Somebody asked me recently about how Joe and I research our books. The person thought it had to be so tedious and boring. I started to think about that because research is probably one of the highpoints of writing the kinds of novels we do. It is amazing how one thing leads to another, then chains another thought and suddenly out of nowhere there is a miraculous connection and the storyline gets tighter and tighter. We have often thought that there have been so many omens and coincidences in our writing and research that it is more than we can ignore. Some kind of woo-woo factor.
I also started thinking about how much things have changed. When I first started writing historical fiction ages ago, under the name Lynn Armistead McKee, there was no information highway—Internet. I would spend hours and hours in the library thumbing through sources, some I couldn’t even check out. Then I’d come home with a bundle of books (2 trips to the car) that I would spend days going through. Now, with a couple of keystrokes I have the world at my door. I look at my grandkids, the little ones, and they will think I have gone completely senile when I mention Wolfman Jack, or church key, bop, pink elephant sale, cake walk, Maypole dance. When they hear that I am related to Dolly, they will shudder at the thought their grandma has a cloned sheep in the family—which means grandpa had to be doing what? It was Dolly Madison to which I was proudly referring. Then I think about my generation and when we were hip teens. A browser was the same as a grazer, and the first handheld calculators cost a pretty penny (now they come free on computers and almost free as accessories to planners, etc.). If someone said “cell” I thought of things like cell membrane and nucleus. Now, it’s just a common communication device. Years ago texting, beeper, online, internet, DVR, memory stick, digital, and Amber alert meant nothing to me. Wow, how times change.