#IWSG: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG will be Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace,and Feather Stone!

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?  I have to chuckled when thinking about this question. While writing Forbidden, I had to write a scene about a helicopter battle scene. Now understand that I’ve been in a medivac chopper, but I know nothing about flying them. To make the battle scene sound authentic, I read up on how to fly a helicopter, all the maneuvers pilots do in battle, and what action will cause a chopper to crash. I sent a draft of that scene to a beta reader who was quite impressed. It was cool!

I’m truly honored to be one of IWSG’s hosts this month. I hope to visit as many blogs as possible to say hello and share. I’m pretty excited about a promo coming up in June. Forbidden will be featured for an entire month at CMash Reads . I’ll be doing interviews, feature Forbidden’s characters (maybe even the real nasty culprits), setting development, etc. There will be giveaways, and Forbidden ebook will be FREE during the last five days of June. It’s going to be crazy fun.

I’m still very busy with promoting my second novel, Forbidden, since its launch in January with Amazon KDP.  My goal this year is to obtain 100 reviews. Yes, I know, you’re shaking your head and saying, “Good luck, Chickypoo.”

It’s like pulling hen’s teeth finding reviewers who are in the right genre and available. So far, I have 20 reviews, the average rating is 4.6. Pretty darn good but I need a lot more.

Here’s the deal, my lovely fellow authors and readers. I will send an ebook to you for FREE in exchange for an honest review posted on Amazon and Goodreads. If that’s not your gig, please post this offer on your blog and/or facebook.

Or, you could copy/paste this tweet:  FREE Forbidden ebook for #review top Middle East suspense thriller send request to featherstone.author@gmail.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2TNTS5/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481736741&sr=1-1&keywords=9780995150911

and the book cover:  
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92 thoughts on “#IWSG: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

    1. Hello Miladyronel: Since I began to write seriously, I’ve discovered that actual time spent at the keyboard is probably equal to the time spent researching. And most of what I’ve learned doesn’t even land in the novel. It is truly an adventure. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I owe you a big apology! You tried to comment on my blog during the IWSG but couldn’t. After all the craziness of the blog hop, and then trying to get the kinks worked out, I never replied back. My deepest apologies to you! Thank you! I think it was because I didn’t have something saying “click here to comment” so it was difficult for people to know where to comment. Thanks again.

      Elsie Amata

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your experience in a medivac choper combined with your researched must be an ideal recipe for describing a vivid helicopter battle scene. Good luck with your promo beginning in June. Thank you for co-hosting May’s IWSG.

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  2. Congratulations on CMash Reads, and June! Sounds like a great session!
    Reviews are hard to get – but you’re doing the best thing – pressing through, and asking outright!
    Wishing you all the best!

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  3. Congrats! Experience and research makes a good combination to write something kickass.
    Good luck with your promotions and reviews!
    Thanks for co-hosting.

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  4. How interesting to research how to fly a helicopter! As published authors we all appreciate as many reviews as we can get, and hopefully good ones. Unless you’re insanely popular or know dozens of readers willing to review, I find it hard to get reviews. Wishing you much luck and success!!

    Thank you for co-hosting Feather. PS. Your books look and sound amazing!

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    1. Good morning Cathrina: Most of Forbidden’s reviews have been superb. There’s the ‘odd’ reader who has not like Forbidden. A few have given me some great feedback to consider in writing my next novel, assuming I move in that direction once I’m done with promoting Forbidden. Have a great day.

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  5. I tweeted your review request. I’d like to do it myself, but right now have too many books that I’m supposed to read and continually getting more behind with.

    Best wishes getting those 100 reviews! That’s going to be a challenge, but you can do it.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thank you, Arlee. I see novels published that have over 1000 reviews. Holy smokes! Keep thinking there’s a secret to all this promotional programs but it keeps eluding me. Maybe if I work hard enough, long enough, I’ll figure it out. Thanks for stopping by, Arlee.

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  6. Lots of my reviews were removed because I got them through blog tours! I have become so disheartened with it all I have stopped all marketing for now. I will look at all that afresh with a new, more worthy project in the future – possibly. Amazon is constantly moving the goal-posets and I don’t have the energy to keep up! Best of luck! 🙂

    Shah Wharton
    http://shahwharton.com

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    1. Hi Shah: Yes, Amazon sure does seem to be a mystery to everyone with whom I connect. Something about algorithms and a slew of rules. I understand there had been serious problems in the past concerning ‘bad’ reviewers. Problem is, Amazon has us writers by the ….. Wishing you great success, in spite of all the hurdles, 🙂

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  7. For some reason when you said ‘helicopter battle scene,’ I envisioned the two helicopters fighting each other and whacking each other with their blades. Clearly I need more coffee this morning.

