Saturday, June 04, 2011
BOM: The Research
The Justice, like most of my books, required quite a bit of research.
First, I had to understand the workings, the layout, and daily procedures of the White House and the Supreme Court. To make sure I had it right, I went to Washington and visited the Supreme Court. I also read tons and tons of books.
In a bizarre twist, at the time I was writing this novel, our nation was embroiled in Clinton versus Monica Lewinsky. Therefore, Newsweek, Time, and other news magazines had detailed maps of the Oval Office splashed across their pages--to illustrate where the "trysts" took place. Those maps were invaluable to me.
I also had to do research on hate groups, abortion's link to breast cancer (I'd dealt with it before, but had to keep up to date), and lots of other details.
I had a bit of a conundrum when it came to setting the story--a past setting wouldn't work, because everyone knows that Daryn Austin wasn't president. So I went with a current-into-future setting, which allowed me to refer to Clinton and other past presidents . . . but which, as the PW review pointed out, left me a bit out of sync with the world after 9/11. Our world did change drastically on that day, as did the role of the president. Now that the book is being published again, it reads best simply as a story that happened around 1995.
Tomorrow: The writing