…serious Authors… if yeez want to be taken seriously, then do yer research seriously…

…contrary p’raps to the image this ol’ Jurassic would like to project about himself, I don’t always get ev’rything 100% right… and not just the ‘I was wrong once, when I thought I was wrong’ kinda 100% right… and if getting yer knees kicked is evidence of mistakes, errors, faux pas, and sheer f*ck-ups, then my historical bruises would make a posse of hospital E.R. teams wince… notwithstanding that, Mabel (doncha LUV that WURD?… ’notwithstanding’), it is imperative to check yer facts, do yer homework… NUTHIN spoils a reader’s enjoyment of a good book quicker than when a wee factoid appears out of left field and is blatantly incorrect… in the days before the internet, quill-scrapers had access to dictionaries, atlases, reference libraries, and where relevant, back numbers of newspapers… fast-forward to the present day… much as I sum’times rail against the over-reliance on gadgetry (for example, checkout people, 10 minus 5 will always be 5, regardless of what yer wrongly-pressed screens tell yeez), the Web is a goldmine of information… as the Oldest-Confessed-Computer-Dimwit-On-Earth, even I have trained myself on how to ‘search’ for the gems I need… any other approach constitutes laziness in a scribbler… facts… fr’example, in my first wee Jack Calder masterpiece, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, I had my characters for a while journeying in a pursuit through the Atacama Desert in Chile, before traversing the mountains and down into Bolivia… a Chilean reader emailed me, and congratulated my graphic and entirely accurate descriptions of the locale, the atmosphere, and landmarks, and enquired when was the last occasion I’d been in his beloved country… truth is, I’ve never (yet) been to South America… it all came from Aunty Google… in the second novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, the cover page features a Gurkha Kukri dagger… again, readers’ kudos centred on its authenticity… once more Aunty Google had come up trumps… one I did miss, and later re-edited in subsequent writing, was a reference to the explosive, Semtex, as a ‘grey-coloured’ putty-looking substance… my good pal Eric J. Gates (he of the ‘CULL’ series of great books) pointed out that it is in fact ‘reddish-orange’… and do yeez know sum’thing`?… it feels ‘right’ to be ‘right’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!… yeez can check for errors  here if yeez want (howzat for book plugging!):

 

 

VM

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31 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

31 responses to “…serious Authors… if yeez want to be taken seriously, then do yer research seriously…

  1. Absolutely! This is exactly why I write about subjects I already know by heart from a lifetime’s study – it saves me ages on research. Very good points, that man!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t mean to quote Alisa, but the word “Absolutely!” was already in my mouth… I’ve been stunned when other writers are shocked that i research everything. Kudos Seumas. And hugs! 😀

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  3. I enjoy doing research and the advent of the internet has made it so much simpler. But care must be taken to check the facts on more than one site. I was writing a blog post about my home state of Nevada recently and in looking up a few facts and figures, I ran across several bits of misinformation that I know for a FACT were wrong! Just goes to show you can’t believe everything you read on the net 🙂

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  4. Thanks for the mention, Seumas. I always feel we scribblers have an obligation to get things as right as possible – not only does it lend credibility to our fiction… but it’s FUN! Where else can you be on a Government Watch List without being a terrorist? ; – )

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  5. Gee, this makes much sense, Seumas. Thanks for the excellent advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can see how mistakes in facts could ruin a perfectly good story. I once read that James Michener spent so much time in the library researching for his books that he married a librarian. 🙂

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    • …I think marrying his librarian was p’raps going a step too far, but if it worked for him…:):):) By the way, m’Lady, Suzanne, I’m not sure if I’ve already invited you to consider if you’d like to have a Guest Blog piece aboard my wee pages at some stage?… you’d be most welcome :):)

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      • Oh thanks Seumas. I’d be happy to although I haven’t had anything of mine published so far. People tell me my life has been interesting, but that opinion might vary with the person. People in the U.S. think my moving with my husband to India alone is interesting. If you have questions, you can email me at: paulestasj@gmail.com Paulesta sounds like a pen name, but is my real first name. I’ve never heard another one like it.

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    • Does that count as an occupational hazard? ; – )

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  7. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    AUTHORS – Listen to this man and learn an important fact 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Seumas, you have another 100% gem! It’s amazing what you can find in the interweb… Kelvingrove fountain is one for me and now that I’ve been there virtually, I really want to see it in person!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    An amusing but entirely correct post on the importance of research.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good point. It’s much better to be RIGHT than dead (as in caught with incorrect information and being caught).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Teagan and I had been talking about research too. I found myself checking facts in the books of others I’m translating when they don’t sound right to me. Not sure that’s part of my job, but I can’t help myself. You’re correct it is so much easier nowadays, although Leanna is also right about conflicting information in the net. Thanks Seumas!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It always shocks me when a book with a “mainstream” publisher has obvious errors. I always catch animal related goofs. Like the children’s book series that has a Leopard that purrs. Really? How hard is it to find out that leopards can’t purr? Or when polar bears wind up frolicking with penguins in the “arctic.” Really? How does that work?

    Liked by 1 person

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