Author Research: A weird, wonderful and disturbing online search history





Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

I’ve heard several crime writers say that they hope their online search history is never subject to investigation and then used in evidence against them. Some of them mention googling not only ways to maim and murder, but also how to dispose of a body, how to destroy evidence and various real and appalling murders.

Not just crime writers

I don’t write crime. My novels are contemporary second-chance romances. So you might think I wouldn’t have to do much in the way of research.

But you’d be wrong.

Checking the facts

As well as the central romance, I weave other issues such as mental health, culture and politics, and dealing with bereavement (to name only some) into my stories.  And so I have had to do a fair bit of fact finding and checking. Some of it has been in person in the real world, and some of it has been online.

And just like those crime writers I reckon my Google search history would at least look like a weird mixture if not downright disturbing. So, dear readers, in this post I thought I’d share just 20 topics from a fairly extensive list of searches that I’ve carried out for my Skye trilogy.

20 online research topics for Displacement, Settlement and (the work-in-progress) Fulfilment

  • Night sky in northern hemisphere winter
  • Geology of the Isle of Skye
  • Rare breed sheep
  • Lambing
  • Serving as a Royal Marine Commando
  • Night photography
  • Structure of Police Scotland
  • Treatment for a gunshot wound to the chest
  • Typical injuries sustained when a person is severely beaten-up
  • Aftercare and prosthetic limbs for double below-the-knee amputees
  • Israel-Palestine politics and culture
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Veteran’s charities
  • Working as an illustrator
  • Oil painting techniques
  • Sculpture techniques
  • Isle of Skye sheep and cattle auction mart
  • The 1930s Kindertransport
  • Middle-Eastern cuisine
  • Scottish Gaelic phrases

Dare you share some of the weird and wonderful things you’ve looked up online? As always comments welcome below.

10 thoughts on “Author Research: A weird, wonderful and disturbing online search history

  1. Morning, Anne. I spend a lot of time looking up folks’ addresses. However, panic not the stalking police, because the research is mainly in the Street directories of early nineteenth century Edinburgh. I’m often bemused by the familiarity of some of the names and delighted to find that the person represented by a name on a business did exist. Warmiong – it’s a borderline addictive occupation when a person ought to be writing!

  2. I am sure most folks´search history could be interesting but none as fascinating as a writer´s. Mine are usually places, so I guess I´m safe. (Unless I am trying to escape somewhere.) Serving as a Royal Marine Commando must have been fun.

  3. Thanks Anne. How about visiting my blog. Just finished the AtoZ Challenge April 2019, 10th Anniversary. I would love to have your opinion . See you soon. Have a nice May.

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