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    1. Marketing, blah! All I want to do is write. If I had the finances, I’d pay someone to dig the trenches and push Forbidden and The Guardian’s Wildchild to every outlet in the world. However, I’m the one with the shovel, so I’d better get to work, LOL. Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. You must have a fantastic imagination to be able to read about the mechanics of flying a helicopter, then writing a scene about it so vividly for your beta reader to believe it! Wow…good job. CMash sounds like a fun place. I’ll check it out. Best wishes on your new release!

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    1. Good morning J.Q. Rose. There was a time one of my ambitions was to become a pilot. I saved up the money for the lessons and registered for the course. Then I was in a vehicle accident (relatively minor), had to use the cash for car repairs. Figured maybe that was a sign I should stay out of the cockpit, LOL. Have a great and safe day, JQ Rose.

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    1. Hello Christine Rains: I truly wanted that helicopter scene to feel authentic, especially to a reader who is a pilot. When I read novels, or see movies showing medical procedures, I cringe when the scene is poorly done. Even though the chopper scene is about only two pages, I had to be as close to reality as I could manage. Thanks for stopping by, Christine.

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  9. I sometimes think if my Google search history was ever dragged out for some reason it would look like a clear indication of enthusiastic insanity. There are just so many details to find out to write the most factual story you can! Thanks for taking the time to co-host, especially when you’re in the middle of marketing and promotion.

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    1. Hello SE White: Yes, I know what you mean with respect to my Google search history. I often chuckle to myself recalling all the websites I hit. Everything about weapons, armor, crime scenes, espionage, etc. If the police service ever checks up on my internet activity, I just may find them tapping my phone or put me on 24 hour surveillance. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a cool scene! I wrote one with a helicopter once, but it was supernatural and involved a metal bender who lassoed the helicopter while it was near the ground and took it out. Yeah… Not even sure if that scene will make the final cut of that story…one day, but that’s what came to mind while reading this. =)

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    1. That sounds pretty exciting – lassoe a helicopter. I’d like to see that, but from a great distance. Those aircraft are always a hairs breadth from creating havoc and death for several hundred feet. Wishing you great success with your chopper scene.

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    1. Oh, Alex, you must. There’s no thrill in life, if you don’t put your body and soul in the hands of a chopper pilot, at least once. I once flew in a glider. Now, that was sick, sick, sick. No engine, nothing except trusting in air currents. The pilot gave us a demonstration on how he achieved the ‘normal’ use of the wind. Then my crazy husband asked if he’d show what a glider could REALLY do. OMG ….. Once we landed, it took me several minutes to feel strong enough to move out of my seat. All my energy had been used to keep my dinner in my stomach. You MUST try it, Alex. LOL

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  11. I love that approach–thorough research that is plausible to those that know. I did a similar approach in my current novel, Twenty-four Days. It has a Naval battle with a cruiser. Lots of research for this non-Vet mom.

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    1. Oh, so nice to hear from you, Patgarcia. How have you been? I’ve been coping with the death of my dear husband in March. Creativity disappears when one is dealing with such loss. Thanks to my friends, the days are getting better; and forcing myself to move forward with promoting Forbidden gets my mind and heart focused on new possibilities. It’s another journey. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Hi, Feather! This is my first time here. I’ve followed your blog and connected online.

    I’ll read the e-book for you and write a review. It might take about month or so with all that’s going on in my house. Will that be all right? I don’t have a kindle and can’t read it on my phone. May I have a PDF to read it on my computer? I’ll wait to hear from you.

    All the luck with achieving your reviews. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG question.

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      1. Thank you, Feather! I’ve sent an e-mail to you. Looking forward to reading Forbidden.

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  13. I’ve never flown on a helicopter before. Not sure if I ever will. I don’t like rollercoasters, and from what I’ve seen, riding in a helicopter is a lot like that.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month’s IWSG post.

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    1. Hey, Lisa, step out of your comfort zone just a little. It helps if you know a pilot and trust him/her. I’ve been on many commercial aircraft without knowing more than the pilot’s name. I always send a little prayer to the cockpit crew, LOL.

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  14. That would be some challenging research. Reading about how to operate anything mechanical would be hard for me to get through. Best of luck to you on your book. It sounds as if you’ve gotten off to a great start. And thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Hi Cleemckenzie: I had to laugh when I read your comment about operating mechanical things. My husband would, too. Even our gas powered lawn mower would refuse to start no matter how hard and long I pulled and yanked on that pull-thingy. After I got red in the face, he’d come out, pull it once, and the dang thing purred to life. No kidding.

