Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Research is Waaay Too Much Fun--with Roxanne Rustand


Missy, here. And I'm so happy to introduce friend and fellow Love Inspired author, Roxanne Rustand! Roxanne has been one busy woman. Here's her book release list for 2010-2011:



2/2010:   FATAL BURN (Book #2, Love Inspired Suspense Big Sky Secrets series)
6/2010:   END GAME (book #3 in the LIS  Big Sky Secrets series)
11/2010:  WINTER REUNION (book #1, the LI Aspen Creek Crossroads series)
4/2011:   MURDER AT GRANITE FALLS (book #4, LIS Big Sky Secrets series)
6/2011:   SECOND CHANCE DAD (Book #2 in the LI Aspen Creek series)
11/2011:  THE LONER’S THANKSGIVING WISH (book #5 in the new Rocky Mountain Heirs series for Love Inspired)
12/2011: Untitled (Book #5 in the Big Sky Secrets series)

Wow! I'm in awe. And I'm looking forward to what Roxanne has to share with us today. Be sure to hang around, because I see she mentions a giveaway at the end of her post!

Research is Waaay Too Much Fun
by Roxanne Rustand



Do you ever wonder how an author researches material for a book?  I often set my books in the modern day west, and  I think I started my general research when I was six years old and my dad bought me an elderly mare and bridle for $75.00 --no saddle for a couple years, though, as the old horse trader down the road said bareback was the only way to learn.  From then on, I was on horseback from dawn to dusk, unless I had to be in school.  It was like giving a six-year-old the car keys! 
  
I grew up riding bareback throughout half the county, with all of my horse-owning  friends.  We played Civil War or cowboys and Indians.  We were little girls in pigtails, racing across meadows and following every gravel road we could find.  It was a magical childhood, before the time when parents became afraid to let their kids out of sight.  I rode in rain and heavy snow, and loved loping across snow drifted fields.  I look back now and can only be thankful that my guardian angel was working overtime!  Eventually, I began to show, raise, train and show my own horses.  It all proved to be great research for writing books set in the West!


Many of my horses (and other pets, like my son’s pet corn snake, Igor…or my husband’s beloved Schipperke, the Grandma Bitin’ Dog)  have also become major elements in my books.  Cherry was a seventeen-hand Thoroughbred-Clydesdale cross, bred to be a heavy hunter, I suppose, back in the day before the large influx of imported warm bloods.  He had the color pattern of a Budweiser horse, with a broad white blaze and white socks, the lankiness of a Thoroughbred, and personality to burn. Tall as he was, he would lay down and shimmy under  fences to escape, and he did that on a regular basis.  He loved to go sight-seeing at night, and was particularly fascinated by houses and the people inside. One night, a couple looked outside and saw an eerie white form with glowing eyes “floating” outside their window–spying on them.  Terrified that they were seeing an alien, they called the sheriff and several patrol cars soon arrived with lights and sirens…only to find Cherry standing on the couple’s rose bushes, and watching them through the window.  Some of Cherry's adventures appeared in A MONTANA FAMILY.

Something out of my usual realm was the research for RODEO!  Through a chain of fortunate events, a rodeo contractor let me travel with him and his wife to observe their work first-hand, and I also met a couple heavily involved in producing PBR rodeos. The notes from those interviews  were a book in themselves, and the chance to spend time in the back lot at rodeos, interviewing clowns and bull riders (so cute and shy, and so young!)  was perfect research for picking up on the nuances of speech, and gesture and attitude that I needed.
   
That brings up a good point.  People are almost always delighted to talk about their lives and careers, and there’s nothing like those interviews for adding personality to a character.  To those of you who are writers, don't be shy!  It isn’t hard to find people who are willing to talk.  Try your local sheriff….firemen…doctors….private investigators.  Other great contacts can be tracked down through the Internet.


I’ve met the loveliest people that way!  Ranch women.  Fingerprint analysts.  DEA agents (ending up doing a four book series on them!)   Veterinarians, lawyers and funeral home directors (one of my books was set in that world.) But of course, my true love is the West…ranching and horses and those  strong, independent  men and women who live out there.  I’ve written thirty books, now, many of them set in Wyoming, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, and each time I start a book involving livestock, heroes wearing a Stetson, and the West, I feel like I’ve come home again.  The fifth book in my Big Sky Secrets series for Love Inspired Suspense will be out in April, by the way.


