ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Laura O'Connell speaks on research. Her new novel, Web of Lies is out! Lynda R Young launches Make Believe anthology!

Hello. How are you today? Thanks for coming by. I hope you noticed my Christmas greeting to you!

NaNoWriMo is over and I completed my 50,000 word novel, Fijian Princess, with an eye on the Harlequin Escape market. They're actively seeking submissions and their range is WIDE! Click HERE to read an interview with the editor. Kate Cuthbert.

Today I have two Aussie authors visiting my blog - Laura O'Connell who has just released her new book, Web of Lies, and...

My blogger friend, Lynda R Young, who is launching the anthology, Make Believe which features her story, Birthright. The anthology is published by J. Taylor Publishing. You can read full reviews on the stories at the Reader's Commute.


By clicking HERE you will access the list of bloggers hosting Lynda through this month-long tour as well as those who are supporting her today.


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Now I'd like to introduce you to fellow Aussie author, Laura O'Connell. Laura has just released her novel, Web of Lies. Laura is speaking today of something dear to my heart - research, to me, the real fun part of writing a novel (yeah, I know I missed my calling!)

LEAP INTO RESEARCH

Hello and welcome to those who've read this far and who I hope will continue to read about what's on my mind today. 

I researched Denise’s website before I wrote this blog and discovered she has travelled throughout the world visiting lots of interesting places that she could use to add authenticity to her stories and novels. I wish I could say I’d been to Africa to do some firsthand research before I wrote African Hearts. Africa is on my list of places to visit, but it seemed my muse wanted me to write this story before I visited, so I had to find another way of finding out about this amazing country of contrasts.

Research for African Hearts started with me interviewing missionaries who’d lived and worked in Africa for several years. They were able to give me the minutiae of day to day life in an African village. I viewed YouTube video clips to get views of the landscape and I borrowed a lot of books, fiction and nonfiction, from the library on Africa and immersed myself in the country and its culture.

To understand the current affairs, I read the Ugandan newspaper online daily. This gave me a feel for the day to day issues that affected Uganda where African Hearts is set.

Throughout my life I’ve read a lot of books on Africa. I took copies of images from these books and made a collage that triggered any information I’d stored away in the deep recesses of my mind.

To save yourself some time, prepare a list of questions centred around the focal point of your novel. You need to have a fair idea of what you want to achieve by the end of the research. This will keep you on track as you find the information you need for your story. It’s easy to get side tracked and spend too much time on research, however, as your project evolves your direction of the research may change as ideas come to you. Be open to these little detours they can take you to areas you’d never considered. These are the gems of your work.

While reading, don’t get bogged down in the text. Skim first for what you think you might be looking for then drill into the specifics as information triggers your imagination.

Be aware that research can be a way of putting off writing. Keep this in the back of your mind and know when to stop researching and start writing.

My latest release, Web of Lies, is set in Sydney, Mount Tamborine and the Gold Coast. I’ve lived in all of these areas so I know them intimately. It was refreshing to have that firsthand knowledge instead of relying on the detailed research I did with African Hearts. However, research time isn’t wasted if we can find a second use for it in a later project. 

Add authenticity to your novels by leaping into research. You’ll find it’s a lot of fun and your readers will thank you for taking the time to get it right.

Thanks for reading...

About Laura O’Connell
Laura enjoys writing stories about second chances in love and life. She calls the Gold Coast home, however, her curious nature leads her on adventures to locations that surprise and inspire her. Laura has a passion for telling a good story set in places where she has lived and travelled.

Laura around the web:
Website             Facebook              Twitter        Author Page

Book Blurb – Web of Lies
High school sweethearts, Stephanie and Lachlan are torn apart by circumstance, bad decisions and a web of lies, leaving an unknown future for their son, Ryan.
Eight years later they reconnect, but the time apart has changed them. The family had made decisions based on lies and deceit and now must find a way to either reveal the truth or find another option. On the surface, their arrangements seemed flawless, but dig deeper, and the people they thought they knew aren’t as they appear.
Lachlan and Stephanie are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the entire family is compelled to reveal the truth, find forgiveness, and renew loving one another. But the hardest decision is still to come … where does Ryan live?

