Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gotta Love Reference Libarians

The last two days I've been googling and sending e-mails to librarians as my story takes different twists and turns. When I need to learn about things like how long did it take for a stage to get from Wallua, WA to Boise Idaho? What did the Old's Ferry look like? Where did the stage stop along the way? I need those answers so I can keep writing and meet my deadline.

I've been lucky in finding research librarians at several places who get back to me in short order. I don't mind waiting for information or a book when I'm in the beginning of a story and the research will develop the plot and story. But when I'm writing and the characters go a different route than I'd originally planned, then I have to find the 1800's travel agency ASAP.

My latest release, Miner in Petticoats, I had researched all I needed to know about stamp mils and the area where I set the story, but then as my heroine grew in the story and more of her background came out, I had to dig into more research.

My next book, Doctor in Petticoats, coming in 2010, again after I was about two thirds of the way through the book I had to research Pullman cars for a trip they were taking. My favorite research librarian hooked me up with a railroad historian and the rest was easy. I've also made another resource through that.

How about you? Have you become buddies with reference librarians or specialists while writing books? If you're a reader, can you tell when something has been researched or does it even matter to you?


Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Paty, I don't have a particular librarian but my local library is almost like a cathedral to me. I just love the atmosphere.

We visited the railroad museum in Sacramento recently and it was great fun. The docents were great and very knowledgeable. oxoxxoox

CJ Clark said...

I don't have a good library where I live so this interests me immensely. Do you direct your questions to the general libarian or a research libarian? Do you have to pay for the information? I guess I'd like to know the process. And can you ask them anything?