Guestpost: Get Your Facts Straight. by Anne Patrick + Giveaway

Filed in Anne Patrick , Guest Post , The Geeky Lover Posted on March 11, 2011 @ 7:00 am 5 comments
We are very happy to welcome author Anne Patrick here at Book Lovers Inc today. She writes about Romance, Mayhem and Faith and today she will tell us a bit how she researches her books. Please give Anne a warm welcome.
UPDATE: Check out the end of the post for a chance to win an e-book of Fire and Ash

How many of you remember the drudgery of researching at your local library? Thanks to the internet, things are a lot easier now. I do my research, probably like most other writers: books and the internet. However, you have to be careful where you get your information and whether or not it is indeed accurate. Your best bet is to find someone in the field you are researching and ask them to lend their expertise. Most always, you’ll find a willing participant—especially if you promise to acknowledge them in your book.

Through research is one of the most important steps you’ll take in the writing process. You want to take great care in making sure you’ve done your homework, especially if you plan on doing any book signing or book club talks. I never will forget my first book signing. After I’d done the fun part of autographing all the books, I was asked to talk to a group of about twenty people. Now that in itself is pretty terrifying to me, but when they started asking research questions my anxiety level went up a notch or two. Thankfully, I had contacted a professional in the same field I’d placed my main character and I was able to answer all their questions. I even had a little pamphlet made up (just in case anyone was to ask) that I passed around describing how my forensic artist went through her creation process.
Another example is my novel Fire and Ash. Several months of research went into it’s creation, involving books and the internet.
To make sure I got my facts straight I enlisted the help of a wonderful man named Keith Tarbox. He is the fire investigator I corroborated with to make sure my fire scenes were plausible and that my character was believable. His help was invaluable. Not only did he take time out of his busy schedule to answer all my questions he read the manuscript and made some suggestions that gave the book more depth. His insights and the real life experiences he shared helped me to get inside Sadie’s head and really get to know her.
In all honesty, this books success is due largely to his willingness to help out a nagging author.

Last case in point is my short story Dangerous Deception, which is included in a mystery/suspense anthology that was released March 1st from Victory Tales Press. My inspiration behind this story came from reading about the civil war in Sierra Leone back in the nineties.
 When I first came up with the idea for this story a few years ago, I contacted two different pastors living in Sierra Leone who actually witnessed many of the atrocities that took place. Since my novel is a contemporary, it takes place in a fictitious country. The events I describe, however, were inspired from the stories I was told. This brings up another point you may want to watch out for, avoid using real names and places if possible.
I hope my post was useful to you. I want to thank Susi for having me today, and for the opportunity to share a little about myself.
 If you’d like to learn more about me and my books, please visit my website:

As a reader, how important is it to you whether an author gets their facts straight?

Giveaway Update

Anne has generously offered an ebook of Fire & Ash to one lucky commenter

All you have to do is answer Anne’s question or leave a comment about the post.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is open to everyone
Giveaway ends on Saturday, March 26, 2011; and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • Stella (Ex Libris) March 11, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Hi Anne! Thanks for such an insightful post! Not only was it useful but so interesting!! I always find it irritating when some people simply wave away authenticity in novels saying "well it is fiction, you can make up whatever you want"! grr!

    So thank you, I most certainly enjoyed this behind the scenes glimpse you gave us! 🙂

  • Miss Mae March 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Accuracy is extremely important! I think that'd be obvious, but as Stella said above, some would wave their hand at that notion and utterly pooh-pooh it away. Eeek!

  • Gail Pallotta March 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I think it's very important for writers to put accurate facts in their books. I enjoyed reading about how you research. It's basically the same for me. I know you do a great job with your research and you're writing because I've read you're work. I highly recommend it.

  • Diane Craver March 16, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Hi Anne,
    I already have a copy of Fire & Ash and loved it. It was fascinating to learn and read how a fire investigator went about solving the cause of a fire. Your excellent and thorough research paid off and Sadie was a wonderful and believable character.

  • winnie March 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I would say that for me, it is very important that authors get their facts straight or at least be as accurate as possible because even though the story is a work of fiction, somethings and details should be grounded in reality to make it believable (unless it is in the pure fantasy genre). So I appreciate authors who do take the time to research to make sure that they have things accurate!


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