Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Allie Pleiter on fun research sources

Sometimes, research requires me to dig into obscure and strange places to get information.  Right now, for example, I’m looking into the Australian foster care system and pediatric prosthetics.  Other times, something just perfect pops into your life to solve a research dilemma.

One of those perfect pop-ups happened to me in doing the research for The Texan’s Second Chance.  Since this is the third book set on the Blue Thorn Bison Ranch, I didn’t need to augment much of what I already knew about raising bison.  I am delighted to note, however, that Bison became the Official U.S. Mammal during this series (hooray!).

No, I needed to learn about food trucks.  After all, Jenna comes onto the Blue Thorn Ranch to be the creative chef behind the family’s bison burger food truck.  I love doing food research.  Bison burgers—if you didn’t know—are delicious and very good for you.

One of the questions I always ask my sources is “which movies or TV shows get it right, and which get it wrong?”  Most bakers will tell you their life doesn’t look anything like “Cake Boss,” while a firefighter told me he felt “Ladder 49” nailed it. In the age of DVDs and Netflix, a writer has a host of great info at her fingertips—if she knows what to watch and what to skip.

My food truck source sent me straight to the movie “Chef” to give me a good grounding in the ins and outs of food truck life.  Not only was it a good night’s entertainment—it’s a very good movie even if you aren’t doing research—but I learns tons of stuff and came away with a pile of questions to ask my source.

My favorite reader comment so far was how hungry the book made her for several of the specific dishes mentioned.  It warms a writer’s heart to know my grilled cheese description sent you straight to the kitchen to make one!


How about you?  What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a movie lately?

10 comments:

  1. Last movie i watched was jason bourne and learned matt damon can still pull that character off and that tommy lee makes a great bad guy :)

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    1. So true! That's on my list to see next.

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  2. As a suspense writer, I watch a lot of ID TV. It always amazes me that they can dedicate an entire channel to people killing each other...I'm not sure what that says about the world.

    Love the photo of the grilled cheese. If it wasn't so early in the morning, I'd be making one. Thanks for the post.

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  3. It's a TV channel that features such shows as Dateline and other true life crime shows. They have an entire channel dedicated to crime. For a suspense writer that's a good thing, but still. It's sad that there's so much of it.

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  4. LOL, last movie I saw was The Life of Pets. I hope it wasn't right, but it would explain why my house is always a mess.

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  5. I do not know. But I'm hungry!!

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  6. Research is such fun. Since I write LIHs set in California's Gold Country where I live, my husband and I take lots of road trips to other Gold Rush-era towns. My kind of fun!

    There used to be a small herd of bison in a nearby town. I loved driving past them on the freeway. I can't recall why the owner sold his little herd, but I miss seeing those magnificent animals.

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  7. I love research. So much so that I have to stop myself sometimes and get writing. As a bison aside. Last year a small herd escaped from a farm and swam across the Hudson River to end up very close to our property, blocking our road to traffic.

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  8. My daughter worked on a vegan food truck for awhile so this is very cool to me.

    I also worked for a major motion picture/TV company for many years so I know that a lot of research goes in, but it's often tossed out in the name of creative license.

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