Buy Links:

Amazon                  Amazon UK

I hope you enjoyed reading about Laura's ideas on research. Perhaps Web of Lies and the Make Believe anthology would be nice gifts for a lucky someone? Please leave a comment for both Laura and Lynda.

It's great to be diving into the blogosphere again! I've missed you all. I'll be around to visit you asap.




47 comments:

  1. Denise; congrats on finishing NaNo. Awesome! And good luck with Harlequin submission. A prestigious place to be published. Love the Christmas header too.

    Laura: Isn't the internet great for research? I rarely visit a library anymore, but I love that you were able to speak with missionary's to assist with the research. I too wish I could travel around as Denise has. It would be great to have first hand notes to rely on; but alas, the internet sometimes has to suffice.

    I'll go visit Lynda too. Awesome she got a story published.

    ........dhole

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Donna. I'm glad you find the internet is a great research tool. One that I will continue to use even when it's for something small like a quote I'd like to use. All the information is at our finger tips.

      It is great to see Lynda here, too. All the best with Make Believe, Lynda.

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    2. Hee hee Donna, i do visit libraries A LOT to use their internet for my research.

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  2. I'm excited to be back into blogging again too! Two great Aussie writers today - good work Denise. I'll sign up for Lynda's book tour, she's a good blogging buddy to just about everyone online.

    Best wishes with your Harlequin submission, you've worked very hard on that novel and your technique is spot on so I expect you'll be in print in no time!

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  3. Thanks for dropping by, Charmaine. :)

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  4. Congrats to Laura and Lynda!! And to you too for finishing your NaNo novel. Well done.

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    1. Thank you for dropping by, L.G. Smith.

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    2. Thanks L G. for visiting and for offering congrats all round. :D

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  5. Denise, we've missed you!
    Congratulations to Laura and very excited for Lynda!!

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    1. Thanks Alex. I've missed you too. :D

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  6. Thanks for your good wishes, Alex.

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  7. I just got back after a week without the net. Eek! Thank you so much, Denise, for helping me with the launch of Make believe, especially at a time when so much is going on.

    And wow!!! Congrats on finishing Fijian Princess. I hope to read it in the near future.

    And yay to Laura!! Best wishes for your book too.

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    1. Lynda, you're living proof that you can survive without the net, but only just, huh? Welcome back. I hope Make Believe makes healthy sales. :D

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    2. Hi Lynda, Thanks so much for your good wishes. It's been a pleasure being here as Denise's guest blogger.

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  8. Laura, thanks for posting on my blog. I wish you every good wish for Web of Lies.

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    1. It's been a pleasure to be a small part of your journey and getting to know your readers. Thank you!

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    2. And I'm glad you share my passion for research. Maybe we'll meet one day.

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  9. I understand about research and have put in countless hours of it over the years. But its been fun as the material is more of a passion and blessing than a dreaded curse.

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    1. Yes, Stephen, a good author has researched but doesn't necessarily need all the info inserted into the story. I'm sure research is so important in your genre.

      Thanks for visiting today. :D

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    2. Hi Stephen, research really is fun, but we have to know when to stop. :)

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  10. Hi Laura and Denise!

    Research in this time of Internet is actually a fun job!

    Congratulations to Lynda! And well done on finishing your Fijian Princess, Denise!

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    1. Thanks for visiting Nas. Full speed ahead on edits ..D

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    2. Thanks for visiting Nas. Full speed ahead on edits ..D

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  11. I always love hearing how other writers research - thanks, Laura! And a huge congrats to Lynda on her new release, too.

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  12. Congrats on NaNo Denise!
    I do love research but I tend to get carried away. Thanks Laura for the great tips on staying focused. Good luck with Web of Lies.

    And congrats to Lynda too! Good luck with the anthology.

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    1. Thanks Kathy, and thanks for stopping by.

