Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't Fear the Research with Guest Sarah Mäkelä

Hello, Blogger Buddies! I have another New Author Friend to share with you! Please give futuristic/paranormal romance author Sarah Mäkelä a warm welcome!

Don’t Fear the Research

Research is something almost integral to any writer since while we might know a lot, usually what we write about sometimes delves into what we don’t know. That was something I did with the two series I have right now, one is a futuristic cyberpunk romance with a private investigator and a technomage (Hacked Investigations) and the other is a paranormal romance about a village in the Amazon Rainforest that mingles with shapeshifters (The Amazon Chronicles).

When I first started out with Jungle Heat, I did my research first and then supplemented it while writing. I went all out, finding out about the Amazon warriors who fought Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco de Orellana and his men, where they fought, what happened, and everything else I could about the culture of those people that I could. I also learned about the kinds of animals and weather to better wrap my head around how the women live. You could say I pretty much geeked out.

It was a good experience since I learned not to be afraid of research. I don’t have to be restricted to what I know just because I’ll have to dig around and find out more information on town/item/culture. Will you find out everything and be able to make your writing 100% believable to someone who knows the subject very well? That’d be great, but it’s important to do the best you can. Some people will spot minute details only a person intimately familiar with the town/item/culture and will put the book down. That’s on them.

Here’s roughly my process for research. First off, I go to Wikipedia, and then I’ll fact check with Google. If there’s not much information online, I head to my local library. It’s important to get the information you want while researching, but also allow yourself to delve into what you might not know you want, but then that’s easy for me since I love learning. Besides, it’s great for when you’re writing the next book, and you find a way to use what you’ve found out!

Do you find research fun or frightening? Do you have any tips that make it easier?

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark Magical Encounters of Passion...
Website: www.sarahmakela.com
Blog: http://blog.sarahmakela.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarahmakela
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorsarahmakela

Here’s the blurb for my newest release, Jungle Heat. I hope you enjoy it! If you’re interested, the excerpt is available here.

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets. One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men.

Adara Rukan, princess of the Amazons, ventures away from her village to find something waiting for her. Andrei "Rei" Makarov is a weretiger and a biologist on assignment. Can Rei and Adara find love enough to bridge their two separate worlds?

Jungle Heat is available now from Changeling Press: Buy Link

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At 7:30 AM, Blogger Bella Street said...

Woot! Congrats, Sarah! LOVE the cover!!

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Sarah Mäkelä said...

Thanks, Bella!! I love the cover too! :-D

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Elise Warner said...

I love research. So much to learn and so many fascinating worlds. I agree--your cover is terrific.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Lisa Kessler said...

Great cover Sarah!!! :)

I love researching for books and stories!!! I also like to troll around images and google earth to see how things look...

Good luck with the new release!!!

Lisa :)

At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Charlie said...

Sarah,your books sound great!

I love researching general ideas like parallel universes or animal behavior for shapeshifters, but I dred doing detail research for accuracy. I wrote a time travel once and the historical research nearly killed me. ;)

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Jenny Schwartz said...

I'm a research addict, and I second the usefulness of Google. Gorgeous cover!

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Sarah Mäkelä said...

Hi Elise! Thanks! I'm thrilled with the cover! I really enjoy research too. I always come away with more story ideas.

Hi Lisa!! Thank you for commenting!! Oh yeah! I troll for images and look at Google Earth too. With my Amazon series, I even pinpointed the exact spot where Orellana was said to be attacked by the Amazon warriors and searched it on Google Maps. lol Thanks! I hope you'll read and enjoy it! :-)

Charlie, Thank you! I've done research for animal behavior with shapeshifters too! *grins* I think that's pretty fun as well. I know what you mean about research for accuracy. Sometimes it's not as fun.

Hi Jenny! Thank you for the compliment! Me too. I'm grateful for Google's search engine. I've learned so many new things using it.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

I love research and tend to get caught up in it, going off on tangents, jotting notes on things I probably will never use : ) But it's so much fun!

It's been great having you here! Thanks!


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