Research & Chick Lit
by Aven Ellis
I love nothing more than writing humorous, romantic chick lit.
It’s my passion. These are the only stories I’m interested in telling. Give me a young heroine trying to figure out her job, her dreams, and a boy and I’m in heaven. And when people tell me my books have made them laugh out loud, I’m the happiest writer in the world at that moment.
But just because my books are funny doesn’t mean I don’t put a lot of work into seeking details to make the stories richer.
In reality, I spend hours researching things for my books.
In Connectivity, I explored social media companies and trends to prepare for William’s business scenes. I studied penthouses in both Chicago and London so I could get a feel for where he would live. I flipped through decorating magazines to get his decor. Mary-Kate had a complete wardrobe that was culled from hours on Pinterest. I looked at menus and pictures of restaurants, so even if you were just reading about them having dinner, you could visualize the place where they were.
For Waiting for Prince Harry, I did loads of reading on hockey players to get a handle for how Harrison Flynn lived his life during the season, and did an interview as well with someone who knows the sport. For Kylie, I read articles on fashion and visual display. I Googled crazy Starbucks orders to find the ones her coworkers demanded in the book (and yes, those are all real, by the way.) So even something that seems simple – writing a sentence with different coffee orders in it – I take very seriously. That was an hour of research right there. But it’s important to me that my stories seem real on in the day-to-day details, and I don’t mind doing it.
One way I organize my research is by using Pinterest boards. I also print copies of things I find and put them in different binders (each story gets their own binder.) And I do save these, because you never know when something I thought I’d use in one book might show up in another.
Some people might think I’d be better off spending my energy writing the actual story, but to me, these little details make a book.
Right down to the tall latte with 1 pack of Splenda, ½ pack of Nutra-Sweet, ½ shot of espresso, ½ shot of decaf and extra foam. 🙂
Aven Ellis is the author of two published novels – Connectivity and Waiting For Prince Harry. She lives in Dallas with her family and has a day job working for Fox Sports. She is obsessed with the Duchess of Cambridge and would like to marry Benedict Cumberbatch.