Okay, I’ll admit it…I often take research to the extreme. Especially to find truth, truth in what something really smells like, feels and looks like, so it will carry a heavier weight of validity with the reader. For example, in GRAVE INTENT I have a character trapped in a locked casket. While writing this scene, I tried to imagine what it would be like being cocooned in such a small place. What would I feel? What would I do? My imagination easily conjured up ideas, but none of them ‘felt’ right. Stumped, I finally did the only other thing I knew to do. I found a friend who owned a funeral home and had myself locked in a casket. After about twenty minutes in that box, I DEFINITELY had the answers to those questions.
With that adventure still fresh in my mind, I rewrote the scene, and the words rang far truer than had I not had the experience. One challenge remained, however. My character was male, I’m not. My character was a jerk, I’m . . .well, I like to think I’m not . . ., which meant I had to alter my reaction to the experience to fit his gender and character traits. Note: Something happens to this character while he’s in the casket that I REFUSE to experience in real life. Some things are better left to the imagination!