Okay, I'm a freak. I LOVE doing research. No, I'm not being sarcastic, I'm serious. I love learning new things. But not everything is easily researched on the Internet or library and I find I need to ask specific questions to knowledgeable people to get the answers I seek.
Let me remind you that I'm writing a murder mystery (actually, I'm writing two of them but I'm soooo close to finishing my first one, that I've put the other one down for a few months). Anyway, some of my questions are mundane about investigation jurisdiction. Others are questions about medical examinations. My favorite questions are the ones about methods of killing.
Now you can type into Google your question and you'll get LOTS of "helpful" sites to go to that may or may not answer your question completely. The paranoid part of me knows that by typing in a method of murder (I won't tell you because you'll have to read my book) I get a little cookie put on my computer and my information is sent directly to the agency that watches people who ask macabre questions (which explains the dark car parked in front of my house).
But what these sites do have is usually a "contact us" button. So, yes, I click it and send my email. "Hello. My name is LeeAnn Rhoden and I'm a writer. I am working on my first novel involving blah, blah, blah..." And yes, I send the email (after spell checking). Then I wait eagerly and hopefully for a response. Meanwhile I know that as soon as I load Little Man into the car to run to the grocery store, a team of people wearing dark suits come into my house and plant bugs and monitoring devices to keep tabs on me.
Surprisingly, I do receive responses! And even more surprising is how NICE these people are to take time out of their day to answer creepy, morbid questions from a still unpublished writer. I could understand their willingness to reply if I was Steven King or Tom Clancy, but I'm just little old me! I guess after their surveillance teams came back with an all clear (It's cool. You can answer her questions, she just a suburban housewife) then they felt free to send me the information I needed.
Even more impressive is all of them, without fail, have encouraged me to continue my writing and wished me success. I have saved all of the responses I've received. Mainly because I still need the information for editing, but also because I want to make sure each one of these kind professionals gets an appropriate thank you notation in my book. And I can't imagine why these professionals aren't writing their own novels with all the cool stuff they know.
That's all I have for today. I have to go back to writing now that I have information, after I sweep for bugs!