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!
Jacqui Jacoby on the web:
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.