I do a lot of research for my novels, and I am fairly certain that some of my searches have had to trip something somewhere. Not just the content of my searches, although that too, but the wide variety. But bizarre research is par for the course as a multigenre author. And when I get on a search, I spiral down every rabbit hole I can fin.
Here are some of my more odd ones…
1. executions in Texas
This one was for a thriller that’s in the plotting stage called Paper Flowers. I went in hard on this topic, checking out procedures, rules, time of day executions take place, etc.
2. doomsday preppers
This search was for a scene in a postapocalyptic novel I’m writing called Saving Wyldewood. When I tell you I went down the rabbit hole, I WENT DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. That one was… interesting but informative.
3. female serial killers
This was for the same book in #1, Paper Flowers. I did a lot of reading about Joanna Dennehy, a recent British serial killer. She was… wild.
4. antisocial personality disorder
Yup. Paper Flowers. I wanted to create a killer with no empathy or remorse, and all the violent tendencies. I actually learned a lot from this rabbit hole.
5. flowers that bloom in summer in New Hampshire
I mean… weird. But I like my settings to be accurate, so I needed to know what flowers tend to bloom in the summer. I grew up in northern New York, which isn’t that different, but it’s been awhile since I lived there, so I needed a refresher. This was for Sandy Toes, a paranormal romance that was originally published as a novella in an anthology. I’m rewriting it into a full-length novel.
6. brewing beer at home
This search was for Saving Wyldewood, the postapocalyptic novel. There was a lot of rabbit holing into brewing beer without electricity, too.
7. roles on pirate ships
I know. Odd. But it was for my book One Stormy Night, which is the prequel to Kissing Frogs. They are paranormal romances, loosely inspired by The Princess and the Frog fairytale. The main character in One Stormy Night was once a pirate, so there were things I needed to know!
8. pirate ships
Also for One Stormy Night. I deep-dived into fluyts and galleons, both of which my main character was on. This is a galleon. I even found super helpful diagrams for the inside layouts of the ships.
9. 1700s slang terms
More for One Stormy Night. This one was enjoyable. I learned some good ones. Like “bushell bobby” which was a well-endowed woman. Or “agtail,” a lewd woman.
10. Sterling Rennaissance Festival
This is a festival near my hometown. I reimagined the grounds as one of the main settings in Saving Wyldewood. It’s a permanent site, and some of the buildings already have the resources in place for visiting artisans (like furnaces and forges). I loved the idea of using it as a place for a postapocalyptic world to rebuild.
11. Santa’s Workshop, NY
When I was plotting Saving Wyldewood, I was looking at interesting places to use as a setting. I went with the renn site, but I couldn’t let go of this one. So this is going to be the setting of Book #2. There is an entire working village for me to play with.
12. cognitive dissonance
When I was building my characters for Last Night, a psychological thriller, I did a lot of research on cognitive dissonance. It was fascinating!
This was for Last Night, too. There are things I needed to know. This book and research took me to writing some odd texts to my oldest child. In my defense, he’s a forensic anthropologist, so he’s an expert!