Misa is here to talk about the lengths she's willing to go in the name of research. I haven't yet read any of the Lola Cruz books, but after reading this guest post, I've added them to my to-read list.
Please give a warm welcome to Misa Ramirez:
Writers are willing to do a lot in the name of research. I’m no exception. My name is Misa, and I’m a mystery writer. Mysteries with a touch of romance, that is.
I wrote Living the Vida Lola, the first book in my mystery series, without having to do anything outrageous. I visited the marina, took notes and pictures of the boats docked there, the rickety steps leading to the water, the color of the metal rooftop. Tattoos figure prominently in the book, but I didn’t actually go out and get a tattoo. A belly button piercing has a starring role, but no, I didn’t go out and get my belly pierced, either.
In book two, Hasta la Vista, Lola!, there’s identity theft. I didn’t go out and steal anyone’s identity (though I did become WAY more cautious about my own papers and private information as a result of my research) and no one stole mine. So far, so good.
Then came the planning of book three, Bare Naked Lola. Much of it takes place in a Nudist Resort, although I won’t reveal just what Lola’s willing to do, or how much clothing she’s willing to take off to solve a case. What I couldn’t quite research from the comfort of my own home was just what it was like to be in a nudist resort.
What’s a good girl to do?
Visit a real, live nudist resort, of course. And that’s just what I did. The place I visited was truly unique–and has the additional infamy of being the hiding place of Cary Stayner, the Yosemite Killer from 1999. Not a pleasant claim to fame, but it certainly makes for colorful history.
So, back to my story. I visited this nudist resort. They were quite accommodating, actually, bless their naked hearts. I saw a day in the life of nudists. Some do it part time, some 24/7. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much skin in one place!
The thing about being a writer is that you never know what exciting adventure your story will take you on, and ultimately take your readers on. Ever hear of a little concert called Woodstock? My nudist resort has Nudestock. Seriously! I don’t think I could have made that up. I learned so much about how nudists live–and Lola gets to tell the story in the book I’m currently writing. So, tattoo or belly piercing? Nope, not necessary to experience. But seeing how the nude live? Yes, that’s something you have to see in order to get it right.
So here’s my question. What crazy thing have you good girls done that you never thought you would?
About the Author
Misa Ramirez is the author of the Lola Cruz mystery series: Living the Vida Lola (January ‘09) and Hasta la Vista, Lola! (2010) from St. Martin’s Minotaur / Thomas Dunne Books. A former middle and high school teacher, current instructor at Southern Methodist University’s Continuing Education program, and active CEO and CFO for La Familia Ramirez, this blonde-haired, green-eyed, proud to be Latina-by-Marriage girl loves following Lola on her many adventures. You can find her at http://misaramirez.com or http://chasingheroes.com and on http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com.
Misa would like to offer one of my readers the chance to read a Lola Cruz mystery. All you have to do is answer the question at the end of her guest post in the comments, along with your e-mail address.
The winner will choose either a copy of Living the Vida Lola or Hasta la Vista, Lola!
This giveaway is open internationally and will close Sunday, Feb. 7 at 11:59 pm EST.