Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Research, the bedrock of an author's existence

I’ve been thinking a lot about research these days – I guess that’s because I’ve been doing so much of it. And then today Heartwarming author Kate James posted a Facebook post of sister author, Catherine Lanigan enjoying a bit of research, and it made me smile. Most authors like the research aspect of writing. We learn a lot, we sometimes experience things we wouldn’t otherwise. A mystery writer friend of mine, Nancy Cohen, who is quite well known for her “Bad Hair Day Mysteries,” exposes readers to some new and interesting aspect of modern life in each of her books. I’ve been fascinated by her info on tilapia farms, animal testing, and other subjects.

I’ve spent this summer in one of my favorite places, the high country of North Carolina. My condo has a view of Grandfather Mountain, my lungs have been breathing in the most refreshing cool air, my research juices have been working overtime. So far I have researched a Christmas tree farm, a whitewater rafting business, and tomorrow I will speak with an administrator at a local home for children, the beautiful campus of Crossnore School in Crossnore, NC. Forget what you know about “orphanages” -  dark, stone buildings with dormitories and cold winter days. Crossnore is a beautiful leafy-green facility with cottages, a school, a charming chapel, and many amenities that make life special for these needy kids.

I still have to interview the small town police department of the village I’m staying in. But when I get all my facts organized, hopefully you will see characters in an upcoming trilogy living the mountain life my research will bring to you.


Edge of the World Whitewater Rafting experience, Banner Elk, NC

Sugar Plum Tree Farm Plumtree, NC wjere they grow Faser Firs
Eight people per raft on the Watauga River, NC>

I hope you enjoy these pictures of my latest research. My next blog will include shots of the serene Crossnore School. Till then, please check out The Bridesmaid Word Sneakers, my August Heartwarming release, still “hot off the press.”
Happy end of summer.

Cynthia

19 comments:

  1. I was talking to a friend yesterday, and we both agreed that we preferred living in a small town. My husband doesn't believe me. He thinks I'd go nuts in a small town, but he keeps forgetting I've lived in small towns while he's spent his whole life here in the third largest city in the U.S.

    But, you can find small town in big city. It's called community. Not the same.

    Wish I were out exploring with you, Cynthia.

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    1. I always wondered. The neighborhood where my dh grew up in Louisville had a store, a pool, all kinds of the small-town things I expect, and my mother-in-law (who grew up WAY in the country) said the sense of community was the same as a small town. I've always been rural, where we have the best of being "close but so far away" but pay for it in lack of convenience.

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    2. I admit I find something romantic and cozy about small towns, but I think the lack of variety would get to me after a while. I do love my supermarkets and shopping opportunities, not to mention movies and theater. But for the summer, the place I am now is perfect.
      Cynthia

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  2. I love doing research! I am grateful with how generous people are with their time and knowledge when I explain to them why I am interested in things like how explosives detection dogs find bombs or how wildfires propagate.

    Congratulations on your new release, Cynthia. I've said this before, but I LOVE your cover!!

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    1. Just returned from Crossnore School a while ago. What a great research opportunity. I'm so glad the word "orphanage" isn't used any longer. Children's residence is so much nicer.
      Cynthia

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  3. I wouldn't mind being up in the high country now, Cynthia, it's terribly hot and humid down here in Charlotte. Congratulations on your August release...that cover is fantastic!

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    1. Charlotte is a great city, Jill but what a difference in temperature. It's 65 here. North Carolina is one of the most diverse states IMO.
      Cynthia

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  4. Cynthia, I visited Crossnore School and I fell in love with the Weaving Room and followed it to the Little Loom House in another area that I used in a long-ago Superromance. You are so lucky to get to spend quality time in that whole area. It's rich with story ideas. Just finished reading The Bridesmaid Wore Sneakers and loved it. Keep them coming.

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    1. Thank you, Roz! A compliment from you is worth hanging on to! Can't believe you went to Crossnore. I've been to the Weaving Room. It was established by Dr. Mary Sloop, founder of Crossnore, as a way to keep Appalacian arts alive. The campus is beautiful.
      Cynthia

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  5. Isn't that the best part about being a writer - all the fun stuff with which we get to fill our heads - then blame that because we can't remember day to day things! (Or is that just me?) Live everyone else, I love your title and your cover. Wish you big success!

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    1. LOL Muriel! You're so right. I've got too many research facts in my head to worry about the recipe for dinner!
      Cynthia

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  6. Cynthia, I'm already in love with the setting for these books! I'd like to take a whitewater raft trip down the Watauga River. I interviewed my veterinarian the other day for some book research. I'm constantly amazed by the new things I get to learn.

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    1. Carol, you can take my place on the raft. It's not a truly dangerous whitewater trip, but you have to sit on the side of the raft and hang on, with no back for support. Fun? Yes, but I've had too many broken bones.
      Cynthia

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  7. An inspiring post, Cynthia, because there have been times when the idea of research bogs me down, mentally, and I want to avoid it. However I like your idea of doing research on the go, all the time and it seems wherever you are. Think I'll get myself a big notebook and start collecting data. Thanks for that! Love the cover of your book and am eager to read it.

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    1. Thanks, Janice. Yes, keep that notebook handy. You never know when you'll use it.
      Cynthia

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  8. Thanks for the research you do. I'm always excited when I learn new things while reading books. I say to myself "I didn't know that!" Then I'm off to share what I've learned with my husband and friends. ( :

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    1. Laurie, I hope you find something worth sharing in my High Country books.
      Cynthia

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  9. You've been busy. Great photos. I agree about the wonderful cover, and the book lived up to it. Looking forward to the next one.

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