The first time I ever heard her say those words I knew I'd met a kindred spirit. I hold her words dear because I've been "interested" in just about pretty much everything, for as long as I can remember! From checking out what's going on all around me to dipping into facts and stats, what's not to like about finding stuff out?
Of course now, with my writing, I get to take her words and add "it's for research" into the mix. I like to think she'd have had a chuckle about me taking "just interested" to a whole new level! She would have enjoyed that I get to watch all these action films, the latest romcom, the new zombie flick. Read books and articles by the dozen on every subject imaginable. Look around mansions and luxury apartments. Try on that jewellery at Tiffany's. Test-drive that car. Stay in glamorous hotels, and eat in fabulous restaurants...All in the name of research!
And she'd have thought it my absolute duty to carry out the most important part of research. That part which is totally legitimate, completely addictive and overwhelmingly fascinating if you're a writer: People Watching.
Marrying the art of people watching with research into the worlds you're creating helps you round out your characters. It's never about writing about one specific person, but, rather, it's more about observing the world around you and gaining experience into the myriad ways people behave. To be honest, more often than not, I will look something up, watch a TV programme, or read something and only retain about a quarter of the information. But what I do tend to remember (and what's great when it comes to writing) is the emotional impact of what I learn.
Hot lazy summer days are perfect for stopping at a street café, or sitting on that park bench, or lying on a beach, and watching the world go by. And remember. You're not being nosey. You're just being interested!
For the little bit of the nosey, sorry, "interested" in everyone ;-) here is a list, in no particular order, of the things I've been researching lately...
Motorbikes Sheet Glass Catacombs Personal Protection/Close Protection Services R & D Workflow Charts Vintage Clothing Film-making Reasons For Quashing a Conviction How to Present Evidence in Court Tattoos, Laser Treatment for Tattoo Removal and Skin Graphs Burlesque Dancing Short-Haul Private Jets Art Equipment 1930's Chateauroux, France Victorian and Edwardian Mansions Event Security Paparazzi Narcissistic Personality Disorder Great Exhibition of London 1851 Apartments on the River Thames Commercial Property Acquisition Automata Champagne, Whiskey/Whisky/Bourbon and Retrograde Amnesia
Can you imagine if this was all for one book!! What subjects fascinate you and makes you want to know more?