Friday, May 12, 2017

Research takes many forms by Jan Scarbrough

When I look back at the twenty-three novels and novellas I’ve written, I see I’ve done a variety of research.

First-hand research is always fun. Take the trips to Professional Bull Rider events that translated into scenes in Kentucky Cowboy, Brody, and Mercer. Oh, and last summer’s after-the-fact trip to a Montana dude ranch has given me more inspiration for upcoming books.

Kentucky Blue Bloods took me on a trip to horse country in the Bluegrass where I fed peppermints to the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

For my two novellas set in Christmas 1968 and Christmas 1969, I used the Internet to refresh my memory about that time. Bottom line, although I remembered those years as a high school student, I’d forgotten how hard they were. We think we have it tough today. It’s always been that way, I think.


And of course, for books like Kentucky Flame, I do research every week when I take my riding lesson and get a horse fix riding an American Saddlebred.

My Lord Raven has certainly been my most researched book. It took me many years of research into the medieval time period. I put the manuscript away (five chapters) but eventually took it out and finished it. Currently, I’m researching a sequel that I call Raven’s Vow.

So, what books do I currently have in my research pile? Here are a few, and you can see they are varied:


Even contemporary romance requires a little research. It’s part of the process.

4 comments:

  1. I love research. I always wish I'd done more of it after the book is finished.

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  2. The neat thing about writing books is that we can write off our trips as research. (Provided the books earn enough to justify it!) I had many years early in my career where I never made enough in a year to pay for a trip to England--where my books are set. Thanks to indie publishing, now I'm taking every tax write-off I can get! Currently, I'm hiring German translators for all my books.

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  3. Research is one of the fun parts of being a writer, isn't it?

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  4. I once had a would-be writer tell me I couldn't write about a psychic because I wasn't one. Well, I've never lived in 1283 either or ridden a bull. LOL!

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