Research, and reality
My research for fiction is limited compared to when I wrote my historical fiction book, Elizabeth’s War, but there are still things that need to be researched.
The first thing that was brought to my attention was the time difference. I hadn’t realized that Hawaii didn’t do daylight savings time. I would have been off an hour if that hadn’t been caught. Then, I looked up when the sun set, since I’ve never been to Hawaii in December. With the family traveling at Christmas time, I had to make sure the airports decorated for the holidays. Reno Airport was the quickest to respond and even sent pictures! Honolulu International Airport gave me details of how they decorated the luggage pick-up area. The airport on Maui had less details to share, because they do it differently each year – so that is vaguer in my descriptions. I’m always thankful when people take time to help out with details so I can be as accurate as possible when my characters take a trip to very real places.
On Oahu, I had to research the mall the Penny’s and Coral went shopping at. I found a picture of how they decorated for the holidays. Next, I investigated how the hotels and residents of the island might celebrate Christmas. Of course, Santa would know how to ride a surf board when he made a stop on the Islands! Someday I will get to Hawaii during the holidays, but at least Coral and the Penny’s got to see it!
It’s been a lot of years since I’ve seen Pearl Harbor, so I needed to determine what had changed from 34 years ago. The security is something I don’t remember from my honeymoon (not to say it wasn’t there), but it is more intense now. Finding a tour for the family to go on was easy and the itinerary that went with it. Driving conditions have changed over the last three decades, and I applied that to the drive from the airport to Waikiki Beach.
I had to do some sea turtle and dolphin fact checking, along with how long does it take to become a general in the Air Force and other ranks. Lots of little details go into stories that the internet makes so much easier to research!
I use my actual experiences snorkeling and being a tourist in Hawaii. I swam at the black beach that shows up in two of my books. It was an amazing spot that newlyweds had to themselves for a bit on their honeymoon!
Scuttle Valley is not a real place in Nevada, but Reno certainly is. I live an hour and a half from Reno. I’ve made many trips to the mall that Coral and Ruby shopped to prepare for their trip to Hawaii. Of course, I left the stores anonymous, but they are typical to all malls across the United States in the music, sales, helpful employees and Santa Claus! There isn’t a Dunning Corporation, either, but I based it off what I thought might be a secret working place in the Nevada desert.
I’ve never been in an underwater cave – yet. But, Coral has and she was rewarded with a place hidden from what those water people call us- the air people.
Next week will be the poetry behind Dolphin’s Cave in part four of the blog series.
Updates on up coming releases: This Second Chance is still scheduled to be released in beginning of September! Dolphin’s Cave…stay tuned.
Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn
6 thoughts on “Part three of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave””
I didn’t realize how much work went into getting a book finish.
It is a lot of work…but done with love:)
Really fascinating to find out what lengths you go to just to be sure every single detail will be truthful and accurate. Writing really is an arduous job to do. And reading about all these details about Hawaii makes me visit it even more, somehow makes the place more real 🙂
It is a job you have to love and I do! If you ever get the chance to go….it is amazing. Each island has different experiences to offer depending on what you like. I like the peace Kauai offers, but Maui has more to do. Oahu offers paradise and city and I am just starting to explore the big island:)
If I go there some day, I’d probably only stare and walk around for days, so wouldn’t need much else to do :)) It just looks so different from anything that I’m used to and I’d need time to simply take in the view. Oh well, one can dream…
By the way, it’s really nice that I’m finally able to post comments, I was about to give up already after a few disappeared into the virtual limbo, but thought I’d give it one more try 🙂
I agree with you, Kalin…just being there is enough. I do a lot of staring while I am there:) Yes, always dream!
I am so glad you tried again. I did check my spam and everywhere else I could think of and found nothing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t out there somewhere-I just haven’t found it yet! Have a great rest of your week!