A Writer’s Serendipity or How Research Saved My Book

As a blogger and science nerd, I try to keep up with science news from a variety of sources. Oddly, that curiosity rarely benefits my writing. My writing style follows a diagonal on the chart below: Lawful Plantser, True Plantser, and Chaotic Plotter. And that’s pretty much how my research goes, too. I start with a plan and end going off script. This is the story of a writer’s serendipity or how research saved my book. My Research Method Targeted research is when one narrows their topic and is very selective in choosing books and articles for said research. Targeted research is always my intent, it rarely is what gives me the most inspiration. I love Google Maps. They allow me to “travel to” areas I’ve never visited. But the maps don’t give me the smells, the texture, or the mood of the place. For those, I search out travel blogs, expat blogs, and personal blogs. Sometimes, I reach out to a blogger for more details. Usually, bloggers respond with more information than I need. And that’s a lovely thing. Sometimes, I need more hands-on research. That may mean a visit to a museum or a road trip to a […]

Are You Alarmed?

No, this post is not about the alarming things happening in the world today. Rather it’s about are you alarmed? As in, do you have an alarm system? In my WIP, If I Should Die, I recently needed to know what year saw the invention of the first closed circuit security system. Guess what I learned? A woman co-invented the first home security system in 1966.  Marie Van Brittan Brown We know little about the private life of African-American Marie Van Brittan Brown. She was born October 30, 1922 in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She became a nurse and married Albert Brown, an electrician. They had a son and a daughter. They lived in the same neighborhood where she was born. As a nurse and an electrician, they worked irregular hours. The high crime rate in their neighborhood worried her. It worried her more since it took the police a long time to respond. The Alarmed Peep Hole Brown and her husband invented the first form of home security system. They used a radio-controlled wireless system. A camera slid up and down three peep-holes in the door. The three peep holes were at child height, average adult height, and tall. The […]

Progress Report One: Book 2 of My Soul to Keep

I’m really enjoying the writing right now. It’s fun to “play” in a world already populated with strong female characters on both sides of good and evil. What am I working on, you ask? The second book in the My Soul to Keep series. This is the first official progress report for that book. Book Two Currently titled, If I Should Die, continues the story of Miranda and Beryl about two years after the first novel, My Soul to Keep. The story sentence is A peace-loving woman caught in a civil war must resort to violence to save lives or stick to her principles and sacrifice many. My first draft is currently a little more than 38,000 words in length. Which is about 4/10ths of the estimated length of 100,000 words. Some characters from the first novel reappear and there are new characters to meet. Visit my Pinterest page for a sneak peek at inspirations for the characters and locations. Characters My recent Character Reveal posts featured characters I’ve developed for this novel.  Miranda Clarke Beryl Clarke Irene Earnshaw Wanda Terry Covers Not only am I writing the first draft, I’m researching cover design and cover designers. Now, don’t get […]