Describe the research process for your book. Did you interview people? Travel? How prominent a role did the Internet play? If you didn’t do new research, how did you learn what you needed to know to write your book?

My biggest research tool is my camera. I love to go to locations and take lots of photos. My trigger finger gets going and I snap away, caves, beaches, campsites, ruins, anything that might house an inner mystery. For Ghostnapped I had lots of pictures of the campsite we used to frequent, but I also went and took snaps of the old mine and the rocky cave. These two areas ended up being central to my story and in reality the story wrote itself because of these areas. I also got on the internet to check out the local history. I discovered the area was the home to the Leafy Sea Dragon, which really changed my story and gave me my monster! I had lots of photos of these little creatures from various aquariums, so that helped me as well.

The book I am currently editing is set in two of my favourite holiday locations – Perth and Vancouver. Other sides of the world, but two places I have loved visiting. Once again I took heaps of photos to gain a feel for the place and also to remind me of what it felt like to be in certain locations. I also used the internet to check up local customs at various times of the year. Although I write fiction I like my settings to feel real, to give the reader a sense of belonging or a lack of belonging, depending on where my character fits in. This story has been so much fun and I am so happy with it, although it has lots of editing to go. I am looking forward to each step with this story.

I think research is a really important part of any book. It is also one of the parts I enjoy the most, it is great to surf the net or look at photos and escape into your own world. For me this is where the story really starts to take form and develop into something real.