I also love using the scenic country in Minnesota or Wisconsin, where WINTER REUNION, my November Love Inspired was set.


Three winners will be drawn from those of you who post comments--and will receive an autographed copy of a book of your choosing from those listed at my websites at www.roxannerustand.com  or www.shoutlife.com/roxannerustand  or www.booksbyrustand.com I have copies of most of my past releases but not all, so the winners should email several choices and  I’ll do my best!


Happy trails to all of you!
Roxanne Rustand    

90 comments :

  1. Thanks for the great posting Roxanne. Unfortunately I am one of those shy people and the thought of calling a professional to interview them kind of intimidates me. It must be more interesting doing an interview than just researching on the internet--that can get pretty dry and overwhelming sometimes.

    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

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  2. Cynthia, I'm intimidated, too! But I've managed to do it by email a little easier. :)

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  3. I'm finally heading to bed. I'll see y'all in the morning with coffee and some breakfast! (And I'll try to wait just long enough that maybe Ruthy will show up and make you something truly yummy.

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  4. Another reason I enjoy the writer's life--we can have fun and use it to have more fun in our own written world!

    I've always wondered, though, about those law enforcement folks. I can't help feeling if I try to talk to a CSI or TSA or some such law-type, they may think I'm trying to figure a way AROUND what they do. When I needed info. on the interaction between ocean water, tides, etc. and a dead woman I could not make myself call and ask a professional. But if I just happen to run into a forensic pathologist--well I'll ask questions all day long.

    Thanks, Roxanne, for interesting insight. AND motivation. You are amazing.

    Blessings,
    Mary Kay
    mary [at] marykaymoody [dot] com

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  5. What a wonderful post. I have Winter Reunion on my nightstand! Can't wait to dive in.

    I am one of those people who will talk to anyone about anything anywhere. It is the most fun part of the process for me. I am also amazed at the connections that crop up when I have asked friends or colleagues for help. Someone always knows someone in the area of interest.

    Roxanne, I am looking forward to your books in the new year. And thanks, Missy, for inviting Roxanne.

    Since it is December 1st, I am officially breaking out the candy cane Hershey's Kisses.

    Peace, Julie

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  6. Morning Roxanne and Missy,

    Thanks Missy for bringing Roxanne to share.

    And thanks Roxanne for joining us in Seekerville.

    What an exciting childhood. My sister did the same thing as you and had an old horse. She loved that old horse. Se would take it riding on the beach.

    Love your books. And I can see why after hearing about your research. I'm like Julie and will talk to anyone. It is the fun part of the process for me too.

    Except for getting an actual contract.

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  7. I love that story about Cherry! And the fact that she made it into a book! LOL Your childhood reminds me of Trixie Belden (of kid lit fame). I have Winter Reunion and a pile of lovely wintery reads heading my way from eharlequin. Now after 'meeting' you I can't wait to read it!

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  8. Kav - LOVE Trixie! Miss her! Need to find my books and read a few [there are actually a couple of fanfiction sites for Trixie and friends, believe it or not... Do not ask how I know this. It's not because I looked one day. Honest.]

    Julie - loves those kisses! Thanks!

    I'm back to my Dr. Pepper drip if anyone wants to share with me :). Meant to go to bed earlier last night since I got so little the night before, but DP drip sounds more fun than a full night's sleep, doesn't it?!

    I *did* finish Nano last night with about 501xx. Book isn't done, but Nano is and I may chuck them all out the window anyway.

    I'm with Cynthia though. The thought of cold calling people and asking for help? Yeah. Not so much. I did accidentally find our local... forensics building or something. I forget what it was but I thought 'hey, I bet there's people there who could help me with a murder!' - like a crime lab building I think. I about choked on my heart when I called the symphany to ask if someone could propose at the end.

    Time to get ready to head to class.... I'd rather be napping ;).

    And books are always fun. Especially with horses and cowboys!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

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  9. I think Roxanne is definitely right. People love to talk about what interests them. I got into an hour-long conversation the other day with a firefighter who knew everything you could imagine about antique firetrucks. Not that I'm writing about classic fire engines. Or firefighters, even. But I kept asking questions, because he was loving the conversation, and it's always fun to learn. Besides, maybe someday I will write a book with a MC who's a firefighter. And now I know one great guy who can give feedback.

