I write!...therefore…I research?? ~ by Joanne Jaytanie

Research is part of a writer’s life. It doesn’t matter what you write; if you want to pull your reader in, make them believe, you must anchor your story with what—could be possible—or what if. At least that’s my belief. 

I write suspense and paranormal/supernatural, and I tend to pull in scientific elements. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no science whiz, but even so, my plots often revolve around components such as DNA manipulation, multiple births, accident reconstruction, and biological discoveries. To a certain extent, I write what I know, what I've been exposed to, or what I’ve learned. My upcoming release, Salvaging Truth, is a prime example. In 2016, when I first started creating the initial premise of this plot, I scoured the internet for any mention of my theory. There was research being done relating to the idea and after reading some reports and studies, I knew I could build a viable plot. 

Another form of research: Anyone who knows me, knows that my immediate family is and was deeply embedded in the military. My husband, step-son, brother-in-law, and father-in-law, all served in the Navy. My dad was in the Army. My step-daughter was active duty Coast Guard and continues to serve in the reserves. To date, all my full-length novels include main characters who are or once were military. I was never in the military, but I have a darn good wealth of resources to draw from. I question my family members extensively, and I’m eternally grateful that they are always willing to answer all my crazy questions. 

I also gravitate toward the Hawaiian Islands. I’ve never been there, but I have a good friend that lives there, family members who have lived or visited and my online research. I learned my lesson while editing my first novel—never to assume. There's a scene in, Chasing Victory, where she is in the forest, and someone or something is stalking her. I originally named an animal, but after editing a few times I started questioning…do the Hawaiian Islands have bears? Nope.

Yes, I write fiction, and I want to write a story that will grab the reader. Make them get goosebumps, a quickening pulse, teary-eyed, and needing to turn the page. In order to accomplish any of those emotions, they can't be pulled out of the story to wonder...Really? 

So, I'll continue to do my research and when I miss something or thought what I wrote I was correct—I'll thank my Editing Goddess for catching my blunder...But that's a story for another day. 

Until next time…

To find out more about my books and to watch the book trailer of Salvaging Truth, click the link below.


  1. It is very evident that you research your material. As a writer, it takes a lot to make sure your facts are correct. I did 12 hrs of note taking/lecture listening for one of my books. I think research broadens our knowledge and makes us better at our craft. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you, Grace. I agree. I learn something new with each book I write.

  3. Even if you twist the truth, knowing the facts is what can make it work. I'm always appreciative of authors who take those extra steps.

  4. It shows in your books that you do your research and that you have that second, or third, or fourth set of eyes.



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