Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In Which I Blog About Research

oing research is one of my favorite parts of writing. It's when and where I get ideas for plot points, find ways to make the unbelievable a little more believable, and I like learning about new things.

Here are some of the things I've been researching for "Penny's Luck".

  • Names of magic tricks. (Many years ago I was a magician, but other than "French Drop" I couldn't remember the names of many of the magic tricks. It's part of the jargon that Penny will use, so I'm brushing up and learning new names.)
  • Butterfly smuggling.
  • Human Growth Hormone and how it's given. (Squik.)
  • Meningitis, and how it's spread.
  • ASL. (I'm not sure this counts, as I took lessons in sign years ago, and my son is taking ASL in high school as his foreign language, so it's stuff I may use, but didn't start learning about just for this book.)
  • Cochlear Implants and the controversy around them. (Again, was learning about this stuff for a while before this book, so I'm not sure it counts as research for the book.)
  • Deaf and Hearing Impaired subculture. (Same as the two above.)
  • Storefront floor plans.
  • Organized crime.
  • Pole vaulting.
  • Escape artists.
  • Las Vegas. (Jobs and housing and local schools, as well as the viewpoint of the city.)
  • Average growth rate of teenage boys.
  • PTSD in humans.
  • ATF agents.
  • ATF canines. (Did you know that ATF canines are failed Guide Dogs?)
  • PTSD in canines.
  • Paranoia.
  • VW Bug.
  • Italian names for "grandfather".
  • Agoraphobia.
  • Monty Python. (Oh, who am I kidding? That's for fun. The fact that I can work something into the book is just icing.)
  • Comic books.
Ok, that's all I remember for now, but I haven't finished outlining, so I'm sure some more things will be coming up.


  1. Great Start. Outling and notes will totally help you!

  2. Thank you, Cynthia! It's one of my favorite parts :)

  3. Hi Suzi,

    My name's Kate, and I'm a newly-agented YA author from Utah. I found your blog through YA Highway and I've loved reading through your posts! Personally I love researching....I like knowing that my books are soundly based in fact, even though the stories and characters are fictitious.

    Anyways, looking forward to more posts from you!

  4. Hi Kate,

    Congratulations on being newly agented! That's wonderful :) Thank you for the kind words about my blog, too.

    I know what you mean about the soundly based in fact part, too. It also helps me develop the characters, and that, in turn, helps develop the plot (for me, anyway).

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. saw your synopsis on the contest page. looks like a good book! good luck!

  6. Aw, Tamara, thank you! Yours *both* sound great. Good luck!


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