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How Much Research Do I Do to Write My Books?

It's a fun rabbit hole.

May 29 Blog Pauline Baird Jones

Back when I used to attend book events that required me to leave the house, I used to get asked a lot about the research I do to write a book.

I have researched some books (Out of Time, Just in Time ) and less for other books. 

One of my challenges when writing Out of Time was trying to find out what it must have been like to travel through Occupied France. I finally had to give up on that. What I did to deal with my lack of knowledge was have them travel in the dark (which made sense). They couldn’t see anything to describe. 😂

Research is fun and interesting but can also be a rabbit hole. For instance, for The Last Enemy, I have a box full of books that I collected. The hubs even did some real-life research outside the courthouse in Denver, CO, and almost got arrested (it was soon after the Oklahoma City bombing, so oops). 

Thanks to research, I knew every step of the hike up Long’s Peak without having actually to climb it. Whew! 

I did try to research time travel. I’m sure you won’t be surprised that this didn’t go that well. I saw a lot of ads for time machines that were for sale (unused). 🙄

There are many theories about time travel, but not a lot of hard science. So I made things up. I mean, my books are fiction. 

The steampunk was seriously both interesting and crazy but ultimately very fun. 

Getting into space and other galaxies doesn’t require much research when writing fiction. You don’t have to go into detail about how they get there, which I like a lot. 

The hardest research I have had so far was to try and find out about the New Orleans Coroner’s Office. When I wrote Dead Spaces, they were situated in an old funeral home. Since then, they have moved into a new building, but that was pretty crazy in the very real sense. 

Sometimes the craziest thing you can run into is reality. 

Perilously yours,


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