How to Travel for Research (even before you sell the book)--Episode 298 with Sarah Stewart Taylor

How to Travel for Research (even before you sell the book)--Episode 298 with Sarah Stewart Taylor

“Just a little jaunt to Ireland to research my next book.” If that sounds like a dream to you, we asked Sarah Stewart Taylor—author of The Mountains Wild, A Distant Grave and the forthcoming The Drowning Sea, all set in Ireland and the somewhat-less-glamorous Long Island—to explain how she made that dream a reality, even before she sold the first of her books. We talk about why research travel matters, when and why Sarah chooses to use real neighborhoods or locations in her fiction, how she spends her time (hint—you have to suck it up and be a tourist) and why it’s so important to “get extra”.


Sarah: Matrix by Lauren Groff

Ilaria Tuti - Flowers Over the Inferno, The Sleeping Nymph

Jess: Once there Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

KJ: Louise Erdrich, The Sentence

Also mentioned: narrator Davina Porter

Class with KJ! I’m teaching a 4 week long online class I call “Cry Harder: Taking the Reader on an Emotional Roller Coaster” through the Flying Books School of Reading and Writing on Thursday nights from January 20th through February 10th.  Emotional journeys are at the core of every story, whether it’s Die Hard or Fried Green Tomatoes—and they can easily get lost in the excitement of creating and pulling off that external plot. 

We’ll talk about finding the emotional arc in other writers’ work as well as your own; how to infuse a book with emotion after the plot is already established, when to “show” emotion and when it’s important to go right ahead and “tell”; and how to make sure the emotional arc doesn’t disappear when the plot gets hot and heavy. Students are welcome to submit a synopsis and 10 pages from a work in progress for class discussion and feedback, but it is not required. Writers of all experience levels are welcome. Details HERE, and I’d love to see you there!

Are you serious about writing a nonfiction book this year? Author Accelerator is offering a nonfiction book incubator starting February 28th. There are only a few seats in this intensive program because you will get 1:1 coaching on every single step of the process AND you will have the chance to pitch your proposal to a pool of agents and publishers at the end -- a fabulous opportunity. Apply for the program HERE -- and get a strategic session with Jennie Nash to kickstart your work. We think Jennie and her book coaches are terrific -- tell her we sent you!

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.