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”?