Monday, August 1, 2016

Research—Open Book Blog Hop

Based on the research I do, I bet I'm on a government watch list somewhere.

But, I suspect many writers of mysteries are. We write about things that are against the law and—hopefully—make them believable even if they only happened in our imaginations.

That means we have to learn a lot about topics that normally are untouchable in polite society. What's the best way to dispose of a body? Can you tell what caliper a bullet was by looking at the exit wound? What shape will a body be in if found two years after death in the desert?

Okay, I haven't used any of those in one of my books—yet.  I have, however, learned a lot about guns in general.

My heroines are not shrinking violets. In fact, they kick ass when its needed. Luckily, I have a husband who was an armorer in the military so he's my first source of information. If needed, I can turn to the several guys at work who are hunters and are willing to talk about ammo and shooting in general. There's also a email group that I am a member of where the participants discuss anything and everything crime related. If all else fails, I resort to a writer's best research friend—Google.

Although I'm still no expert, I know a lot more about guns than I used to. For example, a revolver and a pistol are not the same thing. Sure, they are both handguns, but the way ammunition is fed to the chamber is different. (Kind of like a square is always a rectangle but a rectangle is not always a square!)  Oh, and did you know cops always have a bullet in the chamber? And while an AK-15 is not a real gun, the AK-47 is.

As a writer, there are times when I need to take "liberty" with the facts to make a story work. and while some people may object to that, as long as it's done deliberately and with great care, I feel there's nothing wrong with it.

The problem with doing research on the internet is that's it easy to get lost. By that, I mean to wander from one interesting fact to another because it might be useful to your current writing. For example,I went looking for the handgun manufactures that have the best reputations. Glocks made the top ten, but barely. The Sig Sauer, which I'd never really known about, was #1. So that's what I gave my heroine in Wolves' Knight for her "personal" carry. (Plus a retired police officer recommended it.)

So far I haven't explored the topic of really big guns. Cannons. I could easily lose an hour or two in that topic. Ones that are so big they need their own railroad track to move on.  Guns that can hit targets 70 miles away. I don't know how I'd work one of those into my books, so I'll close that window on my computer and come back to all of you.

Now let's do a little research and find out what the other writers in this hop have to say. You can find them by following the links below. And, as always, feel free to leave me a comment! Who knows, you may lead me to an interesting topic to waste my time on the internet—I mean research!

Oh, and to whomever the poor soul is from the unnamed government agency that watches over me, thanks for reading!

August 1, 2016
Research Post. Post your interested, unusual or eye opening research. Or, in the alternative, you can post about how you research.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ‪#‎OpenBook‬ when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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