Friday, May 20, 2016

Guest Post by Misha Gerrick

Today, author Misha Gerrick is stopping by. Welcome, welcome!
The Research Behind Endless.

Thanks for having me over, Leandra!

I have to admit, when Leandra asked me about researching for my book, my heart sank a little. See, for the most part my answer would be rather boring.

I’m not really a believer in research, unless the genre I’m writing in requires it. (E.G. I know a LOT about Texas history because I’m working on a historical romance set in Texas.) But although one character is a doctor and another is a cop in Endless, the book is neither a hospital story nor a police procedural.

Because of this, though, I had to do a lot of fact checking. Things like rehabilitation for someone who had been on a breathing apparatus. (Which incidentally made a huge impact on the direction the story took. For the better too, which was a nice bonus.)

Something else I had to check and re-check a lot were the historical aspects to the story. Aleria remembers a lot of stuff from the past, so I had to put in a lot of effort to figure out the color of a Regency Era British Cavalry Officer’s uniform. And the color of its buttons. Or the likelihood of a girl being out alone in Renaissance Venice. Or the kind of street lights in use during the turn of the century in Paris.

Probably the weirdest thing I had to check was Russian naming tradition so that I could create Nick’s name. It’s also probably the thing that took me the longest, because it didn’t feel right to just pick an existing surname. So I had to go research the origins of a LOT of Russian noble family names so that I could figure out the thinking behind them.

And for all of those hours, it turned out the answer was actually really simple.

Which just goes to show that most of my effort went into things that people probably won’t even notice. But that’s the way I like research. In the background. There only to make the rest of the story run smoothly.

Do you do research before you start? How do you approach your research? What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research?


About the Author

Misha Gerrick lives near Cape Town, South Africa, and can usually be found staring at her surroundings while figuring out her next book.

If you’d like to see what Misha’s up to at the moment, you can find her on these social networks:


***


First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals. 

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them. 

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless. 

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.

27 comments:

  1. I end up on several tangents of research. Currently, I'm researching leukemia and giardia. Yay, fun stuff. Hope Endless is doing well, Misha!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting what we end up researching, isn't it?
    Weirdest thing I looked up - sea kelp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting! I think I know why you researched it too.

      Delete
  3. Research can be interesting but time consuming. Sometimes we have to find out about stuff that never actually gets in the book! Good luck with your new book, Misha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Sometimes it's necessary to know something without actually explaining it to the reader.

      Delete
  4. Researching can sure consume a lot of time, but even if not noticed by most it factors in indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I end up researching so many things. I do some of it before I draft and the rest while I draft. My internet history is interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting post! Up until now, I've written my stories and put notes on the manuscript when I need to check facts, which I do after the writing process. I need to get the story down first.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the stories behind researching details and especially names! This is great - thanks for the great post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes I do research, including name origins (if they have meaning beyond simply picking a ethnically popular name). I am one of those awful historical readers that - if interested in the subject matter or culture - will look up information based on the reading. So, if the buttons or color of uniform were wrong I wouldn't notice (some creative license is acceptable). I WOULD likely notice things like the girl being out alone at the wrong time of night, or recovery time for the era; those things should be historically accurate. No matter how intriguing the concept, or well written, if significant facts are not researched, I won't finish the book - or will not respect the book if the author did not take a bit of time to make sure not to change history.

    I don't think it matters entirely how much research is put in, or when it is done; as long as it is done before final print. Sometimes little research is needed, sometimes a lot. The setting for my womens fiction is in my home town, during a time I grew up in, and I still had to check certain facts to be accurate: businesses, streets, rental prices, even clothing styles sometimes. No, watching THAT 70'S SHOW is not entirely representative of clothing styles for everyone, everywhere, during the late 70's and early 80's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you.

      I'm the same. If something catches my interest, I will actually read up about it, and yes, I'll remember enough about the story to know when the writer made a mistake.

      Delete
  9. That is a LOT of work! It's great that we have the Internet now...I imagine pre-Internet, research involved many phone calls and possibly even limiting your writing to what you could research nearby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I actually started writing pre-internet. Or... well, there was internet but it was expensive and dial-up, so my mom limited access to when she was working.

      Delete
  10. Great cover! I agree, naming characters can be tricky.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting post. Best of luck Misha!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Researching is one of my favorite things, and I usually do it as I go along. I never know what I might need to know! :) Last week I learned how to tie up a floatplane. I've researched cannibalism, rates of decay, and serial killers. You know, the weird but fun stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I haven't had to do a huge amount of research. Most of what I've looked up revolves around castles, though I have done some research on siege weapons and types of boats. When I run across things I need to know more about, hit the Internet. Good luck on your tour!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've never done any research before a book, but I can definitely understand the necessity for some stories. I read somewhere about something called a "suspension of disbelief"; it's much easier to get readers to believe in your story if you've done your research, as you have done.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! And appreciate the time it took to leave one, so THANK YOU!!!