    It can be hard to take the initiative in conversations with someone you don't know, but it really is fun. Ask questions (even if you think they sound dumb) and let them do the talking!

    Would love to be entered to win. Please sign me up!
    hendrickson_emily(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Thanks,
    Emily

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  10. Hi Roxanne,

    Your story about Cherry peeking into the window is great. We had a horse for a short time that would follow my husband all over the pasture, just like a dog!

    So, far I've used careers or situations, like having MS in my books because I know people who can help with the research. I'm sure there will come a day that I have to approach a stranger for this type of information.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

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  11. Cold calling people would be tough. I agree! But it's much easier if you start talking to people you know and find contacts that way. I once worked with a gal whose husband is the police chief of a neighboring town. He was the nicest guy. He enjoyed being interviewed, and even called me later, asking if I needed more help.

    I took the local citizen's police academy classes and a series of classes with the fire department in our town, and that opened up opportunities for good local contacts.

    At RWA, my friends and I usually do the Kiss of Death tour on the Tuesday before the conference, and these in-depth tours are often fabulous. An all-day KOD tour with the FBI and ATF in Washington DC was incredible, and in addition to all of my notes, I collected some business cards.

    But the Internet is great, too--putting out feelers on a writer's loop (such as the RWA Mystery Suspense Chapter's loop, or the ACFW loop) by saying "does anyone know someone who..." can yield a wealth of great contacts for research on a certain locale or profession.

    It's fun to see all of you here!

    Blessings

    Roxanne

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  12. Roxanne,

    Thank you for your post, and sharing your experiences. I agree research is a fun part of writing. I've been blessed with friends and acquaintances with varied interests and occupations and therefore I’ve had a ready source of research. When I’ve had to cold call agencies and individuals they’ve been nothing but open and helpful and usually give me more information than I could use. I think the only downfall to research is a person can get too involved in researching every detail and never getting around to writing the story.

    --Kirsten
    kanavyhist[at]aol[dot]com

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  13. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraDecember 1, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    Wow you have been very busy! I can't wait to read some of your new books. I think it is great that you love your work and research!! I can't wait to see what you come up with next!!

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  14. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraDecember 1, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    I forgot to include my e-mail!!
    Thanks again for sharing!!


    fantum2004 AT sbcglobal DOT net

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  15. Roxanne

    What a fun and interesting post! Thanks for stopping by Seekerville. Cherry stole my heart though... Beautiful! We are owned by 2 Al Khamsa Arabian mares (mother & daughter - saw them BOTH born) and 3 dogs. Amazing how they show up in a story, or clamor for one of their own. :)

    Love your ideas on research. Thanks for sharing and wow on your book schedule. Please enter me! may at maythek9spy dot com

    Congrats to all the NaNo folks. Y'all done good!

    Sign me up for the DP drip - I was just going to do one chapter of Mary's Calico Canyon, just to say I started it... yeah... well... we all know how THAT went...

    PS - rejoice with me! What a blessing to meet with a potential crit partner yesterday. We agreed - it's a match! :) Yippee!

    PPS - It just started snowing! Perfect to enjoy candy cane kisses!

    PPSS- Captcha is "terse". What's up with that?

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  16. Good Morning, Roxanne, and welcome to Seekerville!

    I kept my writing life a secret from most people for so many years (better not to constantly hear "why aren't you published yet?")that even with 3 books sold it's still hard to say "hi, I'm a published writer and would you please tell me more about _____?" I feel like a fake. :)

    Like you said, though, start close to home. That's what I did for my first published book -- talked with an ex-Navy guy I work with. He was more than happy to answer my questions about the Navy.

    Oh, and I can sure relate to your wonderful childhood, Roxanne! So sad that parents and children have to live in constant fear now. I grew up in small farming and mining towns in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois and had such a sense of security and freedom. People think you're making it up when you say there was a time when people didn't live constantly "on guard." Things have really changed. But such wonderful memories I'm blessed to have of that freedom!

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  17. Like you, Roxanne, I love research. As a historical writer, I have an excuse to spend time with my nose in my reference books, searching Google books for titles printed years ago, and surfing the Internet. I have to limit myself, because I can lose track of time. =)

    I'm a reserved person, but I've learned that people love to talk about their hobbies, interests, and professions, and that knowledge has helped offset my shyness. I've had wonderful interactions with people who've been eager to teach me things I needed to know for my stories.

