The hero isn't always the good guy, or girl.

Another rabbit hole of research

Wild(e) wonderful rabbit holes

Sometimes research is fun. Other times it is necessary in order to get nuances of a story just right. Yet more often it is simply done so I don’t have someone coming back and saying, “Dude, you don’t know Jack about that subject.”

For my current work in progress, Code Name: Diner (no real title for it yet), I’ve done the following research:

  • Appalachian Dialect
  • Surnames, ethnicity of the region
  • Native American information on settlements, different regional habitation, maps of territory from pre-Revolutionary era (as there was much migration between the first settlements, history of the dislocation of coastal tribes, the overthrow of Five Nation peoples, etc.
  • Feuds of West Virginia (that was fun)
  • How to make Moonshine (MORE fun!)
  • How to make authentic Pepperoni Rolls
  • Sourdough bread origins and variations

Then, there’s bluegrass music, and other things that make the region of West Virginia unique.


There’s also the tough stuff. And that’s mostly why I’m writing this post today, because the tough stuff got a little too close to things I had to learn almost two decades ago.

First, a link:

Yes, you read that correctly, how to protect yourself when leaving an abusive relationship. This next book is going to have some CONTENT WARNINGS because that’s the story. It’s a rough one to write and even rougher to know that it is going to hit a few beloved readers too hard. I’m hoping that I don’t hurt anyone. Sierra’s story needs a voice, though.

Reading through that link, and others, I’m reminded of my own journey out of the “weeds” so to speak. I can’t/won’t say much except ALL of the tips at the link above should be learned, memorized, and put into practice if ever needed. Instinctively, I squirreled away money. I hid bank cards. I had a PLAN should I ever have to “bug out.” Shoot, I didn’t retire the bug out bag until 2017. That’s over sixteen years of carrying trauma in a backpack.

There are unique aspects to this coming story which are solely the lead character’s. But some of it is mine. Please understand I am not making light of a very serious dilemma some people face when leaving a relationship. Hopefully, that comes through, but also provides an entertaining happy-ever-after for you, the reader, and my FMC, Sierra.