Thanks, Christa, for having me as a guest on your blog! Be sure to check out the other stops (two weeks’ worth) at
I’m so excited about my new release from FaithWords, Over Her Head, which came out last week. It’s the story of Laurie Hale, a small-town mom and community leader whose life is perfect–until her teenage daughter, Anna, is accused of murder.
Someone once said to me, when I mentioned I wrote contemporary
stories for Christian women, “Well, at least you don’t have to do much research.”
I had to laugh, because researching women’s fiction novels has led me to:
(a) Earn a motorcycle license
(b) Learn to sail
(c) Bodysurf a Wyoming river
(d) Take up Regency dancing
(e) Learn to play a Celtic harp
My life would be much poorer in experience without research.
However, it isn’t all fun. In writing Over Her Head, I had to know what would happen to the body of a homicide victim once the crime scene technicians had processed the scene. My secondary hero is the cop who investigates the murder, and if I were writing in his point of view, this is the kind of thing he would know.
That’s how I found myself at my county’s coroner’s office one rainy Monday morning, being escorted into a holding bay where the results of the weekend-13 bodies-waited for the coroner to get to them. Since I’d never actually seen a body outside of a funeral home, this was a new experience for me, as was the lieutenant’s explanation of the autopsy process, the equipment used, and the specific details of the workings of death.
Afterward, I was so shaken I had to go give myself some concentrated retail therapy. But the experience made Over Her Head a deeper, more emotional read from that character’s point of view, so it was worth it. After all, research is all about making the reader’s experience as intense and personal as possible. And if the side effect is that it makes my life richer, then everybody wins.