The obscure stuff you learn as a writer..
I passed the half-way point recently in my eighth Jill Quint, MD series book entitled CRESCENT CITY MURDER. As I've mentioned in prior blog posts, it's set in New Orleans. As I've also said in the past I'm a pantser style of writer. What that means is my books are reflection of where my imagination takes me. I'm a failure at outlining the story as I have no idea where it's going at the start.
For CRESCENT CITY MURDER, I ended up with Jill and Nathan taking a tour of the Louisiana bayou's. I looked online to see what those kinds of tours normally looked like and so I knew that Jill and Nathan would have to rent an airboat. I've never been on an airboat nor even seen one going across the lake. I had to find an airboat that the two of them could sit side-by-side. Then I had to read up on airboats to understand if they created wakes in bayous. Then I noticed in the pictures that people were wearing ear protection, so I discovered these were noisy boats. I watched a few YouTube videos of the noise these boats make and of the scenery one would expect in touring on one of them. As part of the storyline I needed a quieter boat and apparently people who live on lakes protest the noise of these boats and so manufacturers have had to create mufflers to tone down the sound.
Here's a spoiler alert, I was able to have Jill and Nathan hide behind cypress trees covered in Spanish Moss. They could only do this on an airboat with a quiet muffled engine. Thankfully for the storyline all of these things exist.
If only Jeopardy would ask what kind of moss grows on cypress trees in Louisiana. I'd easily get that question right!
Now back to finishing the story. I'm aiming for an end of year launch, but likely it will be January before the latest Jill Quint is available.