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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Research Addiction by Joan Reeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Hi! My name is Joan, and I'm a research-aholic.

Yes, I have a problem with getting lost in research.

I just can't seem to close the book, shut down the computer, etc. I just can't say no.

Unfortunately, there's no 12 Step program for those of us who pull a reference book from the shelf and get lost in its pages.

Or click on a website and 6 hours later your eyes burn and your back aches from leaning toward your monitor to glean every detail. Sure, there are worse addictions. Like most authors, I want to ground my story to make it "real" to the reader.


I love to research with a "real" book, meaning a print one. I find print books are perfect for armchair research. There's something satisfying about flipping through the pages and pausing when something catches the eye.

I also read research books on my Kindle too, but to me, bookmarking a page on an ereader just isn't the same. I love to curl up in my comfy recliner and page through a book until an interesting passage leaps out at me. Unfortunately, those interesting passages abound, and I can't stop reading because I find everything interesting when I'm fascinated with a subject.


Despite all the background research I do, not much of it actually ends up in the book, but information learned is never wasted. 

For instance, I researched the science of sex appeal because I'd seen a fascinating documentary on television. 

That quest led me to the science of smell, the most primitive of our senses. What an eye-opening project that turned into! I used what I'd learned as background information in my romantic comedy, SCENTS AND SENSUALITY.

I created a heroine who was a perfumer. Her specialty is blending an original perfume for clients. Amanda learned all about the science of smell, but she's a little lost when it comes to the science of sex appeal. 

Seriously, if you want to learn how to attract a man, it's all about pheromones. Amanda knows this, but she still can't seem to find a guy.

If you're looking for a sexy, zany romantic comedy, SCENTS AND SENSUALITY, is on sale this month for 99¢.

In the back of that book, I included an article about The Science of Smell and Sex Appeal.


There's another benefit from research. It can make anyone a pseudo expert on a lot of disparate subjects. I don't mean to brag, but I'm in great demand when it comes to question and answer board games.

Anyone for Trivial Pursuit?


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  1. Nice post. Very relevant. I love to research. My problem is that I, too, get so involved and interested, I forget I'm supposed to be writing instead of reading. And, I also have folders full of copied pages that I'll probably never use again.

    1. Yes. {cringe} I've been trying to clean out my folders. I find it so hard to throw away articles I've saved. I guess it's a good thing I no longer subscribe to print newspapers and magazines, but I do miss them.

  2. I have been guilty of following research down the rabbit hole many times. I know I shouldn't, but it is so interesting I can't stop!

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one, but there are worse ways to "waste" time I guess.

  3. You are speaking my language. I can be looking up curtains one minute and be reading about how the Manx cat species originated on Isle of Mann. If you ever need that person with trivial knowledge about the life cycle of a monarch butterfly or which crystal is supposed to heal or what plant both medicinal and poisonous- send me a note. My brain is like a computer with 40 tabs open across the bottom. Typical trait of being ADHD.

  4. The only historical novel I've written took me forever because it was so much fun to research. Great post, Joan!


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