Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Research is fun!

Elnora mentioned the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in July. What an enjoyable experience it is to attend workshops, connect with other writers, and enjoy that camaraderie for an entire week! 

This year was the fourth time that I've brought my daughter (a fledgling writer who is an RWA member, too) to an RWA conference, and we have a great time together.  This year, we both attended the Kiss of Death Mystery Suspense Writers day at the LAPD training facilities.  What an amazing experience!

We met  Montana the police horse, shown in the photograph, and the officer who rides him.  

Sage the bloodhound who is--of course--used for tracking was exceptionally friendly! :)    One of the most exciting moments was our chance to don helmets, buckle into a five-point safety harness, and then ride in a police car driven through a serpentine track at a high rate of speed, sirens blazing.  All great research for creating more realistic scenes in a book, and it was great fun as well.
 What are some of the more unusual--and fun--things you've done in recent years?

Wishing you all the best,
Roxanne Rustand


  1. I haven't done anything as exciting as riding in a speeding police car, but I did take a trip to the north Georgia mountains to do research for a book. Although I had been there many years before, I wanted to refresh my memory. I spent the weekend with friends who have a cabin there, and we toured around all the little towns. On the way to my friends' place, I stopped at Amicalola Falls and climbed the 425 stairs to the top of the falls.

  2. Hi Roxanne, this sounds like a great adventure. I have a research trip planned to England at the end of the month. I'm excited to tour around and see some of the beautiful estates, gardens, and countryside. : )

  3. I was born in DC and went back there for a week to research my WIP.

    1)Got my own Library of Congress researcher card,
    2)Accidently went in the old Red Cross building (where only the President of the RC works now) but the guard let me take pictures (needed them for a scene)
    3)Visited the DC Library and found a picture of my pediatrician (she is the inspiration for my hero)when she was a young woman.

    The list goes on and on. What fun.

    For those who hate research, I am really thinking of offering my services. Heehee.

    Peace, Julie

  4. I love research trips which lately have centered around the Northwest Mounted Police and 19th century military and fur trading forts.

    My most unusual experience happened when I stood on a mound in the centre of the ruins of a building from the Touchwood Hills Hudson's Bay Company post, and turned in a circle making a video of the cornerstones and rise indicating the walls. No walls, just a higher grass ridge indicating a wall between the cornerstones.

    The surprise came when I realized I was standing over the cellar (mentioned in the historical write-up) and due to age and my weight, it could collapse at any moment! Man, did I move out of there fast. LOL

  5. Roxanne,
    I met your daughter. She is lovely and how fun that she's a writer too.
    Your research adventure sounds like great fun. Especially the high speed ride!

  6. Hi Roxanne,

    I used to go to all the KISS OF Death Tuesday events prior to RWA and learned so, so much! Recently, I've been flying in that day and haven't been able to attend. I heard the LA cops did a great job! So glad you and your daughter--love her!--took advantage of the special day.

    There's a Police Academy offered for writers in the Carolinas that I would like to attend. Unfortunately, it's always when my local GRW chapter holds their Moonlight and Magnolias Conference.

    I did take an 18-week Citizen's Police Academy Class offered by my local PD, and it was fantastic. They kept wondering why I was taking so many notes and finally asked. When I told them I was a writer, they fed me even more information! :)

  7. Julie,

    Your DC research trip sounds fantastic. Good for you! How fun to get the pic of the Old Red Cross building.

    I always enjoy stopping at the Old Post Office. An interesting building for sure!

  8. Merrilee, 425 stairs sounds like a LONG hike up. But I bet it was beautiful!

    Oooh, Carrie---I would so love to tag along. Can I be your suitcase handler?! I have always wanted to visit England!

    Julie, what interesting experiences you've had with your research!

    Anita Mae, I am so glad you survived your encounter with that cellar!

    Hi Pamela, it was so great seeing you at RWA. Emily enjoyed meeting you!

    Yep--the KOD events are great. Some of my favorites were in New Orleans, the one in Washington DC with the ATF/FBI, and the one with the Aurora Colorado police. I hope the KOD has a good tour offering next year as well!

  9. Roxanne that research trip looked so interesting. Its nice that you and your daugther got to go together. I enjoyed meeting her at RWA :)

  10. Debra, I so enjoyed seeing you and your husband again. He is just the sweetest man ever--when I said "It's so nice that you are here at Debra's booksigning, his eyes absolutely sparkled and you could just see how much he totally adores you, and how proud he is of your accomplishments. He would be the perfect hero in one of your books!

  11. Roxanne, the police academy sounds fascinating. How fast was that high-speed chase and were you holding on tight? I'm terrible in the passenger seat. ((grin))

    Merrillee, that climb sounds gorgeous. A few years back I managed to scale the Mist Trail in Yosemite with only a few moments of terror and yep, lots of spray from the falls. I did go back to the Glacier National Park area in Montana to research for All Roads Lead Home, but that was no sacrifice. I love it there!

  12. Christine, we did the Mist Trail at Yosemite, too. That was quite a climb. One of the people doing the climb was a teenage girl who had some kind of physical disability and was using those metal crutches with the sleeves that fit over the arms. Whenever I got tired, I received inspiration from her. Her dad was behind her all the way, making sure she didn't fall.

  13. Wow, Merrillee, that is inspiring! I struggled along with my two hiking poles and perfectly able, though under-toned, legs. And yes, I resorted to hands and knees when necessary. Some of those rock steps were huge!