Thursday, March 24

IN THE KNOW




Do you remember when you first became a writer and you were told, “Write what you know.” 

At the time I thought, “Oh no, I’ll put my readers to sleep.” Trust me, my life is not that exciting.
But, many moons later, I get it.

For one thing, most of my books are set—at least initially—in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, the Portland-Vancouver Metro area. Because that’s the life I know and love.

I know how long it takes to drive to the mountains—90 minutes North or East, depending on which mountain you want to visit, the beach—90 minutes West. I know the sports teams, school teams, and the eclectic vibe that is synonymous with the area. I know that we’re a water-bred community—whether it’s the kind that falls from the sky in 80 different variations of what others call rain, or the two rivers that flow through and between our cities like arteries to the very heart of it all.

Most of my characters have a piece—or two—of me embedded within. Bix has my sarcasm although I have to admit, he’s more adept at it than I was at his age. Analise is a dreamer, Annie is the loyal sister, and Trinity—one of the nobodies—is the compulsive reading escape artist who is afraid to speak aloud. 

And when I don’t know something, I do the research. I can now hold an intelligent conversation about climate change due to the research I did to find out if an Ice Age was a viable possibility to build a book around. I’m also a quasi-expert on life in the middle ages, witness protection, and paintball.

I think the best authors explore the unknown because they are intrigued and if we're intrigued, hopefully we can pass that along to our readers.

8 comments:

  1. I like that quote - write what you're passionate about. So much better than just 'write what you know'. Great post, Margie!

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    1. I know! I just found it while looking for memes to go with the post. Love it when that happens.

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  2. Hi Margie, I totally agree. We know more than we realize, whether it's love or guilt or longing or heartache. And you can research a lot of the rest. :)

    Also, if you have time for a short read, I have a surprise on my blog: http://www.laurarueckert.com/2016/03/i-have-agent.html

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    1. Laura, amazing news! Congrats!!! I am so happy for you.

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  3. Wonderful post. One lovely thing about research is even when you think you know about something, there's always more to learn. I love how you can relate the "flavor" of the PNW.

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    1. Research begets more research. Kind of like creativity begets creativity.

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  4. So get this post, Margie! I've done extensive research on symphony conductors, music, pianos, wine, women's shelters . . . now I'm exploring Christmas tree farms, wineries, and resort condominium development. Yeah, we get fascinated and hopefully, we pass that on to our readers. Nice!

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    1. That's the ultimate, I think, in passing our passions onto our readers.

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