Pleasant Passions: Book Research

Posted by on May 2, 2012 in crossroads | Comments Off on Pleasant Passions: Book Research

I’m stringing together the outline for a new book, in a new genre (contemporary YA, with no paranormal element), temporarily called PLEASANT VALLEY, USA.  As with all books, this one cries out for some basic research, so that I can define the parameters of the story.

In the past week, I’ve researched the following items (in no particular order):

  • Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Timeline of the Columbine shootings
  • Process for procuring production rights of plays through Samuel French
  • Acclaimed college baseball programs
  • Pink slime
  • Daily calendar of my local high school
  • Composition of mustard gas
  • Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
  • Composition of chlorine gas
  • Cheesy videos of invitations to prom
  • Timeline of Hitler’s rise in Germany
  • Gazetteer entries for towns and cities named Irondale
  • About a million other details that aren’t coming to mind as I type this.

The vast majority of these dribs and drabs won’t make it into the final book, of course.  But each new website is helping me to figure out the parameters of my story, the nature of my characters, the style of their story.

I love research.  I love how reading one page sends me haring off after another.  I love how ideas circle back on each other, how I eventually find linkages that I never anticipated.  This is why I loved being a librarian, why I looked forward to my days on the reference desk.

I’m going to have fun writing this one.  If the FBI doesn’t stop by to arrest me, first…

Mindy, wondering just how many searches it takes to generate “official” interest