Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Homework Anyone?

I've been laying low for a few days now trying to get inspired to write. Know the feeling, don't you? Ha. Figured I wasn't alone in that.

So I've been reading a bit and I've been so surprised by the lack of "homework" I've seen. I'm a big believer in research. We don't stop learning just because we have our high school and college diplomas shoved in the bottom of a desk God-Knows-Where. Maybe we just get lazy and figure we don't have to know anything about the profession of our hero and heroine. Maybe it's just not necessary to know just a little bit of the geography of a place.

As most of you know, my books are mainly set in Texas or other parts of the southwest. There is a reason for that. I live in Texas and have traveled all over the area. I'm familiar with the geography, the manner of dress, the customs, and the language of the people so it's a 'comfort' thing for me. Now that doesn't mean, I don't leave my little corner of the world from time to time. I do. But I make sure that I've done my research. I've been known to do a little delving into occupations and geography just to make sure I've got it right...or as 'right' as possible.

Have you ever read something and thought....hm, this author is dead wrong about this? Doesn't it drive you nuts? Dialect that is "off" also has me pulling out my hair. A cowboy in Texas might tell the heroine something but he would likely say it a lot differently than a CEO located in New York City might. The cadence of the words would be different, the expressions most certainly would be different as well.

So when did it become too much trouble to hone in on these things? A story is just a whole lot richer when that extra effort is made. It's just fine if your hero/heroine is a chef but wouldn't you want to discuss a dish or two that might be prepared in the course of your story? If he/she is a cop wouldn't you want to mention a weapon that might be used or have the cop lingo down a bit? I certainly would.

Hey! Google is a wonderful thing. I know for a fact I head over there often just to be clear on a point or two. Doesn't take long. Really.

Other Things: Congrats to Anne! She has a release today. Scroll down to read a blurb then head over to the site and pick up your copy.

First Review: Just got a note from my friend Desiree Holt telling me about the first published review of Highland Beast. Literary Nymphs gave it a FIVE. Boy, I looooove those 5's!!!!!

Here's the review:

Title: Highland Beast
Author: Regina Carlysle
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Publisher URL: http://www.jasminejade.com/
ISBN: 9781419921506
Genre: Shapeshifter Time-travel, Romance (m/f)
Rating: 5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Amazon Nymph

Martha is an empath in hiding. She buys an antique mirror with strange symbols on it, and later that night, she begins to feel the lust and loneliness of someone else.For 300 years, Silas MacAdam has been cursed and trapped by a witch he spurned. Silas has been alone, cut off from his people and waiting for the woman that can free him. When Silas sees Martha through the mirror, he realizes she could be the one to free him.Highland Beast is a very intense love story that takes you back in time and back again. The intensity of the emotions that Ms. Carlysle reveals between Martha and Silas takes you on their journey with them. The sex between Martha and Silas is the get-the-ice-cubes kind. I enjoyed the surprise ending, as there is no hint until the last few chapters. This is one for the bookshelf, to be read again


Anny Cook said...

I used to live in Houston. Read a book that mentioned driving down a certain highway, getting off at a certain exit... except that the exit wasn't on that highway, but another route. It was something simple enough it could be checked with a map! I never finished the book.

Regina Carlysle said...

Yeah, I hear ya. I once picked up a book by a well known author whom I'd never read before. Her story was set in Oklahoma and since I grew up there, I was interested. She had her facts, geography, directions...just EVERYTHING so screwed up, I put the book down and never read her again.

Kelley Nyrae said...

I lived in TX a long time ago. I'm always doing research like you mentioned. I set a book in Kentucky and have never been there but I looked up pictures and emailed back and forth a lot with a friend who lives there.

Congrats on the review!

Congrats again on the release, Anne.

Regina Carlysle said...

Thanks, Kelley!

It really doesn't take all that much effort to get a feel for something, ya know? Often, I've seen writers get on loops and just ask a question about a locale or a profession and other writers are more than generous when answering questions.

I was once involved in a series thing at The Wild Rose Press. The Wayback, Texas series is very popular but it revolved around small town Texas and rodeos. Everyone jumped in with information to help other authors with accuracy.

Anne Rainey said...

I hear you about the research. For "Suni's Gift" I interviews two firefighters, just so that I could get the opening scene right. And it was a short story! LOL

Thanks for the mention about Taking Chloe. I'm really excited as it's the 3rd in my Vaughn series.

Wonderful review, Regina! VERY well deserved too!

Fran Lee's Romance Blog said...

Get the ice cubes? Mmmm. Sounds kinky.

Regina Carlysle said...

HA. SLIGHTLY kinky, I reckon. Thanks, Fran.

Regina Carlysle said...

Happy Release Day, Anne!

I think it's worth it to do the extra leg work and get the details and the feel just right. I certainly think readers pick up on the details.

Caffey said...

Sometimes I do that to read so I get that time to get into what I'm reading so I escape from the internet! I learn most of what I do like my historical romances I read and the like. I do sometimes get so curious like about the transportation in Regency and then when I do, I get carried away finding more and more interesting!

Awesome review! This is on my wishlist of course! Been excited about it since I found out I missed it! Congrats again!