    What tips do you have for keeping track of the information you acquire while performing your research?

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  18. LOL, Mary Kay! I worry about that kind of thing, too. I used to be in the Kiss of Death chapter and would hear of people ending up on government lists because of all the websites they'd visited. :)

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  19. Great post, Roxanne.
    Thanks for sharing the fun stories from your childhood (and family pets). I love the 'stranger than fiction' stuff :-)

    I've always taken notes about family history from the more seasoned folks in my family, but just within the last year, I've delved into interrogatin...er...interviewing strangers. It's been wonderful!! Right now I'm emailing a British nurse who has a love for British nursing history, particularly WWI (the era of my novel)
    AND - my next victi...er...professional to interview is a Veternarian. It's so much FUN!! And you are right, most people are more than willing to share.

    Congrats on all the books. WOW - you are as prolific as Mary and Ruthy!!

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  20. Julie, I'm sure you'll love the book. Thanks for being such a supporter of LI!

    Thanks, also, for breaking out the holiday chocolate!! I'm always up for that. :)

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  21. Good morning, Sandra! I agree. Contracts ARE more fun than research! :)

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  22. Kav, I hope you get a chance to snuggle down under a nice blanket and read those books. My favorite cold-weather spot is the corner of our sectional under my silky soft blanket, cuddled up to read.

    There's cold weather in Georgia today!! Big storms blew through yesterday, and now another cold front. it's only 36 degrees outside. Brrrr! (she says from under that blanket)

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  23. CarolM and all of you who did National Novel Writing Month... CONGRATULATIONS!!! Way to go on working toward finishing that book. We'd love to hear how many words you got done.

    Carol, if I read your report right, you did a little over 50k? If so, that's amazing!! Woo hoo! You deserve a DP drip! Enjoy. ;)

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  24. Emily, your friend sounds like a great resource! I would definitely consider using that info in some way in a book.

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  25. Rose, wasn't that the cutest story about Cherry?!

    Speaking of horses... My daughter and I saw Tangled this past weekend. Very cute movie!! And I have to say that the horse, Maximus, nearly stole the show. I wanted to take him home! (yes, I do realize he's a cartoon character. But still...)

    :)

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  26. Good morning, Roxanne! I'd love to do the citizen's police academy someday. I think that would be so interesting!

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  27. Kirsten, once when I was researching archeology sites around here I got so involved that before I knew it, I had worked on it for like two weeks! And then that proposal didn't sell. You definitely have to find balance!

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  28. WOW, Roxanne, like Missy, I am IN AWE!! Not only at the number of books you produce in a year, but at the amazing extent of your research!! And just from the few fun examples you used of pets you incorporated in your books, I can see how much they would enrich a story -- Cherry sounded like a hoot!

    I wish I were more like you as far as research because for me, it's as difficult (and nervewracking) as trying to pry a carrot out of Cherry's mouth!! But ... I have learned that infusing my stories with as much history and occurrences from my own past definitely give them the authenticity and depth readers want in a novel.

    Have a blessed day, Roxanne, and thank you for coming to Seekerville!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  29. KC, congrats on finding a cp match!! That's so important. I hope it goes great!

    Late last night they said we might get some snow flurries, but alas, nothing this morning. So enjoy your snow! :)

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  30. Glynna, isn't it funny how writers never seem to be secure in claiming who we are. I wonder if we'd still be that way if we had 20 books published? :) I wonder how long it takes to grow out of feeling like such a newbie?

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  31. Hello, all of you on Seekerville!
    I LOVE visiting this site:)
    Thanks for another great giveaway opportunity!
    Many Blessings and Smiles to All,
    chakasa58 at gmail dot com

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  32. Great question, Kelli. I loved Microsoft One Note, but now have a Mac and can't use it (it's not included with Office for Mac). It was great for organizing notes. And for anything I cut and pasted from the internet, the program always added a link. A very nice feature!

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  33. LOL, Pepper, you cruel interrogator! I can just see you shining bright lights in the eye of some poor veterinarian, drilling him with questions about neutering techniques.

    [grin]

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  34. And good morning to you, too, Charlotte!

