If you read this blog at all, then you probably know that my current WIP, Tainted Frost, is set in a small town in Alaska. Why? Several reasons...
1) I've always been fascinated by Alaska. It's gorgeous, it's wild, it's scary, it's awesome. It's basically the last frontier after Antarctica, and I've always wanted to explore it.
2) My story is a fantasy, and because so much is unknown about Alaska, it seemed like the perfect setting for a story in which weird and sort of spooky things happen.
3) I needed a cold and remote setting for my story, and voila, Alaska!
4) I needed a place with some Russian influence that wasn't actually Russia...Alaska!
5) Not a lot of YA novels are set in Alaska so that's cool. Alaska!!!!
Anyway, I'm really excited because I'll get to have an awesome vacation, go to a place I've always wanted to visit, AND do research for my WIP. It's win-win-win, as Michael Scott would say. So far all I've done to prepare is buy a Polaroid camera. You probably think that's weird, but I got so tired of storing all my digital photos on my laptop and never looking at them that I decided to buy a camera that instantly printed all the pictures you took. Hence, the Polaroid purchase. The pictures are the size of a credit card and they're so fun! I plan on making a collage of all the pictures I take in Alaska and putting it up on my wall for inspiration.
As for my research, I plan on taking a bunch of tours and wandering around and just absorbing everything. I might even go hiking. I've never actually been hiking in my life. I don't even own a pair of sneakers, or whatever kind of footwear people usually hike in. I'm not at all an outdoorsy person so I hope I don't die. Not dying is definitely high on my list of things to do in Alaska.
I also plan on talking to the local librarians because I recently read somewhere that if you have questions about a particular city, your best bet is to ask the local librarian. Not sure how true that is, but I intend to find out. I would also love to have some conversations with local teenagers to get an idea of what their lives are like, but I hope they don't get freaked out by the weirdo with a Polaroid asking them what they do for fun.
I probably won't tell people that I'm doing research for a book because then they'll undoubtedly ask me what my book is about, and I still can't quite articulate what my book is about without sounding like a huge, stuttering dork.
No matter what though, I know it's going to be a great adventure.