The research I do while writing a novel can take me down some interesting rabbit holes.
Last week, for instance, I spent a couple hours on Colorado gun laws. (Can’t say more without giving away a plot point on my work-in-progress, Boys I Have Dated.) I’m no gun expert, and sometimes I need information on firearm specifications. For that I turn to the gun enthusiasts in my family. Then I search images on the Internet so I have a good picture in my head of what my character is handling.
Yeah, my Internet search history is pretty odd.
Another bit of research for Boys found me at Replacements.com looking at old china and crystal patterns. The protagonist of Boys is packing up her mother’s possessions after her death. What midcentury patterns would her mother have owned?
Now, I confess that I just love midcentury modern stuff, and I spent way more time than I needed to picking out her mother’s china and crystal.
Aren’t Kingsley (by Lenox) and Wedding Ring (by Fostoria) beautiful? Don’t they pair perfectly? Put “Kind of Blue” on the hi-fi and you’ve got the setup for a fantastic dinner party, circa 1961.
(Both patterns are discontinued, by the way. Fostoria is no longer in business.)
Other odd things I’ve researched online: Texas prisons, the history of the Paris Metro, the Spanish flu pandemic in the Midwest and West, German immigration patterns to the U.S., and a whole bunch of stuff about DNA. (spoiler alert!)