Researching Tips by John Geers

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. John Geers will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC, a signed copy of the book, and a stuffed tiger (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the rest of the stops on the tour.

Researching tips

Research is the backbone of great fiction. Only when an author is willing to do and incorporate solid research will their story hit its target, the heart of the reader.

People. An author must be the ultimate people watcher. We study how people react. How they eat, play, sing, and cry. We look at the smallest quirks and most insignificant traits and note them. Then we gather it all and glue it back together to create realistic characters.

Locations: An author must travel. The most effective way to do this is to physically go to a place. If that is not possible, we speak with those who have been there. We read about the places in books and magazines. We watch documentaries on Netflix. We spend time there in our imaginations. Only then are we able to take our readers there.

Things. An author must experience what their character experiences. We eat ice cream on a summer day without a napkin. We ride a bike down a big hill on a rainy day, walk barefoot on hot asphalt, lay naked under a blanket of stars and sip strong whiskey. An author understands that every experience is riddled with nuances that are unknown until they are experienced. We know that this brings authenticity to the reader.

Work…Hard Work: Writing without pouring energy into research is an exercise in vanity. If you are not willing to do the work, you are have deluded yourself into thinking that you are the first writer in human history to write great works in the absence of research. Don’t be that guy.

Go forth and research.

Two couples from Madison, with entwined destinies, both seeking love, are connected by a single element: the ancient Siberian witch, Thuban-Pol. Her magic will either be their savior or their ruin.

Thuban-Pol is the latest in a lineage of Siberian witches. Their eternal aim is to guide humanity to true love. Their guiding tenet, “For love to bloom, these three endure: sacrifice, perseverance and suffering. But the greatest of these is suffering.”

Since the dawn of humanity, they have summoned countless couples, inflicting suffering with the intention to grow true love. They have never succeeded…but now they have their best opportunity in two couples from Wisconsin.

If they succeed, love will finally bloom for all of humanity, if the suffering inflicted on these couples doesn’t kill them first.

Read an Excerpt:

Slivered gray wood covered the outside. Macabre scenes carved like tattoos stretched from ground to gutter and marched around each corner in a black parade.

Clint stepped close to the dark images and put a finger to one. “It’s soft and squishy, like driveway tar in summer, but it doesn’t stick to my skin. Weird.” His finger went to his nose, and he said, “Interesting. Hey, sniff this stuff.”

Lucy pushed her nose forward and sniffed the carving. “Yum, smells like…” she let the scent tumble around her brain, “like peppermint and something else I can’t place, but definitely peppermint.”

“Check out these carvings of animals,” he said.

Real and imagined creatures prowled midst the gray slivers. Indigenous animals were well represented; the snowy owl, Arctic fox, caribou and ermine. Along with these were animals too strange to be from this age. Some warned. Others offered a wry smile of welcome. A serpent barred vicious fangs stained crimson, dripping pregnant bulbs of creamy poison. A grizzly bear smothered the head of a besieged she-wolf with one massive paw while tonguing the cheek of its pup. Wild caribou ran in stampede along the edge of a deep ravine, flirting with the abyss.

Woven among the animals were humans. Black eyes. Black bodies. Black forms. Black illuminated. A child held the face of its mother. A man raised a silver sword over the broken body of his slain foe. A son leaped into the arms of his father, reminiscent of the Prodigal Son, but on this wall, soaked in black, the anguish and joy were fresh. Sex was here too. Bodies engaged in all variety of forbidden acts, twisted and beautiful.

As the black parade marched on, frozen poses of pain pinched Lucy, forcing her tight against his chest once more.

A man groped the ground with orange coals where eyes once took in the world. A woman with a flapping tongue, split like the Serpent, hissed a song to the full blood moon. A young man pled for mercy, torn fingers lost in the gnashing teeth of his lover. A man pounded the ice above his head. A child wailed in the jaws of a terrible beast, eyes begging for a hero, a call for rescue swallowed by winter. A family huddled tight, defying flames that, in real life, would be their end. A woman slumped with blood and afterbirth at her feet, her ashen eyes stone, silence of mother and child scattered across eternity. A wrinkled face echoed hope, sealed behind tortured lips.
About the Author:

John Geers drew inspiration to begin his debut novel from a dream he experienced.

Hours spent in the caffeinated air of his favorite coffeehouse proved to be the perfect place to complete Emerge Beyond Circles.

John is a middle school literacy educator, where he inspires and is inspired by the writers of tomorrow. He is the founder and facilitator of his school’s Creative Writing Club. He is also a columnist for the online magazine Elephant Journal.

He loves a good story, being on the water, and witty puns. He can be found hiking the wilderness, biking big hills, sipping dark coffee, and looking for a chair in the mall.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Book Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon

Enter the giveaway at http://www.johngeers.com/index.php/giveaways/emerge-beyond-circles-goddessfish-giveaway.

Comments

  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Rita Wray says:

    I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

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