Please help me welcome a special guest to the blog today. Shannyn Schroeder, author of Catch Your Breath is visiting with a wonderful guest post about research. After you check out her book, don’t forget to enter her fabulous giveaway!
Happy reading everyone…
Take it away Shannon!
Catch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder
Research for the Contemporary Romance
I’ve heard a lot of people say that contemporary romances are easier to write because they don’t require research. We are living in the time in which the book takes place and as a society, we have common knowledge. Every book I’ve written in the O’Leary series has forced me to do some research. Admittedly, in the first three books, I didn’t have to do a whole lot. Luckily, I’ve lived in Chicago, so I’m familiar with the city, so I didn’t have to do a ton of research for the setting.
For me, research always has to do with the characters, specifically their jobs. Although Moira is a reporter, and we all know what reporters do, she writes about society events in Chicago. First I had to make sure that such a job still existed. (It does!) Then I spent a lot of time reading articles and blogs about the charity events that take place in the city. I also knew that Moira loves old black and white movies. I watched His Girl Friday, which is a perfect fit for Moira. It became her favorite movie in the book. Jimmy even watches it with her.
Since Jimmy is a cop, I didn’t have to do a whole lot of research, especially since this isn’t a police procedural. I did spend some time on the CPD web site looking at rank structure and stuff. I also read up on the last class of detectives and what departments they work in.
The final area of research I did for the book was on the subplot that Jimmy and Moira get mixed up in. It has to do with high-class escorts hired by wealthy Chicagoans.
This is where research can easily take a turn and swallow up time because it’s interesting. In the book, I mention the Viagra Triangle, which is an actual term coined to describe the area of the city where older, wealthy men go to hire women. I also came across Rose Laws, who was a madam in Chicago for years. She just published her memoir last year as I was writing Catch Your Breath.
Although I didn’t use every ounce of research I conducted for the novel, bits of it slipped in. Some of the events Moira attends are actual events that take place every year. I do mention Rosa Laws and the Viagra Triangle, but I don’t dump in every piece of information because it would take away from the story of Jimmy and Moira falling in love.
I can’t say that I love doing research, because I don’t. I do it on the fly as things come up that I need answers for. That way, I don’t get too sidetracked (usually). And then the research makes the story more real, more believable, more everyday.
I think that’s part of my job as a contemporary romance author. To take what we all know and experience and make it part of the story so we can read and connect with the characters and the plot, even though we’ve never lived their lives.
As kids they steered clear of one another–but now a beautiful, well-connected reporter and a sexy, driven detective are all grown-up and on the job. . .
Moira O’Leary’s work as a reporter gives her access to some of Chicago’s swankiest soirées. She knows how to navigate the jet-set crowd, and her style and confidence help her blend right in. But when her childhood crush starts popping up at posh events, her poise begins to falter–until she realizes she has the upper hand in a high-stakes game of secrets and seduction. . .
Jimmy O’Malley has always tried to avoid his friend Liam’s little sister. Something about Moira spelled trouble. But he’s out of his element working undercover in Chicago’s high society, and Moira is his ticket to the inner circle. As sparks begin to fly–and their chemistry heats up–Moira gets dangerously close to his investigation. Will Jimmy be forced to push her away to keep her safe–or will they surrender to a desire that could leave them breathless?
Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/03/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21351467-catch-your-breath
Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.
Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.
After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”
So she did.
That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.
She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.
*Shannyn is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card, a digital copy of one of the first 3 O’Leary books (More Than This, A Good Time, or Something to Prove) or Three Swag packs including: Keeper Kase with signed cards, O’Learys bottle opener, and O’Learys post-its*