Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Susan Lyons | I Hate Research – Except When I Don’t
Uncategorized / May 15, 2008

Personally, I’m not a big fan of research, and after 10 years of university I’d hoped my research days were behind me. Not so! But at least when I’m writing fiction, I can choose topics that interest me. Firefighters, for example. I decided that the hero of HOT IN HERE (the 2nd book in my Awesome Foursome series, which is a kind of “Sex And The City” series set in Vancouver, BC), would be a firefighter. Now there, let me tell you, was one tough research assignment! Drinking tea in a Vancouver fire hall kitchen with a group of hot firefighters; visiting a firefighter training centre in Reno; having a couple of Queensland firefighters dress me up in full turnout regalia, then catch me when I promptly toppled over! Not all research is that much fun, unfortunately. Sometimes it’s a matter of a quick or lengthy internet search or reading a stack of library books. That’s great for getting the factual info. I’ll usually start there. Then, if possible, I’ll set up an interview or two. Hearing people’s experiences and insights adds so much flesh to those factual bones. Personal experience is the best thing, of course – it gives…

Elaine Viets | The Touring Author: How not to look like Mommy dressed you.
Uncategorized / May 15, 2008

I was in a black mood. I was planning to pack for the June tour for my seventh Dead-End Job mystery, “Clubbed to Death.” I had a wardrobe like a new widow: Black jackets. Black blouses. Black pants. Black is the traditional color for author appearances. It’s supposed to make you look serious. Sophisticated. Maybe even slimmer. Plus, black doesn’t show the minor smudges travel adds to the pale colors. Black should be perfect for a touring author. But not when you’ve been shaken like a martini at 30,000 feet, for three days in a row. Put yourself in my (black) shoes: You are flying to your fourth tour city in four days. Now it’s 4:30 a.m., and your media escort will be outside your hotel at five o’clock to drive you to “Good Morning, Festus,” a major TV talk show. You flip on the bathroom light, pry open your eyes, and the bags under your eyes are a perfect match for your black outfit. Someone has stolen your face and replaced it with your Aunt Marie’s – the one who talked about her operations at dinner. There isn’t enough concealer in Texas to help you. It’s time to abandon…