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  35. Well, since I've had a cup of coffee and even a Dr. Pepper drip compliments of CarolM, I guess I should offer you some breakfast! So I'm setting out some homemade tea biscuits and blackberry jelly. And butter, of course! A side of bacon sounds good as well.

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  36. Enjoyed your post, Roxanne. Knowing this about you will add a new dimension to the reading of your books. Thank you!

    Please include me in the drawing:
    lr dot mullin at live dot com

    ~Linnette

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  37. Wow! Way to churn out those books, Roxanne! I have to wait a year and a half between books!

    Your childhood sounds wonderful. Definitely prepared you to write great stories!

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  38. Welcome to Seekerville, Roxanne! Your little girl life sounds fabulous!! My horse experiences were just the opposite from yours. No doubt the horses knew I was inexperienced and afraid of them.

    Congratualations on authoring 30 fabulous books! I'm awed!

    Janet

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  39. Hey, Linnette and Melanie! Yes, it does sound like such an idyllic childhood. It definitely enriches her stories.

    Janet, I've had mostly good horse experiences. But I've been nervous, too, and that horse knew it! They're very smart.

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  40. Hi Roxanne:

    Have you written a book about your childhood? That’s the book I’d love to read. I can ‘see’ it on the bookshelves now: “Back When We Rode Our Dreams”. I can see little boys doing that but little girls riding free on country roads and open fields, amazing. I grew up in the country and I didn’t see anything like that.

    BTW: You are 100% right about interviewing people. Often people who will never see anyone will see an author writing a book. (Just don’t say you’re a reporter!) I’ve been amazed by interviewing two Governors, a senator, several multimillionaire real estate developers – just for books I was writing on real estate. People love to be treated and looked upon as experts. Be sure to acknowledge them in your book. A key is not acting shy. Act like you interview important people all the time. It is amazing!

    Vince

    I’d like to win any of your books in large print.

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

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  41. Roxanne, I rode a horse a lot, too, when I was young. I was never horse crazy like my sister, but honestly, we just did it out of boredom.

    Talking about kids running wild outside just strikes such a chord with me because that's what we did and what my kids did, but we live waaaaaaay out in the country. I feel badly for my children living in the city (in this one way).

    You just can't say to your kid, "Go outside and play."

    Not like we did or my children did.

    And the fact that we (mainly my neighbor friend and I) rode horses so much when we didn't really care for it is such a great example of how a child, left with time and imagination and NO CELL PHONE TEXTING, will entertain themselves in really creative ways.

    And we lived to tell the tale.

    Though we might've helped turn my mom's hair gray. :)

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  42. Missy -

    So glad someone else is sharing my DP drip with me! Glad I'm not the only one who needs it ;).

    Officially, NaNo is 50K on a new project. There's lots of rebels who add 50K to a current project or whatever, but to officially win, it has to 50K on something new [but it's honor system and 50K on anything is a huge success!] NovelTrack is nice because you can set your own goal and happens more than once a year ;). So yes - just over 50K of something that may or may not ever see the light of day again. I'm thinking about chucking
    Nick and Debbie [who totally needs a new name anyway - it just doesn't 'fit' her] out the window and letting them fend for themselves from now on - mob or no.

    I think I'll always be like Glynna mentioned - not telling people, even if I have dozens of books to my name, feeling like a fraud or whatever. That's my personal self confidence issues at play I suppose...

    I *have* gotten up the courage to email a few people I know wouldn't make fun of me - like a friend whose hubby used to be a cop and now works for the secret service. Another was the twin sister of my BFF in 1-3 grade. I also emailed the older brother of one of my good friends in HS. THAT one took some guts. He's so not the person he was in HS [this is a good thing!] but I asked if he'd look over some paramediccy stuff. He thought it was very cool and agreed - he even gets the paramedic named after him ;).

    I think part of it is that they have less power to make me feel bad [and yes I know 'they' only have the power I give them], but if Jason laughed at me or asked what on earth was I thinking, I might shed a tear or two but I wouldn't be devastated like I would be if my dad or husband or something said the same thing...

    I need to make more supportive friends [or trust more of them to be supportive] and trade some of my family in for more supportive models...

    /sigh/

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  43. I love the research work you do. So much of mine is online. And man is THAT easy...compared to going somewhere.

    But we miss things if we never touch them, see them, smell them, hear them. Doing things for research that gets me out behind my desk adds a richness to the work. I think.

