Julia face to face and it was an awesome experience, plus I made a new friend! 🙂

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