Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Research in the Olden Days

I was thinking today about what writing life would be like without the internet. My first picture book (that is coming out in Spring of 2008 - mark your calendars) is set in 9 different countries. Whenever I needed a detail about something, I'd type in a few words and I'd get more info than I could possibly need. Looking for a Pakistani boy's name? No problem. The weather in Beijing on February 7, 2006? It was raining, thank you very much.

Back in the olden days any of this info must have involved days of library research, thumbing through card catalogs, hunched over microfiche. I felt a little guilty because all the info I needed was right there - wasn't that cheating? Would it make the book too light on atmosphere? My answer came when one of my crit partners read the book. The original version had a scene in Brazil, and she happened to be from Brazil. When she asked me excitedly when I'd visited last, I knew I'd gotten the details right.

As an aside, if you haven't popped over to the discomermaids blog recently, you owe yourself a visit. The are running a contest looking for suggestions for new celebrity book titles. My current favorites are: Hop on Pop by Woody Allen and Soon Ye Previn (shout out to my girl Natalie) and Errogant by Donald Trump. Check out the entries in the comments section - but don't laugh too loudly if you're at work.

On this date: In 1937 Daffy Duck debuted.


Natalie said...

Hey, thanks for the vote of confidence, Cynthia! I'd love to win, but there's a quite a few out there that made me laugh. :-) If I do win, I'll send you Jay's ARC when I'm done reading it.

:-) Natalie

Disco Mermaids said...

I suppose it's not against the rules for me to say this "over here," but, yes, Woody Allen's Hop on Pop was brilliant. And I must say that No Light in the Attic by George Bush had me totally rolling!!

Our top ten picks have moved on to the agent level, Laura Rennert, and our lovely Erin. Can't wait to see what they come up with!!


Natalie said...

Ha! I loved your George Bush title, too! It made me think of another one he could have written: Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White House Lies)...;-)

cynjay said...

Another fav was If You Give a Louse Some Nookie by Brittney Spears. I'd been racking my brain for a spoof on that title and Liz nailed it.