If you see a post this week, then that’s great. This means I was able to post it. We’re at Week 13 in the Marketing for Romance Writers 52-Week Blog Challenge. I don’t expect to do each week this year. Some of the topics don’t fit anything I could write about. I’ll find a filler for this time slot. 🙂
Week 13: What I learned while researching my book
I’ll use the third book in my Double Dutch Ranch Series: Love at First Sight, Of the Cowboy’s Own Accord, for this week’s topic. The hero in this book is an Army Ranger. I’m happy to say this title came to me through research by way of–Sua Sponte (Of Their Own Accord) Rangers Lead the Way is the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Regimental motto. I learned so much about Army Rangers. Wow, deep respect.
I’ll be referring to the Army here because that’s what I researched.
I wrote the draft using the knowledge I did know about military life since I come from a family of military people and it continues with second cousins. Recently a third cousin entered right out of high school.
However, when I started revisions, I had to be specific when dealing with this subject.
The most important thing I learned is to triple the respect I already had for the military and their special forces, including their military working dogs.
My research came from military websites, documentaries and interviews on the DoD Channel, movies like Black Hawk Down, soldiers I know personally or online, non-fiction books written by soldiers, but my major research came from an Army Lieutenant who answered my questions while still in Afghanistan who wishes to remain anonymous. To have him confirm my research or explain a better way to describe it, was such a big help to me. Without his help and his confirmations at how I had handled certain aspects, I wouldn’t have been able to keep certain things in the book if I’d had to guess. I’m so grateful.
A handful of what I learned while researching this book:
- How to communicate with family while deployed overseas.
- ACUs- Army Combat Uniform.
- Deployment mobilization and in, out processing from Fort Benning, GA.
- What a tough box looks like. My contact basically said, “It’s a big black box.” Think footlocker.
- Uniform and rules while wearing. I believe U.S. Army uniforms changed to dress blues during the writing of this book in 2014. Do you know Rangers wear tan berets?
- When to wear white mess uniforms. Wow, my hero was hot in his in Heartbreak’s Reward #2. ❤
- Duties of an NCO- Non-Commissioned Officer.
- Rank order and responsibilities.
- Canine PTSD. Military Working Dogs & PTSD. My hero’s retired MWD has PTSD. (Oh, I loved his character in the book. His name is Boston.)
I don’t have to use everything I’ve learned, but it’s important that I know. The extra research allows me to live in the world I’m creating. Yes, there is more, but I’ll stop there.
I don’t write military romance or consider this to be in the Military Romance subgenre, but by the time I finished this book, I patted myself on the back for seeing it through.
One thing I’ve learned the hard way in researching is to check and double check. Triple check!. Then check again. As much as I hate to admit it, I did get burned by using a particular site’s view of streets and the word of another instead of double checking myself. I’m always adamant about double or triple checking facts. Except that time. Use all the options you have to get it right.
Wow, a scary thing happened. I added a video up there in the bullet point area, and it wiped away every word and image below it. Then I discovered I had lost links in my post and recent edits. I didn’t know WordPress had a “History” feature. Thank goodness, but I’m not sure what I lost that I didn’t add back.
I have no affiliation with the links I’ve shared.
Since this is a BLOG HOP, join me in in reading what other authors have learned in research. Thanks for reading.
Photo credits: Pixabay. Dreamstime- the German Shepherd.