At a Pampered Chef party I attended last night, two ladies I didn't know were talking about rural postal routes.
I couldn't believe my ears.
In my WiP there's a minor character who's a rural postal carrier. And here I had EXPERTS sitting in the same room! Brilliant!
I swallowed my shyness and asked one of them some questions about schedules and the US Mail sign they put on the top of their cars. It's not a huge part of my novel, but I wanted to make sure I had all my facts straight. Everyone knows there's no better source than a first-person source, right?
(The lady I interrogated probably wondered why I was so curious about rural postal routes.)
I didn't tell her I was writing a novel. I don't mind being an out-of-the-closet writer online, but when people ask me what I do, I tell them I'm a stay-at-home mom, not a novelist. And when I ask questions pertaining to research for my novels I never say, "I'm wondering this because in the novel I'm writing...." I'm still too shy for that (unless the expert is part of my family and already knows about my writing obsession).
How do you handle research? For those of you who are unpublished like I am, do you come out and say you're doing research for a novel? Or are you shy like me? I wonder if I'll change and be more bold if I'm ever published....