Image via WikipediaI had an eye exam today and it took longer than usual because the doc and I were discussing a research question I had. I'd asked him at one point about giving my heroine an interesting vision problem, but ended up not using it in my novel. However, he was enthused at the concept and was very forthcoming with information and ideas.
I find that generally when I ask people for research help in their particular areas they're excited to help. No one says, "Euuuwww...I don't want to help write one of those books!" (My math teacher son did refuse to look at my sex & geometry scene, which I fully understood, but he was kind enough to put me in touch with another math teacher who was most helpful.)
People like to be called on to discuss their areas of interest. The MDs, RNs, EMTs and other medical professionals who've read scenes in Castaway Dreams were all great and as my manuscript nears the finish line I owe them all a debt.
I feel bad sometimes when I ask someone for help and I end up not using the information in my novel. Yes, I'm looking at you, USGS hydrologists! But I never discard the research. What doesn't make it into one novel may very well make it into another, or be a springboard for further research.
So thanks, all of you who help to make my novels a little more accurate and interesting. And as always, any mistakes are mine and mine alone.