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Jacqui Jacoby on 'Research' #Giveaway of Dead Men Seal the Deal


This week we invited author Jacqui Jacoby and she came bearing gifts. There's a kindle copy giveaway of her latest release, Dead Men Seal the Deal to one commenter! 



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Research, the Sauce of the Story

I have a movie I like a lot.  It came out in 2009, a sequel to its predecessor.  But in this movie one of the characters, of Mexican heritage, says while in a fight scene “Tabasco sauce? Who else but us would think up that stuff?”(paraphrase)
Love the director.  Love the actors. 
However, a quick Google search of twenty seconds reveals:

“Tabasco Sauce was first produced in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny, a Maryland-born former banker who moved to Louisiana around 1840.”**

Love the movie still, but that line always annoys me.  And someone should have checked it.
Research is what we do to give depth to the books we are writing.  We may know the hero’s hair is blond and his eyes are brown, but it takes more to make him come alive and bounce off the page.
He needs hobbies, he needs a job.  Somewhere along the line before hit page one he was born, giving him two parents, maybe a sibling.  Did he get his love Golden Retrievers from that family pet he had? 
How about how does he like his coffee?
I always need to know how my characters like their coffee. I think it gives them personality.  The tough hero? Black?  Or three sugars and cream? Very telling.
In 1986 I was at UCLA using The Young Library catalog card system to check out every fact I had to check.  That library had a lot floors and a dime for every copy at one of the strategically placed photocopy machines. 
Now we have Google and I hear a browser history of where we go on our research trips. In writing DEAD MEN PLAY THE GAME, I was all over the board.  I had a large cast of characters with varying skills and interests.  One day I literally had to find a wedding dress for the heroine,  the Italian pronunciation of “My Beautiful”, learn how to make how to make a Sapphire Martini, build a detonator to explode the gas line and find the best method used to  cut a man’s throat--is it right to left if you come up behind or left to right?
(I’ve often wondered what my NSA guy is thinking as he reads my latest list of searches<g>)
Print what you find online and put it in a note book under the proper heading.  Photocopy what you get out of books.  It you watch it, and I do use movies to get the feel of something (i.e. Young Guns for a western) take notes of what stands out.  Write everything down that is important to your novel.  Make sure you have a method to retrieve the information you locate because I can promise you, when you get to page 300 in the book after five months of work, you might not remember how that gun operated.
Fiction is our imagination coming to life on the page.  Though the story is made up, a lot of what we put into won’t be.  Look hard for that one piece of fact that will blend into the worlds we build … and stay away from Tabasco Sauce.


** June 23, 2015, from   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabasco Sauce

Jacqui Jacoby's latest release, Dead Men Seal the Deal




Too-playful-for-his-own-good, Jason Sullivan keeps himself busy working his job, hitting the gym, and dating the right girl for the right amount of time. He loves romance. He loves treating a woman right. Until he has a chance encounter with Taylor Grant. Taylor escaped Georgia to flee a broken relationship. Her convictions to stay single, stay away from men and give up sex altogether will be challenged when the mischievous Jason gets her in his cross hairs. 

Jason’s seductions are not only in his romances, but also in his job. When a meeting with a new client brings Jason's human past forefront, secrets and regrets come crashing down around him. He will turn not only to the new lady in his life, but to his ‘brothers’—Travis, Ian, Quinn and Evan—who will unite as an unstoppable force that not even one greedy, vindictive hag can expect.

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23 comments:

  1. Research. Research. Research. Then double check. There's always someone out there who will know if you've got an anachronism, and that can be very embarrassing.

    Your cover is a stunner. I'd pick that book off the shelf in a heartbeat.

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    1. Thank you very much. And yes, research ...

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  2. What an intriguing cover - and blurb.
    Research is sooooo valuable. I want/need my characters to be real. Even when they aren't.

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    1. I always like to make sure the details are right: the brand of drink, the play of music. Jason likes Greenday.

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  3. Those little details, when they're wrong, can drive me batty. It's why I can't watch CSI-like shows--they're absolutely horrible!

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    1. I still love that movie, but I do want to throw something every time he says Tabasco Sauce.

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  4. I research so much for my stories: settings, careers, weather/disasters. The list goes on. I enjoy researching though. Not only is it fun, but it's essential to have the right facts.

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    1. Visiting locales is good, too. A lot of my books take place in Southern Cali ... particularly in the graveyards of Southern Cali. I spent a lot of time there.

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  5. Without a solid foundation of research, a book risks total failure. At least, for this reader. That's one of the things I especially liked about Michael Crichton books... they were always scientifically sound and plausible.

    Unfortunately, if anyone from NSA ever comes knocking on our door, my husband has already told me he's just gonna point the way to my office. I mean, just because I've researched how to make homemade explosives and that sort of thing...

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    1. Micheal Crihton, love him, did not know how to explain how the embryo got into the ostrich egg. I saw talk and he said he tried, but he couldn't do it and hoped no one would notice. I loved that!!

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  6. I bet there are whole separate lists for writers and their searches! :)

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    1. No two writers do the same things the same way.

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  7. The research is one of my favorite parts. I love finding odd facts. In my historical, I needed to find out how long a horse lived and in that research I found the story of an old work horse. I think his name was Old Billy and he holds the record for age and spent hi whole life pulling carts on a wharf.

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    1. Much fun. I hope that all worked out.

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  8. I had no idea how much research is needed to write a book, but I do know when a book is worth reading, and it has to be the research that makes the difference.
    Fascinating interview, thank you for sharing.

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  9. I do most of my research online and I'm always bookmarking. I take notes when I read books and type them out later. I want everything on my computer for easy finding.

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  10. I also do most of my research online, since most of my subject matter is too far for me to access physical books.

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    1. I wrote Vengeance before the Internet. Have no clue how.

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  11. Research is definitely important. For my recent release I had to look up ovens from a certain time period, a specific car and the colors it came in during a specific year and all other odds and ends. Sometimes the research is just double checking and sometimes I am learning about something for the first time. Thank goodness for the internet, as I can only imagine how long these searches would have taken me without it. :)

    Wishing Jacqui the best!
    ~Jess

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  12. I think checking the facts is important when writing a book for the reasons you state.. it shows how you care about the book and the honesty of it xox

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