Fun Research

I love researching my stories, and one of my favorite kinds of research is visiting the place I’m going to write about. I always come away with wonderful little details that will add to my story.

Take Fire on the Moon, which I’ve just put up for preorder (on sale at Amazon for 99c). It’s the story of Francesca Turner who goes to Naples, Florida, to visit her estranged uncle and ends up in the middle of a murder plot. And, of course, only werewolf Zane Marshall, one of my Decorah Security agents, can save her life.

If I hadn’t visited Naples, I would never have known about Tin City, a quirky little mall where all the buildings are made of corrugated tin. I don’t set a scene in the mall, but I invented a nearby bar called The Tin Man that echoes the ambiance of the real thing. When the hero and heroine go there to get a line on one of the guys who tried to kill or capture them, they end up in even worse trouble.

I had been to Naples, Florida, before. But when my husband wanted to go for a big birthday celebration—I quickly agreed and vowed to use the locale in a book. Maybe from reading the story, you can tell that we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton—a fabulous hotel right on the Gulf. (And you can walk around it with me.)

We took a short cruise along an inlet that was lined with million-dollar-plus houses. I used one of them for the heroine’s uncle’s digs.

In Naples, we particularly enjoyed the state parks along the Gulf, and I send my hero and heroine to one of them when they’re trying to evade the killers hot on their trail. The layout of the park came in very handy for Zane’s tricky plan to ditch the bad guys. And I even include the raccoons we saw at one of the picnic areas. He encounters Francesca while she’s hiding in the bushes

I visited several parks and wildlife areas and included descriptions of the foliage there. I hope, if you read the book, you’ll feel like you’re immersed in the Florida atmosphere and landscape.

Do you look for authentic setting details in the stories you read?


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Rebecca York

About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  View website

10 Replies to “Fun Research”

  1. This is really interesting. I imagine that when you’re planning to use a location as your setting in a novel you pay more attention and try to take in more things–which probably makes the trip more fun.

  2. I love this, Rebecca. I’m planning a trip to Temecula, CA sometime soon, my brother and his wife live in wine country, which I think will make an excellent backdrop to a story i’m planning. Thanks for the suggestion and best wishes with your new book, looks amazing!

  3. Locale is an important element for me, as a writer and as a reader . Aspects of the surroundings that trigger events or impact the plot definitely enrich the story. Well researched details (and there’s nothing better than being there to gather them) help bring the narrative to life. Get the details wrong, though, and readers who know better tend to lose trust in other elements in the book. Rebecca, you’re especially skilled in using locale to add to the adventure.

  4. I always enjoy stories with the flavor of the locale. It completes the picture in my mind and makes the story richer. Now I know how you bring that to your books. Have idea, will travel.

  5. Locale/setting is very important to me. Often, I’m so immersed in a book – if the phone rings or someone talks to me – I feel like I’m being pulled out of wherever the story is taking place. Beautiful pix. Very atmospheric. And I loved the racoons!

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