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  44. Wow! This is a wonderful, active loop. I am so impressed with you all!

    Glynna, LOL on keeping one's writing a secret at the outset! I tried, but my husband told everyone on the planet that I was writing, probably from the first day. I think the ensuing questions ("So, when is your book coming out?") were what drove me to continue during the disheartening periods before I sold. Too many people would think I failed, if I gave up! :)

    Missy, I got to take our little granddaughter to see Tangled last weekend. I know the horse is just a cartoon, but if he doesn't win an Oscar, there is no justice. I have never laughed so hard!

    Julie, yes--our menagerie has provided a lot of material. :) The first line of my first book was: "If she'd known about the snake, Claire never would have left New York." I think I wrote it the day I found our son's albino corn snake curled around one of my shoes in the closet! :)

    Pepper,
    Family history can be such a rich source, can't it? Someday I'd love to do some historicals based on all the materials I inherited from my spinster aunt, who was a one-room school teacher in Kansas, and who regularly killed rattlers sunning on the school steps. Or, maybe a historical romance based on my dad's stories and old files--he was in the CIC (precursor of the CIA) during WWII, and ended up his tour as the head of the Berlin office. The dangerous experiences he had along the way were unbelievable.

    CarolM, good for you! It does take courage to contact people for research, but it sounds like you have been doing really well at it!

    Roxanne

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  45. Vince, it sounds like you have had some amazing interview opportunities. How cool!

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  46. This is a great post. I'll have to consider seeking out experts on the stuff I need to reasearch.

    A wonderful lady from my church loaned me a book that is pertinent to one of my research topics.

    I'm gonna try to get the whole story out before I do research though. The things I need to know don't directly effect the story, only the fringe details. Still I want them to be accurate. I don't want a reader to get hung up on some minor detail I get wrong so they lose enjoyment in the story. I've had that happen to me, because I'm a stickler for details.

    I've never like the research part of any project though. So putting it off until after the writing suite my procrastinative streak just fine. :)

    I'd love to win a book, but I already read Winter Reunion. I'll have to look at the sites Roxanne posted, to see what appeals.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

    PS why do we use 'at' and 'dot' instead of '@' and '.'? I've wondered about that for weeks.

    Andrea

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  47. Vince, I would love to read that story as well. I feel like I missed out by being a city girl (well, more like town girl). I only got to ride horses at camp. And then later in college I had a boyfriend with horses who lived in a more rural area. Loved that!

    I think I've found the perfect mix now. Small town just a rock's throw from the country, about 45 minutes from Atlanta. I get the best of all worlds!

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  48. Mary, I sometimes try to imagine my kids without video games, computer, and cell phones. And I just can't fathom what their lives would look like. :)

    You know, sometimes they do actually go out and spend time playing basketball, riding bikes, poking around in the woods. They always have a blast and should do it more often.

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  49. CarolM, yay on the 50k new words!!! That's amazing. I hope you do send your baby out into the world soon (whether that's a critique partner or contest or ed/ag). Wishing you lots of success!

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  50. Carol, I also meant to say to just give family members time. They'll probably come around once they see you're serious about writing. Either that, or maybe once you make some money at it. That usually does the trick! LOL

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  51. Roxanne, the horse in Tangled actually reminded me of my dog!! I just know they used a dog as a computer model for those movements. it really cracked me up.

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  52. Andrea, we use the dot and at in place of the real things so spammers (or spy bots or whatever they're called) don't pick up your email address. It'll help save your email box from an overload of junk. :)

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  53. Time for lunch!! I'm having a craving for chicken wings. We have this place in town that has the absolute best buffalo wings. And also a dry butter rubbed variety as well.

    Yum. I'll see you folks later! Gotta make a wing run.

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  54. Missy, you're so sweet! You know that?

    Ruthy, I just finished Made to Order Family. I L O V E D it!!! I thought I enjoyed Waiting Out the Storm, but wow! You did awesome, girlfriend! As soon as my mind starts working, I'll put a good review on Goodreads.

    Carol, girl. All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not the ONLY one whose long winded! ;-) Comes in handy when we need to crank out the word count, don't you think? :D

    Horses...I grew up in the most rural county in the state of Missouri and I think I road a horse only once or twice. So, it just goes to show you that it doesn't really matter where you come from. Exactly.

