I am a big fan of knowing what you are talking about. I think this is a very important quality in an author. If I was to write a book or story about a certain sort of weapon that exists in reality, I want to everything about that weapon. I want to know everything from the trigger and firing pin, to the material used in the butt, to the first date of manufacture. I want to be the Forrest Gump/Rain man/Mozart of firearm specifications and amaze my friends at parties with my armament acumen.
In all honesty, most people reading my story would not know a firing pin from a bobby pin, but there may be just one or two that does know. To me, those are the really important readers. I want everyone to be able to enjoy my work without the distractions of inaccuracy. If Joe Gunowner reads said story and loses his suspension of disbelief for even a moment because I said that the sight was a .72mm, when in fact it is a .79mm, then I have failed.
Now lucky for me, I do not write about guns. Because, let's face it, I am no Mozart, or even Forrest Gump for that matter. I do write about serial killers, zombies, werewolves, magical rituals, witches and monsters of all sorts. As an author, I enjoy a bit of wiggle room when it comes to "facts" in these cases. No one that I know of has ever run into a werewolf or soul eater…..that I know of….*wink*.
I use this wiggle room, when available to create magical werewolf riddled fairy tale horror stories such as The Kayla Burkheart Tales, or to create soul-eating monsters as in my short story, The Walker. However, and here is the kicker, there are times when wiggle room is in fact, your enemy.
When I pen stories about ancient Gods and Goddesses, such as in All the Little Children, the facts must be accurate. If I am telling the stories of serial murderers, there are certain psychological landmarks and stay points that must be present. If they are not there, you have a story about a crazy guy that likes to kill people. While that may be entertaining for a short time, the real meat of a story lies in the reality of it. If the killers in my stories deviate so far from the psychological norm, so to speak, they become nothing more than a caricature of a psychopath that is unable to garner empathy or disdain from my readers. For me personally, this will not do.
In my current WIP titled Prodigal Son, the majority of the story focuses on one man, but it also explores the dominant/submissive aspects of a serial killing team. I personally spent hours and hours watching the Investigation Discovery channel. I know, poor me, ha ha. Then I spent hours reading books. After that, I poured over Google to find the best technical websites that dealt with all aspects of behavioral science.
It was torturous. Okay, not so much torturous as absolutely fascinating, but I digress.
No matter how interesting, or in some cases, mind numbingly boring it may be, it is a necessity. There is absolutely no way that you can write a story worth anything without thoroughly knowing your facts. If you just start making up facts willy-nilly, all you will get is pure chaos, and readers that don't trust or believe you. That translates to readers that do not believe in you. As a writer, your most important key to success is that your readers believe in you.
When I see that a new Stephen King novel is coming out, I want it. I do not really care so much what the story is about, but I see Stephen King in big bold letters on the cover and I have an instant burning desire to own it and make it mine. Forever and ever and ever, Danny. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) The reason that I instantly lust after that new title by Mr. King is the fact that I believe in him. I know that he has done his research and put out the best, most thorough product that he can. Stephen would never let me down with erroneous "facts" about firearms or anything else for that matter. I trust him.
So as an author, I want to be just like Steve. I want people to see my name and instantly covet my newest releases as though they are as necessary as oxygen. Well, maybe not quite that serious. Well, yes, actually I do want that, and you as a writer probably should want that, too.
With that, I will leave you with an excerpt from Killers, now available everywhere:
He swung his belt at me and when it hit my arm, I didn't even feel it. For the first time, I saw fear in his eyes. He swung again. I reached up, caught the belt and pulled it from him. I felt like a hero in a movie. I stood there, a boy of fifteen, standing up to a man that had caused me more pain than I could have ever imagined.
I swung the belt around, and the buckle connected with his cheek. He let out a yelp and stumbled backwards. I charged ahead towards him, swinging that belt. Every snap of that leather made me feel like I finally had the upper hand. He was cussin and hollerin, trying to get away. I kept after him. "I'm gonna whip you within an inch of your life. Maybe closer." I said to him, never raising my voice. I kept hitting him. Blood was rushing out his mouth and nose, the belt was cutting the skin on his bare arms. Finally, he stopped trying to get away. He just put his hands up to try to protect his empty head. I kept beatin him. It was just like with Jimmy Swift. I got down and wrapped that belt around his scrawny neck and squeezed. He scratched and clawed at me and the belt, but I kept squeezing. Then he stopped, and I kept on. I don't know how long I sat there squeezin, but it was long past the time he was dead and gone.
I would love to say that I am a unicorn riding, rock star, swimsuit model, but that would not be one hundred percent true. In fact, it would not even be one hundredth of a percent true.
I am actually an author (my first love), an artist and sculptor (my second love), and a custom cake artist (My thi.. you get the idea.) After a very long string of jobs throughout my life (Everything from bank teller to telemarketer),at the tender young age of thirty-five, I finally got up the guts to actively pursue my real passions.
So, now here I sit in Central California (really Central. I am almost exactly in the dead center.) doing my absolute best to carpe diem as well as a few other cool and important sounding Latin phrases. I believe for the most part that I am succeeding. I am married with no children, currently 37 years old. I am an avid reader that also thoroughly enjoys boating, fishing, dancing, and cooking and of course drinking wine. Before you even wonder, I actually DO like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. I am a classic rock girl, but you will often find me listening to classical music, as well as most other types.
I am always available at: