THE FACE required quite a bit of research in several areas: first I read a book on beauty and its effects on people–and yes, there are effects. Even babies show a pronounced preference for symmetrical, or “beautiful” faces. Beautiful people do generally have an easier time of things.
I also had to research the obvious areas: the CIA, face transplants, Treacher Collins Syndrome, and poppy/opium production. Though I’ve been a huge fan of the TV show Alias, I quickly discovered that I couldn’t rely on the show for any research–the show is designed for drama, not reality, and most of the situations in it are unreliable. I did manage to sneak a reference to the show into the manuscript, though. 🙂
When it came to the story’s setting, I relied on a trip my husband and I paid to Spain last spring. While we were driving up the coast, I spied an old church on a rocky mountain out in the sea. The mountain was big enough for only one building, but the place was haunting in its beauty. That’s the location I had in mind when I wrote the story. (I’ve uploaded a photograph).
The information about the trauma drug and “brain printing” is absolutely accurate, as is the computer jargon, if you’re into that sort of thing. And yes, if you had a give a gun to a blind man, you’d give him the one I described near the end of the book. I have to thank my friend and gun expert Tom Morrisey for that information.
So–as with most of my books, I spent a few days doing “big picture” research, then I jumped in and began writing. I looked up the smaller things as I went along and discovered what I needed. It’s all a learning process.
Tomorrow: the writing.