    Glynna, which of us doesn't feel like a fake? Even with some minor publications under my belt it's still hard to put "writer" down as my occupation. Of course, if people saw how many hours I put into it, they'd definately say it's my "occupation." Just not a good paying one. :D

    Melanie, I loved Love on a Dime. I'll get to a review on Goodreads soon. :D Can't wait to read the your sequel!

    Roxanne, I want to pet Cherry, feed her sugar cubes and let her carry me around on her adventures...when the weathers warmer!

    Mary, Vince, and...well everyone I guess. LOL When I interviewed my police chief friend, I did it via email. I would send him questions and he'd reply with answers. But, sometimes there was too much to tell him and too many questions for me to have him answer so I resorted to sending him a copy of the section of the story I needed his help with and asked him to let me know what was right and what was wrong. This ended up being the best way to handle it. As a former police chief, he could analyze the situtation and tell me if the procedure was correct and if the actions and reactions of the victim and perp were real to life. He was actually thrilled with the job I did and said he couldn't wait to read the book. Anyway, that's one way to to an "interview." Of course, Randy is a friend, too. You might not feel free to do it that way with a stranger. :D

    Cynthia, one way you might do it is to talk to people you know about introducing you to people they know. You can always do an email interview. That way you don't have to be face to face with the interviewee. I feel intimidated by people much of the time, too, so I know what you're saying.

    See, Carol? Told you I'm long winded, too. LOL

    BTW...what's for lunch? Did I miss it?

    ~Linnette

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  56. Okay...blogger flipped out on me and posted twice so I deleted the duplicate. Why does it do that? Weird!

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  57. I'd love to read a book about Roxanne's childhood adventures and pick her brain about the real life folks she's met. Thirty books! What a cross section of lives she must have put into them. If her books are as interesting as this post, I envy the winner of this giveaway and definitely want to be included in the drawing! (I think Cherry would have fit right in with my dad's ponies who used to unlatch their stalls so they could munch on the bushes outside our kitchen window.)

    reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  58. Linnette - you wanna come over for leftover turkey? Bring chocolate with you.

    I need chocolate. And I just ate the last peanut butter cup :p. All I have left is chocolate chips. Not cookies, mind you, chips. Though I could make them into cookies. Or dough. Just dough.

    There's an afternoon plan - make cookie dough and read some stuff from a new friend ;). Ignore Nick and Debbie outside.

    Missy - You're probably right about the family members - or most of them anyway. However, it's still stymying? stymieing? stymeing? causing my efforts to be stymied when it comes to creating a platform. I have a website and a blog and even a Facebook page but I have told very few real life people about it. So I have few followers and no real audience, but I haven't really tried yet either. See, if my family found out then I'd have to deal with them and I don't think I'm ready for that yet :/. I did send what I have of Nick and Debbie off to one friend but that's about it. The story's not done but I will probably dig it out sometime. Eventually. I *did* get my first... guest blogger? I guess you'd call it spot yesterday :). They liked my personal story so I get to write it up =D.

    Linnette - maybe there's a 12 step group for us... Or maybe not... but I bet we could write about one for hours ;).

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  59. Fun read. Thanks for sharing.

    Yesterday was Thanksgiving round two. Youngest lost his days off to Black Friday and didn't get to come be with the rest of the family. But he came yesterday and just left a few minutes ago.

    But I have just the solution to my doldrums. The mailman just delivered Rancher's Reunion!!! So tonight I'll lose myself in a nice read.

    Helen

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  60. LOL, Carol! I bet we could! I'll have to pass on the chocolate chips, though. I can't believe you ate the last RPB cup!

    ~Linnette

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  61. So glad to have you in Seekerville, Roxanne! Wow, Cherry sounds like one sweet horse! I have had to satisfy my love of horses vicariously for most of my life, either in books or through the generosity of "horsey" friends who'd share theirs with me from time to time.

    And Glynna, I am SO with you in the "feeling like a fake" department. That's why I tend to write more from personal experience or else do my research online, like Mary. Guess we really do need to suck it up and act confident, like Vince said!

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  62. what a collection of books :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  63. Ooo, Roxanne! I love cowboys! I'm with you on the whole growing up during the time when parents didn't have to keep their kids in the sight at all times. Loved that freedom and never thought twice about it.

