Just The Facts, Ma’am

I have a love of research. The more sources available to me, the happier I am. Years ago, my local library would often find me checking and cross checking and signing out stacks of books. If I could sign them out, I would sit there with my notebook and pen and jot down fact after fact.

The answer to the question unasked is yes. Even fiction writers do research. Research is important because it grounds the story with a sense of reality. This makes it easier for your reader to suspend their disbelief as they are traveling through the world you created for them.

For example: What does your character do for a living? What is their job description? How do they spend their day? If you say that your main character is an accountant but they spend no time at their job why make them an accountant?

The first main character in Shadow Watch is Alonsa Matthews. She is a Detective 2nd Class in the Oakview Police Department. She handles primarily homicides. I had her personality, but I needed more.

Thus my research began and the internet became my close friend. I researched how Police Departments were set up. Depending on the size of the police force, which also depended on the size of the city, I had to determine if she had a full time partner or a team. I researched police procedures. Homicide detectives are called in for suspicious deaths. They are rarely first on the scene. How are crime scenes processed? What is the difference between a coroner and a medical examiner? Is the morgue in the same building?

Let’s face it, episodes of Castle and Rizzoli & Isles can only take you so far. They also get things wrong. Sure, I could have followed that, but with a little research I could get it right.

But it’s fiction, you say? Yes it is. It is also Paranormal Romance. Take a suspicious death and add a supernatural twist and you have colliding worlds. And a fun story.


About Admin

Madalain Ackley Posted on

Madalain Ackley is the author of the Paranormal Shadows series of novels including Watching Shadows. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, son and mildly psychotic cat. She has written in a number of genres including Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy and has been known to dabble in Fan-fiction.


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