There is a common joke among authors that we're all probably on some FBI watch list because of the research we do. It might seem like we're exaggerated, but I promise we're really not. You would be amazed at some of the things I've heard fellow authors have googled. I've searched for information on sniper training, calibers of bullets, types of retention holsters, etc. Yeah, those would raise any red flags to law enforcement. Nope. Not at all. LOL.
When you get an idea for a book, it's always an adventure. You know know what you'll end up having to research.
Currently I'm working on a story where the hero is a firefighter. I've been doing a lot of research lately trying to tap into something I know very little about. Last week I made contact with a captain at the St. Louis Fire Department. He's agreed to help with some information that will hopefully make my main character more realistic.
I also decided...in the name of research...to sit down and watch the first season of Rescue Me.
If you've never seen the show, it revolves around a firefighters named Tommy Gavin played by Dennis Leary. After watching the entire first season, I have to say that it reminded me of a male soap opera. There was a lot of sex, talk of sex, affairs, and macho showmanship.
I have to be honest and say it was not my cup of tea. While there were some very funny parts that had me cracking up laughing, I found myself disliking most of the female characters. It made me wonder if this was a skewed perspective of the writers, a commentary on the women who typically go for firefighters, or something else entirely.
While I'm not sure watching 13 hours of a TV show I didn't particularly enjoy would be considered the strangest thing I've ever done in the name of research, it was...interesting.
What about you? What's the strangest/most interesting thing you've done in the name of research?