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Monday, May 12, 2014

HOW DO YOU DO RESEARCH?

I am researching the state of Montana and the Blackfoot tribe for the third book in my Hawkins ranch series.

TARGETED is about the third son who is adopted. He is from the Blackfeet tribe. And no I’m not mixing up Blackfoot and Blackfeet. Research shows that in Canada they are known as the Blackfoot tribe, but when they cross over into the United States they become the Blackfeet.
I am doing most of my research online using Google search. I was also in the Fort Calgary museum ten days ago and they have a nice section with information about the Blackfoot tribe. I’d like to find someone from the Blackfoot tribe so I could make sure my research is accurate.

I also wanted a small town in Montana and had to figure out the area - close to the southern border, close to airports, an hour or so drive to a major hospital and still a little remote. I figured out the area and placed a fictional town, Duster, Montana, there. I added hotels, stores, police station, diners and restaurants and other places to make a small town. Hopefully it works.

I’m using the information for TARGETED but I’m also using it for my next series. I’ve had Canadian readers, and writers, say they’d like to read romantic suspense set in a Canadian setting – so I’m planning a series about a retired (not by choice – replace by a younger male) female crime reporter in Calgary, Alberta, with a Blackfoot mother. So my research will serve for several books.

How do you research? I’d love to hear from you.

8 comments:

  1. Research is important for accuracy in books. The small pieces draw the reader into the story and create that picture in their heads. I love reading about real life events but fictionalized. All the best!

    You may want to check a local school or college near where the tribe is located. Most schools are required to have Native People Liaisons for the children and families as much for the schools. It's a part of respect.

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    1. What a great idea, about the schools and colleges. Thanks Melissa. I'll check that out.

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  2. Our favorite way to research a place is to go there. Nothing else can quite give you a true sense of the sights, smells, and feelings evoked. In addition, we read, read, and read. In the case of our latest, THE MEMORY KEEPER, we spent over two years reading, talking to people, making connections, and asking questions to be certain we truly understood our characters. We were writing about San Juan Capistrano in the 1800s, but we needed to really inhabit the world of the Juaneno people. Fortunately we had the assistance of the town historian and the native storyteller.

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    1. That sounds like the perfect way to do research, Lorna. I'd love to be able to do it that way. And I'd love to find a native storyteller.

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  3. I love researching. My WIP has to do with a Cherokee grandmother. I've done lots of research on line and reading. I'm going to Tennessee in a few months and visit the museum. I've heard it has tons of information.

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    1. Research is interesting, isn't is it? The museum in Tennessee sounds like a treasure trove. Have fun! I think I need to check out and see what other museums might have info on the Blackfoot.

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  4. I love researching too. That's what I'm doing today for my South Dakota series. Thanks for sharing, Beverley.

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    1. Your South Dakota series sounds interesting. Have fun researching today.

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