Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Dana Littlejohn is Releasing the Baggage!
Dana Littlejohn is here talking research. Welcome, Dana! So glad you're here! I thought instead of a regular interview, I'd ask how do you do your research?
I take a lot of time doing research on a potential story. I say potential because not every idea makes it to print, so to speak. I actually have an entire process that I go through. A lot of times my stories have come from brainstorming with a friend on a subject that interests me. Other times someone mentioned a topic that set my mind soaring, but most times they come from random stuff like a picture or a conversation either way the research is done the same way.
First the inspiration comes. Once I have a solid idea I make a make-shift outline consisting of the beginning, middle and the end just to keep me going in the right direction. When the outline is done I am free to explore without fear of losing the basic story I am trying to convey.
Most of my research is done online. Nowadays the internet is the easiest and most resourceful research tool there is. I can look up places I can't physically get to learn more about it. I like to have a good feel of the places I use in my stories and use common streets, landmarks or areas so my readers can connect to the story. I also use it to learn more about folklore or legends and stellar activities for my fantasy and sci-fi like stories.
Although most of my research is done online, I do think in some cases research must be done hands on. In some situations you just can't get the feel of a place, an action or a situation unless you've actually been there done that. I also interview people to get knowledge I don't know from people who do. In the name of bringing realism to my characters I have done, gone, experienced and asked a few things that I have kept in my mental rolodex for future reference or completely deleted for the sake of my sanity. LOL
I must admit that the reason why I am so diligent is because my biggest fear is that I mention something in a story and someone calls me out for it not being true. In one of my WIPs I interviewed a nurse and a doctor to make sure the drug I mentioned actually helps people with cancer control the nausea. In my BDSM story, Home with The Jones' I tried the same thing with my husband. Let's just say it didn't work out the same way. LOL But I did try a strip tease scenario from another story, Ming's Mojo and that worked out great! LOL
To some up, I love doing my research. I think it is the best part of the writing process. You keep the stuff that is you and you dump the rest once your story is done.
Until next time…Dana Littlejohn is out!
Here's the blurb and the Excerpt for Releasing the Baggage:
Jerri Ivory was over divorce cases, but when your boss asks you to do him a favor...
During the important case, her boss is killed and she becomes a suspect all while she is trying to get to know Felix, a man her friend Linda hooked her up with. With all the mayhem going on in her life can Felix slow her down long enough to show her they were meant to be?
And the Excerpt:
Linda nodded. “Yes, ma'am, Pumpkin. Her mother was a flower child back in the sixties so she ended up with a name no one can say without practice. Pumpkin is just simpler,” she explained.
Bob and Helen looked at each other, then nodded a greeting to her.
Pumpkin waved at them. “Hi.”
Felix chuckled. “Then Pumpkin it is. Hi,” he said, offering his hand.
Frieda barely nodded at the older couple then pushed Pumpkin out the way to shake Felix's hand.
“How are you, Felix?”
“I'm fine, Frieda. How are you?”
“I'm doing much better now,” she said, flashing him a smile.
Linda bumped her out of the way, breaking their handshake. She pulled Jerri in front of her. “And this is my friend Jerri.”
“Jerri? I don't think I've ever met a woman name Jerri. Is it short for something?” Felix asked.
“No. My mother had a major crush on Jerry Lewis when she was young. When she found out she was pregnant she announced to my father that whatever the baby was she was naming it Jerri.” She shook his extended hand and shrugged. “Needless to say my father was not happy about it, but here I am anyway, Jerri Ann Ivory.”
Felix laughed. “Does he call you Jerri?”
“Oh, no. He gave me my middle name and always called me Annie.”
“Well it's a pleasure to meet you, Jerri.”
About Dana Littlejohn:
Dana Littlejohn was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but has called Indianapolis, IN her home for over 10 years. Her love for writing started as a young girl in junior high school where she discovered her first romance novel. Falling in love with love she started writing her own ongoing story in weekly installments to entertain her friends as they passed it around the lunch room.
When she became an adult she put her love for writing on hold to do the start a family, but in 2003 with encouragement from her husband she picked up her pen again. This time she has no intention on putting it down. To date she has written 3 full length novels, 11 novellas, 36 short stories and has had her stories in 3 anthologies under her own name and a pseudo for another genre. Her do-do list grows daily and the ideas flow freely. Keep an eye out for what she has coming next.