Saturday, May 02, 2020

Writing What You Don't Know by Susan Sands

I turned in my new Christmas book yesterday, due out October 19th. The title is NOEL, ALABAMA:   An Alabama Christmas Story.

It was a journey in discovery in lots of ways. My heroine is a location manager for a film studio. Did you know they are called location managers with no s? I didn't. The job is to scout locations for filming projects. The location manager or location assistant heads to the place ahead of everyone else and secures lodging for the cast and crew, gets permits from the city for blocking off streets in neighborhoods, works to make sure there's a place to park all the trailers for talent, catering, directors, producers, and electrical. I could go on and on.

Let's just say, this book was thick with research. But as writers, we often have to find professionals to help us look like we know what we're talking about beyond our internet research. Fortunately, I had one. One in the movie business I went to college with. He set me straight about all my wrongness. Now I know all about key grips and dolly grips and honey wagons. Just ask me.

I did watch Steel Magnolias being filmed in my college town my senior year and remember some things about the sets and such. It was a big chaotic production and it turned that town upside down for months, it seemed. But it was such fun, and so exciting.

Maybe someday this very specific research will be useful again. Otherwise, I will store it in some unused part of my brain where all the other "I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night" stuff has found its way. Just enough to be convincing. So far, I've written about a clinical therapist, an ER doctor, a photographer, a television chef, a beauty queen, and an art curator. I am none of those things.

I hope you are all staying healthy and safe. We are still lying low for now.

Enjoy this lovely weather as best you can. I hope to be able to share my new cover next month!



dstoutholcomb said...

readers live a thousand lives because authors write them


Susan Sands said...

Indeed we do, Denise!!

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