Happy June, everyone, and happy book birthday to our fabulous June releases!
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the unexpected things I’ve learned from editing: not the particularities of prepositions or how to explain conflict and motivation (though all of that is important!), but the random bits of knowledge I’ve gained by working on all your stories.
For example, in one of the first books I ever edited, I discovered just how much the terms for sweet, fizzy drinks vary by region. Now, I could probably make a guess at where someone’s from based on whether they call it pop, soda, coke or a soft drink. Later, the beverage geography archive in my brain expanded when I had to look up liquor laws by state after a hero tried to buy whiskey in a grocery store.
We have a lot of stories with babies, and not having kids myself, I often have to Google developmental milestones. Did anyone else know that the term for how babies move before crawling—according to the Mayo Clinic, at least—is “creeping”? I now have a hilarious mental image of babies hiding behind bushes, lurking in back alleys or peering suspiciously around corners.
Speaking of kids, a feverish infant in one manuscript prompted me to do a search for digital thermometers that only require a swipe of the forehead to read someone’s temperature. I had never heard of this! Google led me to a manufacturer’s website with an animated, Sims-like demo video that was genuinely one of the strangest and most delightful things I’ve seen on the Internet.
As some of you may know, I also edit the Executioner series, action-adventure books featuring Mack Bolan. When I started working at a romance publisher, I never thought I’d be researching gun specs and combat techniques! Sometimes I wonder what IT would think if they saw my search history while I was working on those stories…
I’m sure you’ve all come across some bizarre information in the course of your writing, or maybe research has led you down an unexpected internet rabbit hole. I’d love to hear more in the comments.
I’m off to Google the…romantic habits of rhinos, now. You’ll just have to keep reading Heartwarming books to find out why!
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,