A SURREALIST AFFAIR took me years, off and on, to write, partly because it involved so much research to pull off. Most of the research involved the Surrealist art movement, but I also had to learn about art history more broadly, training of art historians, methods of art fraud, art thefts and recovery, the FBI Art Crime Team, the geography of Paris, and French phrasing. I had three years of high school French but met my language requirement for college because from the middle of junior year, I attended Dow High in Midland, Michigan (yes, Dow Chemical), which was more interested in STEM than languages. With only a rudimentary grasp of French, I needed a lot of help from Google, a critique partner who knew French, and a friend who had spent time studying in Paris, so he was also familiar with the geography of the city. Because my protagonist Elle Dakin was going through a Ph.D. art history program, that required its own research. I am a professor in an academic department, so I know about impossible advisors and narcissistic professors, as well as the challenges of writing a dissertation. But my field is social work, not art history….