Day 7-13: Researching your novel

Huh. Looks like I’m going to get a week off. I’ve already done the research I need to do for the first draft. The book is set in Paris, so research has mainly consisted of watching films/TV shows set in Paris (plus the main character is the lead in a TV show, so I’ve also watched a couple of films like hers), listening to French music and eating French food.

I did the same thing for Jessie Hearts NYC, Emma Hearts LA and Milly Hearts Italy (which I wrote while waiting for my publishers to get back to me re Emma Hearts LA and ended up really loving).

In fact, research is probably the best thing about writing books set in other countries. As I’ve mentioned, actually going to LA for Emma Hearts LA was invaluable and I’m still annoyed I didn’t get to go to New York to research Jessie (I’ve been there five times, so it didn’t seem essential, but I still can’t believe I haven’t been to the area Jessie lives in – I quite often dream I’m there, looking around).

I’m lucky to have been to Paris a few times so I don’t feel I need to go at this stage. The problem I had with LA was that I barely had any mental picture of it at all and Google didn’t really help. (I wrote the first draft of Milly – most of which is set in Rome – without ever having been to Rome, but I’d definitely need to go before finishing the book.)

Actually, there is a book I need to read, a film I meant to watch (and another I want to rewatch) and, you know, I haven’t had any French wine for a while… That’ll keep me busy this week.

When do you do your research?

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6 thoughts on “Day 7-13: Researching your novel

  1. Ohhhh… I think I’d want to write Becky Hearts Belize…. hmmm….. !! ;D

  2. Oh, for the love of God, go to Rome.

    And go here: http://www.fornocampodefiori.com/main.php

  3. haha love this post. Bring the french wine round and I’ll help you with your research? ;)
    I didnt realise you had written Milly Hearts Italy!! I’m so behind on the times and I totally missed waving my pom poms for this and Rebecca Hearts Paris first drafts… I’ll be there for the editing though, you know it :) xx

    • I wrote Milly Hearts Italy ages ago (while I was waiting for Orchard to get back to me re Emma). I haven’t written the first draft of Rebecca yet, so get your pompoms ready :D

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