last night i went on my first official "research outing" for writing.
i confess, my research often involves me sitting at my laptop doing video, photo and map searches... and scouring "How Things Work" websites. as a writer, the internet has saved me a lot of time and money when it comes to researching my stories.
but i recently realized i needed some information for the Work In Progress (aka next month's NaNo project) that no amount of googling could help me find. i needed to see/experience it for myself. so i was THRILLED when The Nest Haunted House here in Arizona agreed to give me a behind-the-scenes tour!
i am only one short chapter into GRIM (the WIP about a group of teenage boys working at a haunted house), and i have already run into questions about logistics (how do they communicate inside the haunt?), costumes (what are the fake vampire teeth made out of?) and layout (how does mad scientist get into his lab, and where does he go if he has to take a pee, for crying out loud?!)
all of these questions are just background for the actual story, but they have to be accurate for authenticity.
AN ACCESS HALLWAY FOR ACTORS:
GETTING MAKEUP TOUCHED UP BEFORE SHOWTIME:
ONCE THE SHOW STARTS, IT'S LIGHTS OUT! TOUCH UPS HAVE TO BE DONE WITH THE HELP OF A SPOT LIGHT:
A PLANNING BOARD AT THE NEST:
i also had a ton of questions that ARE pertinent to the story, but this is a spoiler-free zone. thanks so much to Brooke Rodda of Angles PR for answering many of those questions and for spending the evening with me.
and thanks especially to Josh Burdi and Skyler Wright, the teenage actors who gave me incredible insight into what it's like to be a teen working in such a wild business. (The Arizona Republic has a great shot of Skyler getting into his makeup here. - link! click it!)
if this book gets published, by the time it comes out, those guys will no longer be teenagers, but i hope they'll still be hanging around haunts like The Nest, giving guests a good scare. in any case, they sure gave me a lot of inspiration. i can't wait to start writing the rest of GRIM, thanks to them.