There are times when being an “author” open doors for you. I used to hesitate to make the call for research purposes, because I always thought that the person on the other end of the phone would think I was insane. But the more I’ve done it, the more comfort I have in just stepping forward and calling (even though I still think the person I’m speaking to will think I’m insane). For instance, a few weeks ago, I called a church where I’d seen the Air1 Positive Hits Tour with David Crowder and several other bands. It was the perfect venue for a scene in my upcoming novel, A HARMONY FOR STEVE.
I called the event coordinator, whom I knew from church and from our sons’ school, and said, “I’m writing a scene where I blow up your church. Can I come see the backstage area?”
I’ve learned that people LOVE to provide authors with research opportunities! It’s wonderful! In no time, I was touring the backstage area, talking to the facilities manager, marking things on a map, and had arrangements to come spend the day at the church for the K-Love Christmas Tour with full access backstage passes.
I arrived at the church at 8:00 in the morning and stayed until the concert started. I toured one of the tour buses, spoke to several of the crew members, watched them set up the stage for the concert, watched what they did with the catering areas and dressing rooms, watched the merchandise area set up, and sat through the sound check. I met band members and the people who put the tour together. I was able to take pictures, talk to volunteers, and do what I love to do most — observe.
It was a full 12-hour day and I came out of there with a million more ideas than I had when I went in. I told someone I was speaking to that it seemed like a lot of effort for a single scene in a 100K word novel, but I have so much valuable information and now have knowledge that I’ll be able to take it and use in books for as long as I write.
It was an incredible experience — one that I never would have had if I hadn’t picked up the phone and made that phone call.
Look for A HARMONY FOR STEVE, book 4 in the Song of Suspense Series, in early 2016.