I’m heading on a road trip Wednesday to check out some locations I’ve written into the 4th book, The Squeeze, in the Spotted Pony Casino Mystery series. While I grew up close to the area and had quite a few trips to there, it has changed since I was a teenager.
I’m also going to the library in Pendleton to use their archives of the local paper to go through the motions my character will be doing in my book. And I need to see a restaurant and store that I use in the book. Then I’ll be headed to the Umatilla Reservation to drink in more of the atmosphere there. I plan to sit for an hour or more in the small store with a sandwich shop to watch interactions and if I’m lucky I’ll find someone to talk to about living there. After that, I’ll go to the museum and check out the books at the store in the museum to see if there are any books that I can use to learn more. And finally, I’ll sit in the casino an hour or two to soak up that atmosphere and add it to my story. I may even venture out to where I have my character’s house just to get view of it in a different season.
I’d hoped to visit with a tribal member that has been helping me with the culture of the reservation. He can’t get away to talk to me the days I could get to the Reservation.
It will be a five-hour drive from where I live to Pendleton. I’ll either spend the night at the casino if I don’t have enough time to do all I want, or if I do get my research finished and don’t have to go back, I’ll spend the night at my oldest daughter’s an hour from Pendleton and head home on Thursday.
This isn’t the first nor the last time I’ll be taking research trips for books. The 5th book in the series is set at an Indian casino on the Oregon Coast. I’m headed there in March with a friend to do research for that book.
And over the summer I took a trip with my sister-in-law for book 10 in my Gabriel Hawke series. Bear Stalker is now available in ebook and print and we are working on the audiobook.
Here is the blurb, cover, and buy link:
Book 10 in the Gabriel Hawke Series
Greed, Misdirection, and Murder
Oregon State Trooper Gabriel Hawke’s sister, Marion, is on a corporate retreat in Montana when she becomes a murder suspect. Running for her life from the real killer, she contacts Hawke for help.
Hawke heads to Montana to find his sister and prove she isn’t a murderer. He hasn’t seen Marion in over twenty years but he knows she wouldn’t kill the man she was about to marry.
As they dig into possible embezzlement, two more murders, and find themselves trying to outsmart a wilderness-wise kidnapper, Hawke realizes his sister needs to return home and immerse herself in their heritage. Grief is a journey that must be traveled and knowing her fiancé had wanted Marion to dance again, Hawke believes their culture would help her heal.
2 thoughts on “Hitting the Road to Write a Book”
I love the way you travel around to get the “feel” of a place. I do the same (and did a lot of that in India), and that sense of knowing a place always comes through in the story. Can’t wait to read these.
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Thanks, Susan. Because I write contemporary and real places, I feel I need to do that or have readers throwing their books against the wall because I didn’t do my research.
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