Google it has become a common phrase in my house. No matter what anyone wants to know, be it a recipe, a definition of a word, or how the West was Won, someone will shout Google it.
Since I write historical romance, Google has become a big part of my research life. Like most writers, I have my library of research books. However, recently, when editing, I ran across a regency character in my book saying ‘they’re playing musical beds.’ I gave pause. When was the children’s game, musical chairs first played? Was it as early as the 1812 year I set my book in?
Alas, no. Musical chairs was first noted around the year 1875. So, obviously, raised eyebrows and looks of confusion would have greeted my heroine had she uttered those words. Some readers can be very definite on what you can and cannot do with history.
Speaking of how the west was won, when I did the research for my book, Emma’s Journey—a wagon train romance, I found the internet invaluable. I tracked my characters from Missouri to Oregon, investigating all the places they would have stopped and passed along the way.
How active were Indian attacks at the time? What did Fort Laramie look like? What illnesses plagued the pioneers who took the Oregon Trail? All of this information was at my fingertips, thanks to the internet. Had this book been written twenty or so years ago, I would have spent an inordinate amount of time at the library.
As much as I love the library and browsing their shelves, getting quick answers helps the muse to stay active, and my fingers busily writing storyline.
I thought about all of this recently when three different companies dropped phone books at my doorstep. I haven’t used a phone book in years. I just Google it.
What about you? How has the information available on the internet changed your life?
Bio: Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. After having a number of articles and interviews published in newspapers and magazines, she took on what she’d always dreamed of. Writing that book. She currently has a number of both historical and contemporary romance books published. Visit her website for more information. Calliehutton.com
She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and adult children who move in and out with alarming regularity. Add three rescue dogs and the household is complete–and full. She enjoys hearing from her readers, and would love to have you visit her on Facebook.