WHAT IS THE STRANGEST THING YOU HAVE DONE WHILE RESEARCHING A BOOK?
This is a tough one to answer because “strange” is such a subjective concept. I’ll be honest and admit many things I think of as being perfectly normal might be construed as “strange” by others.
Take some of the research I've undertaken for my Cait Morgan Mysteries, for example: I thought nothing of engaging a lovely lady by the name of Patti for an hour or so on the lounge deck of a cruise ship so she could explain the details of exactly how her chum had been hypnotized to stop smoking…just so I could take my initial thought of “what a great way to kill someone” and contemplate the logistics of how that might work. (I used the idea in THE CORPSE WITH THE GOLDEN NOSE, but you’ll have to read the book to see just how it played out…no spoilers here!) Indeed, I’ve had so many lengthy conversations with people about matters which, in my mind, lend themselves to murder that I don’t even blush anymore when I explain why I’m quizzing them. See? “Strange” is highly subjective.
I find the emails that pass between me and my ever-so-helpful-and-friendly local coroner to be perfectly normal, and my husband no longer thinks it’s odd that I sometimes eat food I don’t really fancy, but which I think Cait Morgan would try…just to find out what it smells and tastes like, and how it feels in my mouth. Trust me when I tell you snail caviar doesn’t have the flavor or texture of fish caviar and, apparently, there is a limit to how much white chocolate bread pudding a person can eat! (THE CORPSE WITH THE GOLDEN NOSE and THE CORPSE WITH THE PLATINUM HAIR, respectively.)
For my WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries I capitalized upon my love of unusual museums and ended up finding out more about antique dentures than I had previously imagined anyone would ever care to know (see how that worked out in THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER). That said, learning about Winston Churchill’s false teeth didn’t strike me as “strange”, but fascinating.
Maybe that’s how it is for a person who writes mysteries – my “normal” might be “strange” to others – but I have no real way of knowing. Which is probably for the best.
Cathy Ace writes the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (book #2 THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER was published in hardback in February, and book #1 THE CASE OF THE DOTTY DOWAGER was published in trade paperback on March 1st) and the Cait Morgan Mysteries (book #7 THE CORPSE WITH THE GARNET FACE was published in paperback in April). Find out more about Cathy and her work, and sign up for her newsletter at http://cathyace.com/