Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Researching Erotic Romance

Hah! I know what you’re thinking. That the research I do for my Jasmine Haynes erotic romances isn’t something I should be talking about on a wholesome blog. Well, you might find it hard to believe, but I do actually have to research things that can be talked about. After all, I’m writing a story, it has a plot, and honest, my characters do other things besides...erotic stuff. I’m researching Games People Play right now, which is the third book in my “Fortune Hunter” trilogy. My heroine Josie is a project manager for mining equipment manufacturer. Now what on earth do I know about mining equipment (and please don’t ask WHY I chose this as her profession because really I have no clue)? Anyway, she's the project leader on the installation of a new system at a sand quarry. I chose that because there's a sand quarry within a stone’s throw of my house. I thought I could find everything I needed to know on the Internet looking at their website. Not so! I found a lot, but even after hours of Googling, scouring site after site, I couldn’t find the terminology and equipment designations that I needed. So I e-mailed the quarry and asked if they ever conducted public tours. I got a really nice reply from their business manager saying they were doing an open house in July and he’d gladly send me an invitation. Wonderful! But the book is due in July. I’d have to do a lot of rewriting. So I asked if he had a website he could recommend that might provide the appropriate terminology. Long and short of it, he set me up with my own personal tour and will provide all the literature I could ever possibly want. And that was my real point of this whole blog, that people are so helpful. They go above and beyond to help writers out. You ask a question and they bend over backwards to get you what you need. Every time it happens, I’m amazed again. And ever so thankful.

My tour is today at 9:00 a.m. So after I get back, I’ll pop back in and tell you how it went! I’m sure you’re dying to know all about how a sand quarry works!

Jasmine Haynes, The Fortune Hunter, available now.
Don’t miss my monthly website contest going on now!


Jane said...

Would working in a sand quarry be featured in "Dirty Jobs?"

Karen H in NC said...

I think what fascinates me most about the writing craft is the building of the characters' lives and backgrounds. It must be a tremendous challenge to decide on names that fit the person, occupations, personality, etc and keep every story fresh from book to book.

Jasmine Haynes said...

It is a challenge to keep finding names, occupations, and details to make characters different and stories fresh. But that's why getting outside help is great.

The quarry tour was wonderful. The people at GraniteRock were so helpful, knowledgeable and willing to share their time. I didn't know there was so much to making sand for glass manufacturing. They are also terribly environmentally conscious which is wonderful. Hmm, I think I'll send a huge box of chocolates to thank them for two and a half hours of more information than my brain can process.

And funnily enough, it wasn't a terribly dirty job, just a little dusty.


Estella said...

I didn't even know there were sand quarries.

Jasmine Haynes said...

Yes, Estella, there are sand quarries! The glass sand is used in fiber glass insulation and bottles. Lower grades of sand are used for stucco, mortar and plaster. It was actually quite fascinating. But what impressed me was how helpful they were. The business manager spent 2 1/2 hours with us! Then we spent a little time with the weigh master learning what she does (she's the heart of the quarry!). It was all way more than I expected. And I can't thank them enough. They're a local family-run company here in California. And you can read all about mining sand in the book which is called Games People Play and will be out in April 2009!


Pat Cochran said...

I believe you are right! Just as I
feel it is impossible to write every
novel set in the past without making
a teeny, tiny slip-up! Consciously
- no! Subconciously - most likely!
In the same way, it can happen with
the modern-day novel!

Pat Cochran

Pat Cochran said...

I am so sorry, "my bad" as the kids
say! I've posted my comment on the
wrong blog site!
Here's the comment for this site:

As much as I love reading, I have
questioned myself as to whether I
could actually be able to write.
I don't feel I could live up to the
challenge of the intensive research
needed. I am so in awe of all of
you who write!

Pat Cochran

Jasmine Haynes said...

Both comments are fine, Pat! I must admit that I'm not into doing a LOT of research. Which is why I would have to think really hard before tackling a historical novel. But you know, I really enjoyed this tour. And when I was looking through the Internet for mining equipment companies (for The Fortune Hunter) and robotics manufacturers (for Show and Tell, July 2008), or plant poisons (for one my next Jennifer Skully novel), it was actually interesting. I can see how some people can get wrapped up in the research and not get their pages written!

Don't miss my contest!

Gigi said...

Research sounds a lot like going to school.
I might enjoy researching some of themore fum things.
I have two sand mines within 2 miles of my house. I can see them working at one as i drive by.
they dig a lot and transport the sand leaving a mess on the highway.

Jasmine Haynes said...

Not to mention the little rocks that fly out the back and crack your windshield, Gigi! My husband has a Miata, and I think this is the second time he's caught a rock. Actually, though, I think those trucks are from the rock quarry on the other side of the hill, not the sand trucks.