I’m not writing the kind of novel that needs much pre-writing research. (I’m lazy– I take the easy way out.) Some people write such complex novels they have to do several months of research before they can even type a single word. There are WRITERS and then there are writers. I’m just a writer— I can’t imagine attempting a story where I’d have to look up stuff for hours on end.
My novel, The Secrets of the Sari Chest, takes place in a very, very small town in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. I grew up in a small city in Tennessee, but it was still a city big enough to have its own (albeit very tiny) airport. So, I’m not all that familiar with really small town life. I’ll need to do some research, for sure.
The family in Sari Chest own and operate a gas station. I’ve no idea how I came up with this– I have absolutely no connection to gas stations. So after I’ve finished the first draft, I’m going to have to talk with people who manage gas stations. And I’m going to need to hang out for a little while in gas stations in very small towns.
Once in a while, I think about getting rid of the gas station and making it a grocery store or some other shop. But I think a gas station is the best location for the unfolding of the story. People go to gas stations to refuel before a trip. A gas station links some of the major themes in the book about geographic and internal journeys, where our lives take us and whether it’s really in our control.