Writers are notorious for having crazy search histories. And to be fair, we aren’t the only ones whose search history can be somewhat alarming.
When I posted on social media about searches I’ve done for my work-in-progress, a friend who’s studying to be a lawyer said her search history is looking shady these days because of research for a paper.
For past books, I’ve researched everything from gunshot wounds to tractor stunts to Maine vacation homes. (Actually, come to think of it, all of those were for To Believe In You.)
On the whole, though, my search history isn’t as incriminating as you might find if you dove into a suspense or mystery writer’s online activity.
Still, search history can be revealing, can’t it?
Today, I’m pulling back the curtain on my search history as it relates to my upcoming release, Now or Never.
If you’ve read my Rhythms of Redemption Romances, you’ve encountered the hero, Tim before.
If you’re new to my stories, this novella is a great place to start, because it kicks off The Many Oaks Romances, a brand new series set in a new town (a whole new state, actually).
To make this a little more fun, I’ve included some of my non-writing-related searches as well. Can you tell which is which before reading the explanations?
- How old are students when they start 6th grade
- Define gossamer
- What to add to cookies to make them chewy
- The wind goes where it pleases
- Do raised hackles keep dogs warm in winter
- Do you need a degree to be a flight attendant
- Spiced cake donuts maple frosting
- Do people still use face powder
- Apple flower perfume
- Playground tiles
- Word for circle of light
- Osage beach average snowfall
- What are the flags in bull fighting called
- What genre music is post teen pop
- Catahoula leopard dog
The Answers and Explanations
- How old are students when they start 6th grade – For the story. I was setting up characters who would appear in future novels, so though Tim and Gabby are both in their 50’s with adult daughters, I needed to make sure I had the age right for a future heroine’s kid sister.
- Define gossamer – For the story. Nothing spoils a kiss like a misused word, right? The word (and the kiss) made the final cut and are still in the story.
- What to add to cookies to make them chewy – For myself. I do some gluten-free baking, but one beloved recipe doesn’t translate well, even when I use my favorite gluten free flour blend. I was looking for an extra ingredient to help keep the cookies from being brittle and crumbly. An extra egg helped.
- The wind goes where it pleases – For the story. When I’m writing, phrases of Scripture often come back to me, but I rarely know the chapter and verse (and sometimes not even the book…), so I search the phrase to find context and other details I need to accurately explore faith themes.
- Do raised hackles keep dogs warm in winter – For me. Or, more accurately, my dog. He had been coming in with a distinct line of raised fur on his back. At first, I thought something outside must’ve startled or left him feeling threatened. Turns out, yes, they do raise their hackles in the cold. (I live in Wisconsin.)
- Do you need a degree to be a flight attendant – For the story. Gabby, the heroine has wanderlust inspired by her aunt, who was a flight attendant in the 70’s. I researched what path young Gabby might’ve taken if she’d hoped to pursue the same career. She would not have needed the degree, but her parents insisted she get one. She went to college, fell in love, and abandoned the original plan. Now that she’s turning 50, though, that wanderlust is back. The question is, what’s she going to do about it?
- Spiced cake donuts maple frosting – For me. We had some amazing spiced maple donuts on a trip and I wanted to make some at home. The recipe I found didn’t compare though. If you have a baked maple donut recipe you love, please share in comments!
- Do people still use face powder – For me. Ha! I noticed it was getting harder to find at the store, so I searched it. The answer is, yes, some people do. Myself included.
- Apple flower perfume – For the story. These two scents are combined in Gabby’s perfume. When I paired them up, I wanted to make sure that was a real thing. It is.
- Playground tiles – For the story. A special scene takes place on a playground, and I was determined to get the details right. Not only did I search things online, I also took my husband to a playground so we could test out my idea.
- Word for circle of light – For the story. Proof that sometimes simple words go poof. The word I was looking for: halo.
- Pika – For me. This is a small rodent we saw on a commercial but that I was also pretty sure we’d seen on one of our road trips. In the opposite circumstance as #11, the word just kind of popped into my mind. I searched it, and sure enough, it was exactly what I thought. They’re super cute!
- Osage beach average snowfall – I often search things like this to get my settings right, but this was for me. When we took a weekend trip to Missouri in late fall, we expected warmer temperatures than we had in Wisconsin. Instead, it was a few degrees colder with some snow flurries to boot!
- What are the flags in bull fighting called – For the story. I was trying to find a creative way to describe a character’s red shirt. I switched it up a bit and went with: Leave it to a theater guy to wear a shirt that could double as a matador’s cape.
- What genre music is post teen pop – For the story. The hero of the story, Tim, is a band manager scouting out new talent. I knew he’d be specific in how he described a potential client’s sound, so I researched the kind of music I had in mind and came across the genre “post teen pop.” I searched it to make sure it included the type of music I wanted.
- Catahoula leopard dog – For me. We met one while out hiking. But they’re cool dogs, so maybe one will work his or her way into a future story!
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me and Now or Never through this! If the story sounds interesting (or you just want a more straight-forward description of it), you can find it from various online retailers. Here are the links to it on Amazon in ebook and paperback.
Tomorrow’s my birthday. Pre-orders would make a nice gift ;)