Well, not really....but I'm writing a brand new series for Harlequin Special Edition and it's set in a small town in South Dakota. For the past few years my books for Special Edition have all been set down-under....in a tiny beach side town that sits at the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef (where I live in real life). But I had a hankering to write about mid-western cowboys and ranches and I've always been intrigued by the Dakota's. So, The Cedar River Cowboy's were born.
And that's meant research....one of my least favorite things to do. I'm an instant gratification kind of person and have always found researching a chore. Writing my previous books required very little research because I live in a place exactly like where the books were set - beachside town, small community and so on. I know my town...I know every road and beach and landmark. I knew very little about South Dakota other than a vague interpretation I'd gleaned from TV. Oh, I knew about places like Deadwood or the Black Hills, and of course Mount Rushmore - but not much else.
So I started Googling. And surprisingly ( to my pantser, non-organized, right brain thinking self), it's been interesting researching things about another country - such as geography, weather, the political landscape, agriculture, commerce etc. I've learned about copper and silver mining, Honky Tonk restaurants and cattle rustling. Readers expect, and deserve authenticity in the books they buy and can sniff out a mistake at a hundred paces. I'm not sure if I'll get everything right, but now that book one is handed in to my editor and I'm deep into book two, I can feel a kind of rhythm happening. And it's so much fun.
Three Reasons to Wed will be available in January 2016 from harlequin Special Edition with a second and third book to follow.
I love reading books set in places I've never visited, do you?
Oooooo!! The new series sound great!! Three Reasons to Wed - what a fab title.ReplyDelete
I love doing research. Especially the research where you travel. Last year I went to Paris and the Lake District all in the name of research. I'm now writing a story set in the Tasmania wilderness based on a trip I did a few years ago. I love putting all those little setting details into a book.
I'm with you. I love reading books set in places I've never been. I haven't done as much travel in the past few years as I would have liked, but reading about exotic, interesting locations helps keep the restlessness in check (but only a little bit!)
Hi Jennifer - oohhh, the Tassie wilderness....sounds fabulous. And yes, I'm delighted with the title of my January release.....Three reasons = three little girls :)Delete
Helen, congratulations on your new adventure and the new series! The title for your first Cedar River Cowboy book is fab!ReplyDelete
I love researching new places/things - my problem is knowing when to STOP! And then there's those seductive fascinating tangents that come up as I'm researching... I start off with something perfectly relevent like concussion and after following interesting links... I end up with new and fascinating treatments for something completely different like plantar fasciitis!
Hi Sharon - Yes, I was delighted with the title, as it fits in so well with the story. I wish I enjoyed research as much as you, sounds like you have such fun with it :)Delete
Woohoo I am really looking forward to this new series and one of my favourite reasons for reading is arm chair travel :) I have travelled a lot this way and probably will never visit any of the places personally I have just finished reading a book set in Israel and it was s good now I have another place I have "been".
Congrats on the new series
Hi Helen - be assured a copy of Three Reasons To Wed will find it's way to you :) Hope you enjoy it.Delete
Honky Tonk restaurants and cattle rustling? Oh, that sounds like excellent fun, Helen! And I love your title -- Three Reasons to Wed.ReplyDelete
I'm not a fan of research either, until I start...and then I can find hours whizzing by! I love visiting new places (can I really call that research?) and setting books there. And I definitely love reading books set in places I've never visited -- it might even prompt me to put said place on my bucket list. :-)
Hi Michelle - I did enjoy discovering things about South Dakota. And it's definitely on my bucket list :)Delete
This sounds like such fun. Can't wait to read a Sunday Smooch from this one!
Yes, I definitely like to read about places I haven't visited (as well as ones I know). I've done a lot of armchair travelling and some of my romance reading has even influenced some decisions on where to visit! Such fun.
Helen, love the sound of your new series and that title for the first is a winner. One of my Desire continuity stories is set in S Dakota and I loved researching a part of the world I'd never visited and knew little about.ReplyDelete
One of the things I love most about reading is the armchair travel. If I lived to 150 I could never visit half the places I want to and so visiting vicariously is the next best thing. Love me a bit of local colour and characters.
Helen, I think I'm gonna love your new books! They sound fabulous already. I love reading about other places - it's one of the joys of the romance genre for me, that they're set in so many places.ReplyDelete