Thursday, December 03, 2009

BOM: The Research


To research this book, I had to learn about *a certain medical condition*, but that wasn't too hard, considering that the Discovery Channel had explained the matter thoroughly. I simply did some verification and moved on.

The tricky part was the "lawyer" part. At first I thought, "How hard could it be?" After all, I watch "Law and Order." LOL! After reading a few books on the law, especially McElhaney's Trial Notebook, I realized there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye on TV. I learned that 1) you can't trust the TV and 2) that you really need an expert to walk you through it.

So I did the best I could with the legal matters, and then I sent a second draft (I think) to a lawyer friend who had generously volunteered to read the manuscript. This saintly man then called me and spent FOUR HOURS on the phone going over the ms. line by line, pointing out where a lawyer couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't say or do that. Amazing! I learned that you can't lead on direct examination, but you can lead on cross. Little things like that were invaluable to know. (God bless you, Mr. G!)

I also did a bit of research on Chicago, the setting, querying my agent, the sheriff, and a matron at the jail. Tip: you don't want to end up in Cook County jail.

Also had to research Dissociative Identity Disorder (what we used to call split personalities) and how to murder someone quietly, almost undetectably. And I learned a lot about Ambien and the sleepwalking defense.

Lots of research went into this book, but I enjoyed every minute. Enough to think that if I ever stop writing, I might go to law school . . .

~~Angie

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the things I liked most about the book was the greater understanding of the legal system that it afforded. The almost undetectable nuances in the choreography of questioning were eye-opening. Clyde

Mocha with Linda said...

I've never been one to read John Grisham or watch Law & Order, but at the same time, the legal process fascinates me. All the nuances of trials and questioning are amazing. I went to a day of a local trial here 25 years ago of a nurse that had killed a bunch of babies, and they spent hours with the jury out of the room presenting evidence - to determine if they could start all over and present that same evidence with the jury IN the room!

You would be a phenomenal attorney. But don't you dare stop writing!!

Laura in Texas said...

Noooooo!! Don't go to law school. (Written by a woman who went to law school at age 35.)

Actually, law school, while extremely tough and stressful, isn't that bad. Go ahead and go if you want to -- it's a great educational experience. Just don't practice law. :-)

Angela said...

LOL, Laura! When you put it that way . . .
Maybe I'll be content with simply PLAYING a lawyer in a book. :-)

Besides, a lot of the lawyers I know (one, two, three, four, FIVE . . .) are busy writing novels. :-)

Angie