Multi-genre Indie author Robert Germaux is back with another interesting and insightful guest post. Robert is currently promoting his thrilling detective novel, Small Talk. Today (Feb. 8) is the final day of his FREE eBook download on Amazon, so please consider going to Amazon to grab the book and give it a read. Supporting Indies is what we’re all about here, so remember to show some Indie love with a book review when you’ve finished. Now on to Robert’s guest post…
“I Swear It Was Just Research” by Robert Germaux
Sometimes I wish I was a know-it-all. (We’re gonna have to pause here for some completely unjustified laughter from my siblings.) The reason I say that is because it would make writing my books a lot easier. But since I’m not a know-it-all (again, siblings, laughter), I often have to spend a good bit of time doing research on any number of subjects, some perfectly innocent sounding (say, a good restaurant in Paris), some open to speculation about one’s motives (think seedy strip clubs). More on both of those in a minute. At this writing, I have half-a-dozen books on Amazon, with several more on the way. Some books require very little in the way of research. For instance, in Grammar Sex (and other stuff), my collection of humorous essays, I relied mostly on my memories of past events and/or my takes on current ones. In neither case did I have to spend much time online. Other books, however, involve topics about which I am almost totally ignorant, thus requiring deep dives into Googleland. Sometimes those excursions can be fun. In Hard Court, my private detective, Jeremy Barnes, is hired by a billionaire. I thoroughly enjoyed researching the world in which people with that much disposal income live. And in The Backup Husband, my main characters spend some time in Paris. Hence, the restaurant research mentioned earlier. That, too, was fun. My research for Small Talk, however, took a decidedly different turn, since I had to get into the mind of a serial killer. I also had to learn a lot about post-mortem reports, not a subject I’d recommend for light reading. Some of my books involve people who are extremely knowledgeable about modern-day technology, so I had to acquire enough techno-talk to be able to write those scenes, most of which to this day I don’t pretend to understand, but it made me feel way cool when I wrote them.
Over the years, I’ve gone online to find information on everything from a variety of ways to kill people to how FBI agents track down criminals to the hierarchy of inner-city gangs to that strip club I mentioned back at the beginning of this essay. I’ve never been anywhere near a strip club. I mean, c’mon, I grew up in little Wilkinsburg, PA (the “City of Churches”), a town that in 2015 finally lifted a 145-year-old ban on the sale of alcohol. The closest thing to an establishment of ill repute in the ‘Burg during my formative years was Knobby’s Pool Hall, a favorite hang-out of the local high school kids. Actually, I’m not even sure Knobby’s sold soft drinks in those days.
Recently, I’ve begun to wonder what people might think if they had access to my online activity. I mean, what if someone hacked into my computer and got a look at my search history? They’d find the “nice” stuff (Paris, the going rate for a decent yacht, the most expensive penthouses in NYC), but they’d also find the “not so nice” stuff (the best strip clubs, how to strangle someone, ways to hide an affair from one’s spouse). So I’ve decided it might be in my best interests to change my online profile a bit. To that end, the next book you see with my name attached to it won’t in any way be connected to a murder or even a simple B and E. Instead, I’m going to write about happy stuff. For instance . . .
Well, this is a little embarrassing. I fully intended to continue the previous sentence by informing my public (of which you are now a member) of my next literary effort, and I was going to end with a little joke, as I often do with my essays. My first thought involved quilting (we have a nice quilt here in our game room), but I wanted to be certain I was on safe ground, so I checked Amazon to make sure there aren’t any books about quilts and “bad stuff.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of books about quilts and murders (example: Quilt or Innocence), so I scratched that idea. Then I happened to glance outside and see our neighbors walking their puppy. Okay, that would work. If I did a lot of research about puppies, that should help balance the scales, as it were, regarding my online presence. But just to be sure, I Googled puppies and murder, and the first thing that popped up was a book called Murder at the Puppy Fest (seriously), written by a woman named Laurien Berenson. And believe it or not, this is Ms. Berenson’s 20th book involving mayhem and man’s best friend. I mean, jeez!
At that point, I decided the heck with it. I’m just gonna write what I feel like writing, and right now, I do have an idea. I don’t have all the plot points lined up yet, but I do know the overall arc of the story, and I definitely know the title of the book: Silencing the Laughing Siblings.
Small Talk by Robert Germaux is FREE today! Grab your copy. Reviews are always greatly appreciated!
ABOUT ROBERT GERMAUX
Robert Germaux is a multi-genre author, residing in the Pittsburgh, PA area with his wife Cynthia. Robert is a retired English teacher who enjoys connecting with book lovers, authors and readers. He can be contacted via his website, Facebook and Twitter.