Guest post by Katie Hines, author of GUARDIAN

"The warp and woof of a good novel," by Katie Hines

In the process of writing my soon-to-be-released book, "Guardian," I did a lot of research. I researched pirates, treasures, the Middle Ages, the times of the Crusades, and so forth. To be honest, my book wouldn't be a book if I hadn't done all that research.

For "Guardian," I spent about three months researching before I began to write. I read online and bought books. I made phone calls and sent emails. I found forums relating to any of the topics I thought I might address in the book. As the book took shape, I found that a lot of the details in my story, a lot of plot points, arose directly from my research. When stuck and doing
some free associating, different details from my research would rise to the forefront in my thinking, and voile! my writing dilemma would be resolved.

Even things I didn't think would be important, but that I researched "just to be sure," ended up in my book. Things like weather, like clothing, architecture, food and boating. Details of landscapes that I learned about from friends who sent me pictures, brought depth to my novel. Even the very first sentence of "Guardian," contains a detail of teenage clothing.

And now that I am at work on my second novel, I find that research holds an even more important place because part of the centerpiece of my book has to do with a specific craft (no, I'm not going to tell you what, yet). I am planning on visiting a couple of touristy type places in South Carolina and Georgia to see the master craftsmen at their work to lend authenticity to my
story, and rich details that say "I've been there." These details will form the warp and woof of my novel and lend stability and depth.

And so, I'm pretty excited to see where my research is going to take me...and my next novel! I've got a first line written, but it, too, is secret at this time. But later, oh later, I shall share it with you. For now, I hope you're intrigued with that opening sentence of "Guardian," and
my point of view character's words to his friends: "This is a secret meeting," Drew Newman whispered as he pulled his letterman's jacket close."


L. Diane Wolfe said…
People don't realize that fiction requires just as much (sometimes more) research than non-fiction!

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”
Vivian Zabel said…
Katie's novel is interesting, and my grandson let me know quite strongly we should take it. She is currently working in partnership with one of the best editors around, one who I insist does at least 2 or 3 edits of any of my manuscripts.

Guardian may be written as a YA novel, but it is a good read for anyone who likes fantasy.
Deborah Weed said…
Hi Katie,
The cover of your book really pops! Research makes a book that much more believable. It gives the whole story context! Looks terrific. . .
Anonymous said…
Always glad to hear authors performing their due dilligence in the realm of research. Its easy to tell if an author has researched a matter sufficiently or if they merely sat down and wrote.

Stephen Tremp work on the ATLAS experiment at CERN in Geneva.
Unknown said…
Where in Georgia are you researching? I live in the north Georgia mountains. Sounds like fun.
Anonymous said…
Your book sounds so interesting! Best of luck.
Helena Harper said…
Great cover, Katie. Writing a novel demands so much from the writer - not only good writing and storytelling skills but also, as you say, thorough research. I'm in awe of anyone who can do it (as my kind of writing is totally different)!

Katie Hines said…
Thanks guys, for all your comments. My illustrator, Diana Navarro, did a slam dunk job on my cover, didn't she. Kudos to her!

Yes, research took me places I'd never been, and friends helped me a great deal along the way.

Kathy, unfortunately I wont' be visiting the Georgia mountains for this book. I'm going to be heading to Stone Mountain to watch some of the craftsmen there, and also to North Carolina where they have similar craftsmen.

Thanks everyone for the great comments, and thanks to Mayra for hosting me.
I'm sure having so much research as the foundation to your book will make it soar!

It sounds like the Guardian will have the same kind of thoroughness in research.

Donna McDine said…
Katie...good for you on all your research. It shows how important research is whether fiction or non-fiction. Best wishes for your continued success.

Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
The Golden Pathway Story book Blog
Donna M. McDine’s Website
Tara McClendon said…
Great post on research.
Liana said…
Just great post! Loved to read all the details...