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  15. I’ve already reviewed but cheering for you. Here is a TIP if you review on Goodreads, it auto post the review on Amazon if you have your Amazon account linked with it. I learned that just recently when I posted on Goodreads first and then went to Amazon and it was already there.

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

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    1. Hello Rhonda: Thank you so much for your request. I’ve sent you the ebook. I used to be a loyal romance fan. Over the years boredom set in. I only pick up a romance novel if it is known to have great characters – more than simply pretty people. I truly hope you enjoy every page of Forbidden.

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  16. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month, Judy! I hope that you have an enjoyable time visiting about. It’s one thing to research a topic like flying a helicopter and quite another to translate that research into vivid and realistic writing. Way to go! Happy writing this month!

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  17. I have always been fascinated by helicopters. True story – In my much younger incarnation, I almost joined the National Guard because I wanted to become a helicopter pilot. Hang in there with Amazon – I have never understood how that really works. And thanks for co-hosting today.

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    1. Hi Lee: Very pleased to meet you. Ah, yes. The ambitions of our youth were so tantalizing. I wanted to be a pilot but that fell through when I had a car accident. Maybe a sign that I should keep my feet on the ground, LOL.

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    1. Hello Adrienne: You know, I had originally hoped to quickly get a few pointers on flying a helicopter in battle. However, I kept reading and learned how truly skilled chopper pilots are. Bravo to the men and women who have that much courage.

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  18. That sounds like some intense research for an intense scene. It definitely sounds like you did your homework! Good luck with your goal for reviews. I’d love to hear any tips you have on securing reviews, as I hope to publish my first novel later this year.

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    1. Hi Denise: Bottom line? I was advised to never pay for a review, and I don’t. But you will need to offer your book to the reviewer for free (maintain your book’s mobi, epub and pdf files). Some require a print copy, and that costs you a few pesos.

      You can choose to get your book reviews via a blog tour, and that will cost (sometimes a lot) and the author needs to evaluate the site’s potential to deliver. Check their history on how well they managed previous blog tours. With my first novel, I did a few blog tours (did interviews, showcase, excerpts, offered giveaways; paid several hundred dollars and received no appreciable return. But at that time, I was a ‘nobody’ author.

      The best advice I received after writing my first novel was to sit back down in my chair and write two more novels. Then, you’ve proven you’re not just a flash in the dark.

      I suggest every author, especially when you’re just starting out, is to join a group of authors (online and live). You’re about to enter new territory. My learning curve was steep and hard. I owe my success to the men and women who have the experience and knowledge. This IWSG group is awesome. None better.

      Here is one site that has great advice: https://ritastradling.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/for-authors-the-ways-to-get-more-reviews-experiment-part-one/
      Another site: https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/book-reviews/
      Another: http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/

      Best wishes to you. See your success, even if it’s only a vision, a hope. Feel it as if it is real. Every day. The universe will answer your call and obey.

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  19. Good luck with your reviews! Book promotion is way harder than actually writing the book. I learned how to fly planes a long time ago. Never a helicopter though:) Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  20. Hi Feather, firstly thank you for visiting my blog. It’s lovely to ‘meet’ you. Secondly, thank you for co-hosting this month.

    I adore your research methods. Maybe you should put it to more use, now that your book is complete, and take real life lessons 🙂 How cool would that be? I’ve just stopped writing and bought my copy of Forbidden (Amazon.de). There’s a glowing review from our lovely lady Pat Garcia – have you read it? If not pop on over and take a look 🙂

    Have a great week.

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    1. Oh, yes, I’ve read Pat’s review. She’s one of my favorite author friends. Sadly, I getting too old to take flying lessons. It had been on my bucket list. Think I’m going to have to cross bungee jumping off the list. Now, I’m thinking of spending a night or two watching the Northern Lights in Whitehorse, Yukon – this coming fall/winter. And, I’ve been wanting to touch a whale. Crazy? Maybe, but that would take my breath away.

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  21. Wow. Great research. Congrats on your new release. I hope you get your 100 reviews. (I just sent you a post offering to review your book.) Thanks for co-hosting this month and best wishes.

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    1. Hi Diane: Thank you so very much for requesting Forbidden. Please remember to post your review on Amazon and Goodreads – all the pros and cons. I take constructive criticism very well. I do hope you enjoy every page of Forbidden.

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