As I type this, it is 2:17 AM on Friday morning–I’ve just gotten in from Oregon, and what a blessed trip! I had such a wonderful time at Oregon Christian Writers–I don’t know if I did anything for them, but those folks blessed my socks off! Such lovely people and warm hearts . . .
Anyway, I have to catch some zzz’s and go get my puppies out of the kennel first thing in the morning. I am suffering loads of mama guilt just thinking about them away from home. Charley Gansky gets really homesick. 🙂
Okay, back to the topic at hand–You might think that a book set in contemporary times doesn’t require as much research as a historical novel–wrong! (Well, I suppose it all depends upon the topics you address.)
I had to learn about my setting, of course (Charlottesville, VA), my heroine’s occupation (physician’s assistant), and a wee bit about sperm banks and genetics. Enough to sound credible, at least. I also had to learn about computer encryption, reference librarians, and how to vanish under a fake name.
I “refreshed” the manuscript before I handed in the Thomas Nelson edition, and in addition to cutting thousands of unnecessary words I also found a couple of places where I’d written, “He logged on and waited for the modem to dial his connection . . .” LOL! Technology changes quickly!
The research wasn’t difficult, though, and as I said, I only had to learn enough to sound credible. The point of the story isn’t technology–it’s Lara’s feelings about this special child, and her decisions about whether or not to live a lie or honor truth. Yet even that took research. I had to grapple with the Scriptural examples of people who lied and God seemed to bless them for it–the midwives in Egypt, the prophet who sent the enemy warriors to the wrong house, even Rahab. I wrestled with one question for a long time: is it ever right to lie? Before you answer, ask yourself what you’d tell the Nazis who came to your door . . . if you were hiding Jews in your attic. Hmmm.
Tomorrow: the writing.