I'm delighted to welcome fellow romantic suspense author Olivia Night back to my blog (Yes, I know I've taken a hiatus from suspense in favor of paranormals. The past counts!) She has a brand new release from Liquid Silver Books, which means I get to extort her for a writing tip. As someone who loathes research, I can't wait to hear what she has to say!
(P.S. There's a giveaway at the bottom, so don't forget to scroll down.)
But… Do I Have To??? Making Research Less Painful
by Olivia Night
When I started my first novel, I knew immediately that I was going to need to do some a significant research. I knew nothing about the arms business, Sierra Leone or it’s vibrant customs and culture. Research was not something I had considered a necessity before I got serious about writing novels. But now it’s one of my favorite parts! (Dork Alert!)
My second novel required even more research. As a Type A person I had to be sure to that what I was writing was accurate. One research topic I was not quite prepared for was delving into the psychology of victims of abuse. The heroine in Seduction in Seville, Madison Lockwood, survived an horrific situation and it was important to me that I tell her story correctly. It felt like a balancing act at times when writing her and her growth through the novel.
Poorly researched novels stick out like sore thumbs and can sometimes communicate to the reader that the author just really didn’t care all that much to get things right, even if that isn’t the case.
Research can a dreaded task when writing, so I compiled list of research tips that I swear by. Enjoy!
Tip #1 - It is totally okay to type “(need information here)” in your manuscript as you are write instead of stopping at that moment and finding the answer you need. I do this quite frequently, especially if I am on a roll - so to speak. This leads naturally to the next tip.
Tip # 2 - Commit and then sit down and do the research. It’s much harder to get a clear picture of political environment of say, Tunisia, if you research five minutes here and ten minutes there. Tell yourself you are going to research the hierarchy of wolf packs for thirty minutes and research not only what you need but as much as you can.
Tip # 3 - Notes, notes, notes. Just doing a copy/paste into a new document isn’t going to actually give you the knowledge that you need to write. Or write well. Of course you want the information on hand when you need it but, you need to understand the information as well. At this point in our lives we are all pretty aware of how we best learn. Do that. Because it’s important to…
Tip # 4 - Do more than regurgitate information. It is pretty easy to spot information within a novel that is simply reworded or paraphrased from somewhere else. As the author of your book or series it’s important to have a real understanding of what you are writing about.
Tip # 5 - Google Earth! I have spent sooooo much time on google earth. I want to get even the smallest details correct. This includes street names, landmarks and restaurants. Recently I used it to chart my hero and heroine’s trip from Hungary to Scotland. I wanted to use the correct routes, with accurate time traveled as well as places they could stay that were off the beaten path (because people on the run need to be off the beaten path).
Tip # 6 - Ask questions. When I was researching human trafficking laws within the European Union tons of questions came to mind. I spent the time and researched to find those answers. Then when I was writing about the human trafficking ring in my novel the words just flew off the tips of my fingers. Of course, a lot of what I learned was not included, but that didn’t matter. I felt confident in my knowledge as opposed to nervous that I may be getting something wrong.
Research may not be the most favorite past time for authors, but it’s a necessary evil to create a well written book. Plus, when you spend time on google earth tell the kids and hubby or wife to leave the room and you can pretend you’re taking a mini vacation!
Reviews for Seduction in Seville are in!
"We are taken on a wild ride and I loved every minute of it. I like to read books that have action and move at a fast pace and this one was just what I wanted. I look forward to reading more from this author. " - Nerd Girl Official
Seduction in Seville
The Men of FTI, Book #2
by Olivia Night
In a hospital in Seville, Spain, Patrick Kane lies in a coma. Ambushed and shot while protecting someone important to him, he fights to survive.
She never thought she would see him again. Patrick, the man who’d brought her back.
Eight years ago, Patrick Kane, a joint partner in Fairlane Trade International, descended into a basement of horrors. That horrible day he rescued many women, but one he would always remember. Her beautiful doe eyes filled his dreams and haunted his nightmares.
