As part of a series the next several weeks on researching methodologies employed by historical fiction authors, today I host my first guest!
Guest blogging today is best selling Historical Fiction and Romance author, Karen Baney whose Prescott Pioneers series has reached #1 in the Kindle store and whose newest release, Nickles can be found here at Amazon: Nickels
Link to GoodReads titles.
Research Tips and Tricks at Museums
My husband and I recently took a nice long weekend trip to Tucson, Arizona. As with most of our vacations, we worked in a trip to a few museums. I love walking into museums, smelling that old musty smell of things long past.
Then reality hits. I mean, I’m standing in the largest aircraft museum in the country. I could spend days here. How am I ever going to gather all of the information I need in one short afternoon without testing my husband’s patience?
Normally, I’m armed with my Nikon D50 and a notepad. I take hundreds of pictures and make notes (as long as the museum permits picture taking). But this time, I brought something extra. My iPhone and this neat little app called EverNote.
Several times throughout the day, I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone, saving the shot directly into EverNote. I added a few quick notes and viola! My research notes were instantly uploaded to my account and available from my laptop, phone, and even my desktop sitting at home.
By the end of the trip, I found myself getting into a groove. If there were long text descriptions of something that I wanted to capture to read later, I used my iPhone. If I wanted the highest quality picture of an object, like the WWII airplanes, I used my Nikon and added a few notes to my paper notepad. I always jot down the picture number beside the note.
At the end of each day, I allotted an hour in the hotel room to organize the day’s notes. I loaded the pictures from my Nikon to my laptop. I went through my notepad and typed up the notes directly into EverNote. Now, when I’m ready to write my WWII series, all my notes are neatly organized and extremely accessible. I don’t have to try to remember what drawer I stuffed them in.
My tips for researching at a museum:
1. Take lots of pictures.
2. Bring a notepad.
3. Always write down the picture number and a brief note in the notepad for the pictures you’re taking.
4. Find ways to use your smart phone to work more efficiently on research trips.
5. Do a quick review of your notes at the end of each day. You’ll remember things you forgot to write down and you’ll capture them while they are fresh.
Self-published author, Karen Baney, enjoys sharing information to help authors learn about the Business of Writing. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Arizona State University and has worked in various business related career fields for the past 20 years. She writes Christian Historical Fiction and Contemporary Romance novels. For more information about Karen or her books, visit http://www.karenbaney.com.