Monday, June 13, 2011
by Laura Bickle
I adore exotic facts. I get to explore a lot of them through my writing: spontaneous human combustion, Tarot, astrology, dark matter, elementals, things that glow in the dark. Research is the thing I love most about writing. I have permission to explore all kinds of topics, chase ideas down rabbit holes.
But I also get to do that when I'm not writing. When I'm not writing, I'm working behind the information desk at a library. I get an endless succession of really neat questions:
"I'm traveling to Costa Rica. Can you find me a travel guide?"
"My son is doing a report on backyard birds. What do you have that explains robins to a second-grader?"
"I need to find a way to compare digital camera ratings and prices."
"Do you have any resources about elder care?"
"I'm doing a paper on mythology. What can you tell me about Pele?"
"I need twenty books about Hawaii for my preschool class. Lots of things with pictures."
"I'd like to learn about Chinese painting."
"I'm looking for a map of bike paths in the city."
"Do you know who wrote and illustrated Y: THE LAST MAN?"
"Where can I find instructions about washing machine repair?"
"My mother is learning English. Do you have any classes that would help her?"
"I'm doing a paper on feminism in Europe. Can you tell me who the major figures were?"
"Where are your Justin Bieber books?"
"I need some books on Braille."
"What's the second book in the Redwall series?"
"Where can I take a class on embroidery?"
"I need to find out about network security."
"Can you help me with studying for the MCAT?"
"I want to learn Mandarin."
"I'm trying to locate original films in which Harry Houdini starred."
It's always something different. I learn something new every day through these questions, and I'm grateful for the chance to keep chasing down answers.
Posted by Laura Bickle
Writing as Laura Bickle, I'm the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket Books and THE HALLOWED ONES for HMH Graphia. Writing as Alayna Williams, I'm the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE. More info on my urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here: www.salamanderstales.com