In top questions I’m asked as an author, how I research is way up there on the list. And one of the best things about Spec Fiction in my opinion is just this. The subject of research.
Of course my top answer is the Internet. It is a vast fountain of information which would bust at the seams if people weren’t expanding on the infrastructure every day. Love the Internet. My search engine of choice? Google. And could Wikipedia be any more awesome?
In honor of our Friday the 13th contest, I’ll bring up the subject of Tarot Cards and really all things fortune telling for that matter. I recently bought Tarot for Writers by Corrine Kenner at the bookstore. I love the Tarot. Or how about the Ouija board. Or even fortune cookies. After all, when is the last time you got a bad fortune in a cookie?
Museums and tourism in general rank high on fun research methods. Is there anything that can’t be found at a museum? In recent years past, I’m seen mummies, King Tut, and a giant heart. I’ve been to The George Washington Masonic Temple, Mount Vernon, the US Mint, and Fort Washington. I’ve been up the Washington Monument and down into a coal mine. If you live near good museums, take advantage.
I take my camera everywhere, and if something strikes me as unusual, fun, or possibly good speculative book fodder, I take a picture. I take pictures in bathrooms, of menus, and of food arrangements. I’ve refrained from taking pictures of actual human beings. Does anyone take pictures of others unknown for research? Do you feel invasive?
There are ideas at the zoo, the subway, and Chinatown. Maps, artwork, and knick-knacks. I love them all. And I’m always looking.
So I’d love to know. What are your best, most favorite research methods?
PJ Hoover would love to visit the lost continents of Atlantis and Lemuria under the oceans.