Research? Sure! One of the characters is a pediatric cardiac surgeon, so I had to learn what kinds of heart surgery are most often necessary, and I had to make sure my surgeon is asking for the proper things in the operating theater. Thank you, Dr. Harry Krauss, for your help!
I also set part of the book in the Marshall Islands, which are pretty fascinating in themselves. So I had to learn how one would travel from the U.S. to the Marshall Islands (note: you can't do it in a day), and what would be involved.
I had to learn about boats, and owe a big thanks to Athol Dickson for his help with waves and storms and steering and such.
I had to make sure my theology was accurate, so I consulted several Bibles and commentaries, particularly about the parables of the four seeds and the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Fascinating reading!
Because this was an ensemble cast of six people, I had to develop backstories, occupations, and a history for each of them. Fortunately, I already know about Florida and alligators, so I didn't have to do too much research on that front. I did have to do a bit of study on serial killers. (ugh).
Finally, this was the book I worked on at the Donald Maass Intensive seminar, so a lot of the depth comes from his constant urging for us to "go deeper." The effort was absolutely worth it.
Tomorrow: the writing