Just How Far Would You Go To Achieve Your Goals?
We all have goals in life, whether it’s to land a dream job or compete in a triathlon. Each time I start writing a new book, my goal is to write the best book possible, which involves conducting extensive research. I’ve done some interesting things for the sake of research, like being blasted with pepper spray, test driving a Vespa scooter—when I’d never driven a motorbike in my life—and touring funeral homes. Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir is the book of my heart and I went to great lengths researching it, including traveling to Paris. Ah, what an author must go through for the sake of research. A few years ago when my husband and I visited Prague and Budapest, I decided to stop over a few days in Paris on the way home, since it was no additional airfare cost. I’ve visited Paris several times, so I didn’t need to play tourist. Instead of visiting Notre Dame, I infiltrated hospital maternity wards, took in puppet performances, and browsed the shops in Pigalle—the red-light district.
I needed to know not only the layout, but the security level at hospital maternity wards in Paris. When I toured a maternity ward in Milwaukee, I had to be buzzed in and out and signed in at registration. Babies wore security anklets, so if they neared an exit the entire floor shut down. Very high tech security. When I went to a children’s hospital in Paris, my heart raced. What if I was stopped by hospital security and had to explain myself in broken French? However, I waltzed inside to find the reception desk unmanned. I walked up the stairs to where a man in scrubs opened the gate with a pleasant bonjour, allowing me access to the floor. I strolled down the hallway taking it all in, and then headed back out of the building. Mission accomplished. I’d learned what I needed to know. Security at maternity wards in Paris—at least this hospital—was much more relaxed than in Milwaukee. This is largely due to the fact that it’s not needed, unlike in the United States.
I attended several puppet performances, including a traditional show with hand puppets, tucked into a quiet spot just off of the Champs Élysées. After the show, I ate dinner and then returned for the second performance. The puppeteer was collecting money and asked me if I wasn’t at his last show. I responded that I was researching puppet shows for a book. With an intrigued glint in his eyes he told me that I needed to participate in a performance to get a good feel for it. I was giddy with enthusiasm as he led me to the back of his shed and allowed me access while several envious children looked on. I sat inside during the performance, taking in the sound of the puppeteer’s animated voice, children’s laughter filtering into the shed, and the handmade puppets lining the wall beneath the stage. I committed every sight, sound, and smell to memory.
My research in Paris was a huge success! I went home and spent several weeks polishing every little detail in Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir. My next women’s fiction book is set in Ireland. I went a wee bit too far with the research for that book and just bought a vacation home in Ireland—my ancestor’s homeland. I wonder if I’ll be able to deduct that as a writing expense…
I would like to thank Kelly and Books-n-Kisses for helping me celebrate the release of my women’s fiction book, Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir.
One commenter will win an autographed print copy of Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir.
(US & Canada only are eligible for a print copy, but international winners are eligible for an e-book.)
To enter to win, please leave a meaningful comment or question about my post.
Thank you for stopping by!
Eliza’s first attempt at creative writing was in fourth grade. She and her friends were huge Charlie’s Angels fans and she would sit in her bedroom at night writing scripts for them to act out at recess the following day. She was Kelly Garrett. The journey from fourth grade script writer to published author wasn’t an easy one, but it was always an adventure and the final destination was well worth it.
When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home in Wisconsin working on her next novel. She enjoys bouncing ideas off her husband Mark, and her cats Quigley, Frankie, and Sammy.
Learn more about Eliza here:
Event planner Samantha Hunter is prepared for a few challenges when escorting a group of good ole boy beer distributors to Paris, the city of haute cuisine and fine wines. However, she doesn’t foresee being passed up for a promotion because she is too professional and doesn’t knock back beers with her clients. Her focus soon switches from landing the well-deserved promotion to finding her free-spirited sister, who lives in Paris and has disappeared, leaving behind family secrets to be uncovered. A sexy puppeteer helps Samantha search for clues to her sister’s whereabouts and teaches her to embrace her inner child. And a funeral-crashing psychic demonstrates the importance of living life to the fullest. It takes Samantha’s life spiraling out of control for her to finally get a life.