Title: The Recruit
Author: Fiona Palmer
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Today we welcome author Fiona Palmer, as she discusses her research for THE RECRUIT, the debut in a brand new YA series.
Jasmine Thomas may not be completely normal, but she’s a pretty typical seventeen-year-old girl. She hates the rich mean kids, loves her best friends, and can’t wait to get out of school each day. Her spare time is spent at The Ring — a boxing gym where she practically grew up — learning karate, boxing and street fighting. So, yeah, Jaz can kick some major butt.
Life seems pretty normal until the day Ryan Fletcher enters her gym…mysterious and hot with heaps of bad boy charm. Sure, she checks him out. Who wouldn’t? But what doesn’t show on his gorgeous abs are secrets and lies that dominate his very grown-up world. Now Jaz has to figure out just how far she is willing to go to know more. Could Ryan really be offering the life-fulfilling life path she’s always dreamed of?
Why Google Maps is so awesome: Research for The Recruit
Normally I’m writing about sunsets, farming equipment, harvest, shearing sheep, paddocks, the change of the seasons and many other aspects of rural life. It’s what I know and live everyday in rural Western Australia (in my five house town of Pingaring).
But then I decided to try my hand at another genre, Young Adult/New Adult. Why? Well it’s the genre I turn to first when I am looking for an enjoyable read. I write rural romance but I love to read YA. So for me it didn’t seem like that much of a jump to try my hand at writing a different genre. But I did come up with a few problems. Like research.
With my rural books I’m living the country life. I have worked on farms, in shearing sheds, driven tractors and have friends and family all involved in farming. So I know most of what I’m writing about. With The Recruit I knew nothing of guns, fighting, drug trafficking and overseas countries like Pakistan.
This is where things got tough. I like my details to be as real and close to the truth as possible. In The Recruit, I had Jasmine and her friend, Taylor, compete in a fencing competition at their school. (I liked the idea of fencing, it looked interesting, cool and I liked the skills that came with it. Another thing to notch on Jasmine’s belt along with boxing and karate.)
But I had to do a lot of research until I felt comfortable writing about fencing. I also liked being able to watch an event, just to get the feel of it. Of course it was all researched on the internet. (I live 350km from the city of Perth and quite possibly the nearest fencing club.)
The world wide web is my friend and my ‘go to’ guy. Since starting The Recruit series I have travelled to Pakistan (via the web), looked up guns and firing ranges, scopes and so much more. (Google maps is awesome, it’s like virtual travelling – tourist trekking from your computer chair!)
In saying all that I do have a real ‘go to’ person who helps me with information. Someone who has been involved with weapons and can point me in the right directions on some of my curly questions. Having access to both these things has made research much easier and more realistic. I need them both.
I don’t think it would be possible to write without my friend the internet. I typed in ‘How long does a bullet wound in the leg take to heal’ and I go a few hits. I’m sure the people asking that same questions are other author’s like me. Nice to know we are not alone.
When my kids chew up all our download limit and we are slowed (It’s already slow because we live in the country so imagine it slowed beyond a snails pace!!) I’m practically forced into a writing break (which also means no procrastination on facebook or twitter) and all that is left is housework. (Or maybe a coffee and a good book.) Which leaves me wondering…what things have you researched today?
About the Author:
Fiona Palmer has been writing bestselling rural stories for years and is now indulging in her love of YA. It’s not a big change considering she already writes about strong women who fight for what they want. She is a full-time writer and mum from rural Western Australia. Her two kids remind her often that she’s not seventeen anymore but writing at least lets her relive it.