Research

It has recently occurred to me that I would know practically nothing if I didn’t write books.  Like most of us, I’m ridiculously busy with family and hobbies and housework and careers. Which is where my weird need for trivia comes in. You see, I’m currently editing my final Hope Springs book, Finally Home, which is set in the Black Hills of South Dakota, while concurrently working on my first romantic suspense, which is mostly set in Colombia, South America. So the research has been coming at me fast and furious.

Here are a few of the fun facts I’ve learned in the past few days:

A man named Justin McBride is the top bull rider in the United States today. He’s grossed over $5,000,000 in his 15 year career and looks like this.  mcbride

Or this.bull ridingLet’s hear it for the cowboys!

golden-poison-arrow-frog_5842_600x450
The poison dart frog is a memdrobatidae family. This little fellow has enough venom to kill ten full grown human beings. Or twenty…depending on which website you choose to believe.
Premarin is a drug used to alleviate symptoms in post-menopausal women. It is manufactured from pregnant mare urine. The mares are confined to stalls, with catheters installed for 6-9 months out of every year. Often their water is restricted to make their urine more potent. Thousands of unwanted foals are born to these horses annually. Personally, my head would have to be hotflashed right off my body to convince me to use this drug, especially since there is a synthetic substitute available.

Double names disappeared from the top ten listing for Spanish girls in the 1990s. In 1970 the top two girls’ names were Maria Carmen and Maria Jose. Now it is simply Maria. Hmmmm

black hillsLand value in South Dakota has increased by an average of 28% in the past year. Some of that land looks like this. I would move there in about 32 seconds if I could convince all my children to go with me.

More than 3000 people were kidnapped in Colombia in the year 2000. It would take me more than 32 seconds to move there, even though it’s beautiful and purportedly produces some of the best organically grown cocao (chocolate) beans in the world.

So there you have it…little tidbits of trivia I pick up as an author. True, I may not remember a word of it tomorrow when I’m researching the mating rituals of the honey bee or the hair styles of the 1820s, but don’t let anyone tell you romance readers don’t learn anything while enjoying their chosen genre.

How about you? Any fun facts you’ve learned recently?

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10 Responses to Research

  1. Kathleen O says:

    Have not learned any new fun facts lately… But I am looking forward to the next books in this series.. I have read book #1 and can’t wait to get my hands on the next ones…

  2. loisgreiman says:

    I’m so sorry all the pictures didn’t show up. Am hoping they will magically appear.

  3. Abracadabra! Here they are, Lois. Now we’re cooking with gas. (Centuries-old fairy godmothers say things like that.) I have to say, I would know practically nothing about getting pictures into a pre-loaded post if the ugly step sisters weren’t stealing your handsome cowboys and turning them into poison dart frogs.

    Carry on, dearie!
    The Golden Beaked Fairy

  4. Kylie Brant says:

    Tons of (to me) compelling bits of trivia have come my way, but they are rather dark facts dealing with murder and mayhem. For instance, the ‘best’ time to kill someone is within ten minutes of their waking, since their blood is still warm, close to the surface and they’ll bleed out faster. Ahem. I’m an interesting dinner conversationalist :) And YUM on the cowboy. Let’s see him without the hat. And shirt….

  5. Scientists recently discovered a mammal they were unaware of – the olinguito. That’s my contribution.

  6. Nora Braun says:

    I heard lots of facts and tidbits from our wonderful bus driver on the Ireland tour recently, but of course my favorite isn’t too hard to figure out…… The colorful doors in the row houses was a way to add a little individuality of spirit into the sameness of the buildings — or a way to find the right door when you stumble home from the pubs at night!
    Love all your fun facts, Lois! Researching with you was always fun — just don’t scratch the goat head!

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