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  13. Web of Lies sounds quite intriguing. Wishing you lots of sales and great reviews. I think you must have been talking about me when you mentioned using research to put off writing. I LOVE research, but of course, I never use most of what I find out.

    Denise, you're making me want to mess with my header again, bearing the season in mind and all and putting aside the fact that I like to mess with my wall paper, every so often. :)

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    1. Research is such fun! Yeah Joy, I love messing with my look. After Christmas i hope to do another, this time more permanent.

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  14. Two new books for my reading list.

    Research as an excuse for not writing -- yeah I've done that! But sometimes learning is such fun!
    I have a lot of it before I can finish my NANO piece. The future is so uncertain but some things need to be close to what scientists are predicting -- then again how sure are they? :)

    Happy December!

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    1. You're right, Yolanda. Research is so fun. You've asked an intriguing question.

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  15. Thanks for highlighting these authors. I'm especially interested in Web of Lies (gotta check my December budget!). And cheers, cheers, cheers for Fijian Princess!!! I'm so excited for you. It sounds like you're right at the door to publication. I hope so. I want to read a published book of yours before I'm too old!!

    Actually, I'm feeling much younger lately. Well, some days. Last night I managed to sleep well. Other nights...well, not so good, but I'm trying to be positive as I said in my I'm Back to Blogging post. Thanks for stopping by. (I DID expect you!) You said the link you hit sent you to my WP blog and asked me if I meant that to happen. No, I didn't, but what did I do wrong? And what link DID you hit? (I'll check back later, when it's my evening and your morning to see your response :) --

    I AM so happy to be back with friends. I still can't blog a lot--too much attention that I have to give Jen, and I AM trying to write something. Would like to finish a second memoir that's half done, and get the book done that my friend still wants me to co-write about her very disabled son. I was hoping she'd give it up. But she's 75 to my 72, and if it doesn't come together soon, we'll both be out of it (LOL)

    Sounds like as usual you are forging forward with all of your many projects. As for research-- it's awesome to delve into other cultures. There's so much one can now access from one's living room via the Internet. An amazing world we're living in.

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    1. And a p.s. I did notice your seasonal header, immediately. It made me feel good, made me smile...now off to get a post for tomorrow, and to tinker a bit more with Blogger. (I'm looking at your My Favourite 'How to' books...hmmm. One thing I love about your site is it's so colorful!)

      As for your comment about my using my expertise -- I guess at the moment I'm not feeling expertise in much, but maybe I am. I'll think about it: writing (maybe, I still get comments that I don't go deep enough; and probably caregiving; and of course just surviving!! LOL)

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    2. Thanks for noticing my temporary new look.
      Ann there are so many things you could blog about - editing is one that comes to mind. I look forward to your posts.

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    3. And Ann, the link took me directly to your WP blog, not the blogspot one. You need to go into Settings to change it i think.

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  16. Wow, more books! Something to get my hands on for the holidays!

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  17. The cover for Make Believe is gorgeous.

    I had fun researching girl's college basketball for my fifth book. Even got to exchange emails with the book's college's head coach at the time.

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    1. It was the Make Believe cover that caught my eye. I like Web of Lies' too. A fellow blogger and i critique book covers every time we meet.
      On research, it's amazing where it takes you. The only time people haven't been helpful is when i wanted personal opinions on the current Fijian government (military). Shhhh, someone might be listening...

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  18. Congrats on finishing NaNo! Congrats to Lynda and the other authors of Make Believe as well! It's a fantastic anthology!

    And that's great advice on research. :)

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  19. I can tell in the reading when a writer has done their research.

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    1. Can't you though? Butvit annoys me when an author shows off with a knowledge dump which a favourite author of mine is doing in every new book.

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  20. I love research but you're right, it can often lead to time spent away from writing. I hope everyone has success with their books!

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  21. Hi, Denise, Hi, Laura,

    Sounds like a great premise and an interesting read.

    I LOVE to research. It is extremely important to be accurate with one's writing. For my latest wip, I had to research Chicago in the 1940's ... very interesting especially when the dialogue has to be accurate to with catch phrases and speech of that era.

    Thanks for the interview Denise.

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