    That whole getting out and talking to people about what they do? Well, that does not come second nature to this one. I've forced myself to initiate conversations with ranchers and farmers, but I'm so nervous about talking to them, I forget to ask the most important questions, LOL.

    Congrats on the thirty plus books and many many more to come!

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  64. Thank you for the wonderful post. I enjoyed reading about your Magical childhood.

    Many blessings to you all today!


    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  65. Late to the party!@!! But still thrilled to have Roxanne here. I am excited to delve into your latest LI release, what a gorgeous cover too.

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  66. I'm finally back! Have literally been gone all day since lunch. Will get caught up now...

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  67. Renee Ann, that's so funny about the horses unlatching the stalls! :)

    With they type door handles they have at our vet, my dog opens the doors and tries to escape the examination room!

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  68. Yay, Carol, on being invited to guest blog!! You'll have to let us know when and where.

    Helen, I'm glad you got to have a late celebration with your son. And I totally understand those doldrums. The only thing that saved me from it this time was knowing my son would be home again in 3 weeks for Christmas.

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  69. Myra, don't you love horsey friends who share? :)

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  70. Audra, I remember riding my bike all over town. And with no cell phones to check in! :)

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  71. Hey, Karen K, Cindy and Tina. Good to see you here!

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  72. Thank you, Roxanne, for this posting. I enjoyed learning more about your childhood. This past weekend I sat and talked with a most amazing 100 year old relative and learned from her so much more about the time period of my WIP. This part of my research was a pleasure to do. Love to win a copy of any one of your books, Roxanne. And love to be considered for a five page critique from one of the Seekers.

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  73. Roxanne!!!!! I wish I'd had a chance to stop in sooner to say hi!

    Love ya! Great post too. :-)

    Hugs
    Cheryl

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  74. Pat jeanne, that sounds like an amazing opportunity! My sister once interviewed my grandmother for a paper she did. It's so great to have that interview now! She was born in 1900, so she saw a lot of changes in her lifetime.

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  75. I love the story about Cherry.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  76. What fun to see all of you here! I recently left my day job to write full time, with the idea that I would also have more time to keep up with all of the intriguing writer's sites on the web.

    I will definitely be back here to enjoy the upcoming schedule of blog visitors!

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  77. Roxanne, thank you so much for being with us today!! I'll draw the winners later, so y'all be sure to check back this weekend for the list. :)

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  78. Roxanne,

    Hope you see this. I'm getting to it late.

    How much research do you do on careers before you have interviews.

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  79. Wow, what a childhood! Lucky you Roxanne! Someone should research you for a book :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  80. What a fun way to do some research :) I mean rodeo and all that stuff...I am fascinated!


    franalokas (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  81. These all look so good and a great post!

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  82. I'm so bummed to be late to this party, but Roxanne, I just wanted to wave wildly in welcome from upstate New York!

    Great post, awesome career, and WONDERFUL BOOKS!!!!

    YAY, YOU!!!!

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  83. Good morning, thanks for the post and insight. I love animals and it is amazing people can remember their dog or cat's name forever! I wrote an article about that once and everyone I asked what their dog or cat was called knew without hesitation all the names. They really do make an impression on our lives. Sign me up for Winter Reunion.

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  84. Good morning, thanks for the post and insight. I love animals and it is amazing people can remember their dog or cat's name forever! I wrote an article about that once and everyone I asked what their dog or cat was called knew without hesitation all the names. They really do make an impression on our lives. Sign me up for Winter Reunion.

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  85. Isn't that the truth, about the names of our pets?! I have a blog called the "All Creatures Great and Small Place", where authors and readers post stories about their pets, and there is such a connection between people and there animals.

    It breaks my heart when people buy a pet and then just warehouse it, chained to a building or dog house, or incarcerate the poor thing in a chainlink dog run for the rest of its life...when dogs are pack animals and need each other, or a loving family.

    We have two good sized Border collie mix house dogs, and our son's rambunctious young black lab is here a lot. The three are like our new batch of kids, now that our own three are off to college and careers! :)

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  86. Walt,
    I research locales and professions while setting up a book, because those details can lead a story in different directions, and add subplots that I might not have thought of otherwise. But then, it's on as "as needed" basis as I'm writing the story. Isn't the Internet great? For my first dozen books, I bought loads of reference books from the Hamilton catalogs. Now, research--and finding ways to contact the right people--is so much faster!

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