More Fun with Research

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I really enjoy doing research for my novels. On-site research is best, but that’s just not possible right now (unless I plan to infiltrate a lab where scientists are studying forms of biological warfare!). I’m at a point in my new WIP where I need more background information to see if some of my plot points are even feasible. So yesterday was a research day and I took lots of notes. Here are a few of my observations:

  • There is absolutely no way I could ever survive High School Biology. I tried to read a book called Genetics Demystified (a “For Dummies” version) and I was completely lost. I understood Mendel and the whole fruit fly thing, but once I got to the chapter on DNA, it was game over.
  • I read three books about animal rights, because my story involves rats being used for animal testing. After I was done, I felt massive guilt because I’m not a vegetarian. It’s not like I didn’t know about slaughterhouses before, but reading all the gruesome details gave me the creeps.
  • From a journal called Laboratory Animal Science, I found links to supply stores where you can buy nifty mobile computer workstations, giant shelves to house your lab rats, and various batches of rats. Not that I plan to make any purchases, but the images I downloaded from the sites are a great source of visual inspiration.
  • After I read The Little Book of Pandemics, I started feeling really paranoid. I’m so glad I didn’t read it before I went to India in 2009!
  • Did you know you can buy a Hazmat suit from Amazon? Not just a Halloween costume, but a real one.

Today’s going to be a writing day, but all my notes are went into my research binder, tucked away for whenever I need them.


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