Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guest Blogger Mandy Roth - Research Trips


Research Trips—it’s so hard to be good when surrounded by so much hunky man meat.

One of the best parts of being an author is research trips! You get to see the world and it’s for work. You get to meet hunky man/men from other countries, in Speedoes (let it be noted sometimes this is not an advantage) and again, it’s for work! I can’t think of a job I’d love more. Some of my highpoints to date have been touring the Mayan ruins, swimming with stingrays, shark watching to assure others weren’t eaten while they snorkeled a reef (hey, don’t judge, I saw JAWS when I was five and it freaked me out for life), margarita tasting with author Michelle M. Pillow, visiting a historic fort in the Bahamas, talking with locals and getting a “hands on” flavor of the locations I’m writing about—not to mention tasting the local foods. Example, fried conch—didn’t know that was a food. Eating fried alligator—that should NOT be a food. Tasting authentic red beans and rice—once you’ve had the real stuff you can’t go back.

All of these things helped to flavor my books, giving a more accurate account of settings. And best of all, when the hubby travels with me, I get to research some naughty tidbits too. What is your take on books that are set in different/exotic locales? Do you notice when something isn’t “right”?

8 comments:

Sydney Somers said...

Thanks for blogging with us, Mandy. I've been curious about fried conch ever since one tried to eat me in Florida. lol Not sure I could actually eat it now that I know what it looks like when it's coming out of the shell.

Mandy M. Roth said...

Our guide found one in the ocean and showed us all its inner workings and what not, then, when we got back to land, we found a great little place to eat and had to try it. This was while in the Cayman Islands. Awesome... expensive but awesome and really nice people there.

Regina said...

Fried conch is great, conch chowder is even better!
We can't have you lonely Mandy, you might down a whole chocolate cake! LMAO!

N.J.Walters said...

As someone who doesn't travel much, I wouldn't know if something was amiss in an exotic locale, but I do appreciate an author going the extra mile to make a setting more realistic.

Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine Mandy! I love traveling! And even better if I can use things I experience in my books!

Michelle Pillow said...

They were great trips! Very inspiring as a writer. I would also add... a great way to get unique photos for coverart stock. :) And I'm pretty sure you forgot some of the foods you made 'us' (erm me) try. Note to everyone: If Mandy hands you something and says "eat it" don't automatically obey. :)

Kinsey Holley said...

Fried conch awesome. Then again, I can't think of any edible sea creatures who taste good fried.

Speedos...I dunno. Even on gorgeous hunks o'manflesh there's something skeevy about them. I immediately think "Eurosleaze," you know?

Kinsey Holley said...

Um - I mean, I can't think of any edible sea creatures who DON'T taste good fried.