I’ve been getting questions about doing research for fiction books and thought I’d address a few of them here-
Crime and Mystery Books
You’re writing a mystery novel and you need to know how a certain profession works, say a police officer, district attorney, PI etc. I’ve found that everyone loves to help writers and they’re more than willing to answer questions. You could start with contacting their public relations or media office and usually they’ll connect you with someone who can help field questions. And be sure to send them a thank you note and give them a mention in the acknowledgment section of your book.
Accents, Terrain and Scenery
I used to spend hours at the library reading through books on the areas where my book was set. These days a writer doesn’t even need to leave their home. My favorite resource is YouTube. I type in the area where the book is set and you can look for one that says a drive through downtown. Some areas even have professional videos made by the chamber of commerce or tourist board. Also, listen to interviews with people from the area which is great for get a feel for accents.
Should it be snowing or raining where your story is set? Could a character be killed in a tornado? My fav resource is http://www.weather.com Type in the city or any place in the world and you get a whole bunch of info.