So, do you do a lot of research?
Apart from, “Where do you get your ideas from?” that has to be the question writers are most asked.
And the answer is, for me, yes, actually.
Quite a lot.
Pinterest, Google, Youtube
Even before I put finger to keyboard I scour Pinterest, seeking ideas for locations, looking for photographs of places and characters as I build my storyboard. This is the one I’ve created for A Harrington Christmas (it’s a working title!)
Mostly, after that, it will be diving into Google as questions crop up? What is the temperature in Nantucket in March? What is the time difference between Paris and Singapore? Is there already a restaurant in London called any of the half a dozen names I’ve come up with — and yes to every one.
Getting Things Right
I’m writing the first book and I knew straight away that the inheritance situation they had suggested could not happen.
I knew it was wrong, but I had to find out exactly what the reality was before I could raise it with the team. (Yes, it was changed!)
Fortunately, although this book is mostly set in Paris, both my British characters speak fluent French and I haven’t felt the need to use French expressions. As they are speaking French, throwing in a “mon dieu” would be out of place. Whew.
Location — Paris
It would be rude not to…
So, hotel and tickets booked, my daughter and I set off for a weekend to see the Christmas windows, visit Pierre Herme and buy macarons, visit the Christmas fair in the Tuileries, eat in bistros and soak up the atmosphere.
Then, purely for research purposes you understand, a dinner cruise on the Baton Rouge.
Good food, a constantly refilled glass of wine, the buzz of conversation and there, right there, was the Eiffel Tower as we drifted slowly past. [Video below]
Will it find its way into the book? Maybe. Some of it. But research is like an iceberg. Most of it is beneath the water.