Sunday, January 18, 2015

Secret Tricks for Optimizing Research

Tomorrow sees the release of Under His Touch, one of my contemporary erotic romances. The lovely ladies at That's What I'm Talking About are hosting a Sunday Snippet from the book, if you care to check it out. It's one of my favorite scenes in the book, when my very correct Brit hero just can't quite stop himself from touching the heroine. A chaste caress, but oh, so fraught.

My favorite thing!

Okay, one of my favorite things...

This week's topic at the Bordello is Research Tips and Tricks.

I want to tell you guys what I tell everyone when they ask me about doing research - that I write what I do because I can make things up and don't have to do research!

Seriously, this is why I don't write historical anything.

That said, I did go to a fancee college where I learned to use a research library. Because I double-majored in biology and religious studies, I became adept at finding both cutting edge scientific data and obscure old mystical texts. And loved it all. In grad school, I began to do my own research, which developed another set of skills.

Of course, this was all back in the days before the military-industrial complex developed the Internet, which was then swiftly appropriated by free-thinkers the world over, in one of my favorite bits of irony.

See? I have a lot of favorite things.

It's pretty amazing. I wrote a novel five years ago that I adapted Sanskrit words for to create the world, which means I used this ginormous Sanskrit dictionary - four inches thick and not in alphabetical order. It's a giant PITA to use. I never sold this novel, but I recently adapted it for another go at the market. This time I discovered an ONLINE SANSKRIT DICTIONARY. I cannot rhapsodize enough on how ever-so-much easier this is to use.

So, that's my tip. Use the ever-loving Internet.

Save the dictionary links, learn how to improve your Google-fu with specific searches, know which are the good research site, donate to because they're awesome. And I'll give you one more.


I know, I know - I'm always going on about Twitter. But the Twitter hive-mind LOVES questions. You can throw a question out on the waters and someone will answer. It's amazing. It helps if you have a fair number of followers, but you can always add "Please RT" and people will pass it along. Best reason ever to build followers.

For example, when writing Under His Touch, I asked Twitter if it would be reasonable for a man in New York City to go out on a Sunday morning and buy a high end hairbrush from a place nearby. Not only did an NYC gal answer, she even wanted to drill down to what neighborhood he'd live in and where he might go.

(The answer was yes.)

So there you have it. Go forth and retrieve that information!


  1. Ah the power of writing in fantasy...and of Google. I love both!

    Congrats on Under His Touch!!