Madison Lockwood, a nurse, has struggled to put her past behind her, trying to forget the time she spent in captivity. But she recognizes the man who rescued her and brought her out of that terrifying reality. She owes him her life. Patrick is gravely injured, and Madison vows to see him through.
When Patrick opens his eyes, he instantly knows that he made a mistake leaving Madison after freeing her from the clutches of a human trafficking ring. She is meant to be his. As Patrick tries to win over a wary Madison, the past they both thought was gone for good comes back with a vengeance. One by one, the survivors of the horrific ordeal are being murdered. Patrick knows that Madison will be next if he doesn’t protect her.
Together they must fight for their survival. Seduction In Seville, book two in the Men of FTI series, is a tale of redemption, murder, new beginnings, and love that takes the reader on a wild, exotic ride.
He was struggling internally, she could feel it. She knew why, and so did he.
“I’ve been on my own for a long time now.”
He tensed, his fingers flexing on her hips. Whoops, wrong thing to say.
“I know that, Madison.” She opened her mouth to speak. “You’re not anymore.”
She opened her mouth again.
“Not ever again,” he added.
He turned her then and looked down at her with determination in his eyes. Daring her to negate his statement. “Patrick—”
“I found you again. Or you found me. Whichever. But never again, Madison.”
She was silent for a beat, and then she felt her heart begin to thunder. Oh God, she was going to hyperventilate.
She shook her head and then asked the question that had been on her mind for a month. “What are you doing?” It came out a bit like an accusation. She looked up at him and watched him grind his jaw, his hands on her hips using the same rhythm.
“What am I doing?”
“What I should have done eight years ago.”
She glanced over his shoulder, thinking back to those eight years. She had woken up to her parents, and as much as she’d hated it, she’d wanted him there, too “What do you mean?”
He looked at her for more than a few seconds, his gaze searching hers, and then he just seemed to look into her. “I knew your eyes the second I opened mine,” he said as if it were some sort of explanation. Goosebumps erupted all over her arms. “I could never forget them. Ever.” Still, she said nothing. “I saw them all the time. Every day for eight years.”
She looked down. Their waists were almost touching. He had done that before. Careful not to connect them there. She leaned her lower half into him. Another first. And then he pulled her closer. She looked back up.
“I should have never walked out of that hospital, Madison.” He sounded so sure.
“Patrick...” She shook her head. “It’s okay that you did.”
“No. It’s not.” He said it with finality. “I knew it was wrong then. I just ignored what I knew or maybe thought that I couldn’t be right. That I was misidentifying the feeling. That it was inappropriate for me to have those feelings then.”
What was he talking about? “What feelings?” she asked.
But he ignored her and kept going. “You were so scared. I didn’t know you, and I wanted to take it all away. All the time you spent there. Clear it from your mind.” His gaze was now over her shoulder, staring out the window.
“And you needed me. You leaned on me, slept on me. Held my hand when we got to the hospital. I should have never left. At first, I told myself it was the right thing to do. You didn’t know me. You didn’t need me. I convinced myself that I was making it up. That what I was feeling was to make me feel better. I couldn’t save them all. I saved you. So, I told myself that this was all just me trying to take away my guilt...and that you really didn’t need me. But then, after time had passed and I saw your face more clearly...the way you had looked up at me in that basement. The way you looked at me in the Jeep. In the hospital. I knew leaving was a mistake. You did need me.”
Madison was silent through it all. His explanation, though disjointed, was perfectly clear. She continued to look up at him. She had no clue what to say, so she didn’t say anything.
“And then I realized it wasn’t just about what you needed. It was about what I needed. I needed you and to be there for you. To see you through it. And I could’ve found you, but...I didn’t. I stayed away.”
“Why?” she whispered.
He looked down at her then. “Because I knew Madison. I knew.” As if this were an entirely understandable explanation.
“You knew what, Patrick?”
He stared at her, unblinking, and then said, “That you were mine.”
About Olivia Night
Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid reader and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Men of FTI series sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, drinks wine, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, which she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.