Writer Wednesday – Interesting Search Results

The Firebirds are back for the August edition of Writer Wednesday. For this month’s prompt, we’re sharing interesting search results.




Sometime back, I was looking for a way to kill someone and have it look like suicide. (Maybe I should explain here that I write suspense.) I decided to have the villain inject drugs into the victim so it would appear that she committed suicide by overdosing. During my search, I found a rather interesting website called Guns, Drugs and Bad Ideas. I ran across a forum where people were sharing their experiences with crushing and shooting up different substances. Based on those posts, I settled on oxycodone as my drug of choice.

Another search that yielded some interesting results was when I asked the question, “How fast do bodies decompose?” The short answer is, “It depends.” A lot of factors come into play, including temperature, weather conditions and whether the body is buried or exposed. For anyone with a strong stomach, there are plenty of pictures to help with writing those descriptions.

Two of the searches I did on my most recent project were how to launder money and how to make a pipe bomb. I haven’t tried either, but I now know how to do both and have incorporated them into my book.

Having so much information at our fingertips is such an advantage in writing stories that ring true. I don’t know how writers did it back in the “old” days.  My husband has his concerns, though. He keeps expecting men in black suits to walk up the sidewalk and haul me in for questioning.

What kind of searches have you done? Anything fun? Anything that could get you in trouble? I’d love to hear about it. Meanwhile, check out what my writer friends have to say at the links below.  (For future Writer Wednesday topics, see the calendar at the bottom of this post.)

Kay Hudson – Jean Willett – Priscilla Kissinger – Wendy LaCapra – Pamela Kopfler

Kat Cantrell – Kristen Ethridge – Natalie Meg Evans – Sharon Wray

Also this month, we’re celebrating Firebird sister Kristen Ethridge’s release of her new book, The Doctor’s Unexpected Family. Here’s the blurb:

51hf+c0J-HL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Dr. Pete Shipley is on a mission to save lives and he’s ready to move to another corner of the world where his skills are needed. City Councilwoman Angela Ruiz is a single parent fighting to save her hometown after Hurricane Hope tears through Port Provident, leaving destruction across the community she has sworn to serve. Together, they team up to found The Grace Space, a Christian-based community gathering spot in the heart of Angela’s district, where residents can get food, household goods, and basic medical care while Port Provident rebuilds after the storm.When Pete’s appointment to an international medical mission comes, will the doctor follow his lifelong dream and leave Port Provident, The Grace Space, and Angela and her daughter—or will he stay with the family he didn’t expect to love and realize he can change the world without leaving home?Hurricane Hope: One storm changes Port Provident forever…and for good.
Check it out on Amazon. It’s only $2.99!


14 thoughts on “Writer Wednesday – Interesting Search Results

  1. Wow, Carol, sounds like you’re capable of having some interesting cocktail conversations!!!

    I can honestly say I’ve never Googled any of those topics, especially since I write family stories, but I would totally love to hear what you learned!

    It’s been fun seeing what all of us Writer Wednesdays bloggers have had fun researching. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Priscilla. Yep, I’ve definitely learned some interesting things.

  2. You are a brave woman, Carol. I write suspense as well and am always so nervous about searching for things like that on the internet. I usually rely on the KOD loops to ask the “scary” questions. But I’m so glad you got you answers. And I’m definitely going to check out some of those websites now. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Thanks, Sharon. I think my husband is more nervous about it than I am. I always figure I can justify it, because the things I search for usually end up in my books. (That’s what I’ll be saying as they haul me away…)

  3. You are certainly on the FBI’s watchlist by now, Carol! LOL And I agree, how did authors do all that research back in the day? Must’ve taken months. Good luck with the money laundering and pipe bombs. ;0)

    1. LOL, Tammy! But I think I’ll be able to talk my way out of it! Yes, having the Internet is definitely a major time saver.

  4. I love your searches. Mystery and suspense are fun topics…at least my mind thinks so. Laundering money would be interesting as I have a plot around that idea. Now that the internet helps so quickly, my *old ways* of using the library and spending hours sitting on the floor pouring over reference books is over. 🙂 I do remember one search that required I access University reference section via online to access a paper about Italy. It was great finding the information… only the paper was written in Italian. Oops…

    KOD does provide lots of great information and if they don’t know, they know someone who does. Also, Crime Scene Writers is a Yahoo group full of legal, law enforcement types who will answer anything. 🙂

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jean! I love your story about finding the paper you needed, only to discover it was in Italian! I’m afraid the translating programs can come up with some weird stuff.

      I’ve thought about joining KOD but haven’t gotten around to it. I need to do that! I’ll check out Crime Scene Writers too. I haven’t heard of that one. Thanks for the great advice!

  5. Hi Carol. I often have a dark and fearful fantasy of the police coming in and seizing my computer. For a past novel, I researched, ‘What temperature do you have to burn a body to completely destroy it.’ Apparently, it’s 1400 to 1800 degrees fahrenheit. So then I researched, ‘How do you get a fire up to 1400 degrees fahrenheit.’ Searches for The Milliner’s Secret involved delving into Nazism, and many unpleasant sites pop up. I have a feeling that a search of my computing history would portray me as a murderous far right extremist. I almost feel obliged to look up cheesecake recipes and ‘how to care for your bunny’ to offset the image. I do also wonder – how did writers do it before the days of internet? I made many trips to the British Library in the past, a whole day out, expensive, and quite often, fruitless. Thank heavens for the web!

    Thanks for this lovely post,


    1. Wow, Natalie! Your searches sound similar to mine. I love your ideas to offset the “murderous far right extremist” image. I’ll have to keep that in mind!

  6. You may be under cyber surveillance after those searches, but when those nice men in black suits meet you, they’ll know you aren’t the killing kind. Interesting post.

    1. Thanks, Pam. If those men in black suits ever show up, I hope they think the way you do!

  7. Wow, Carol, you are the poster girl for incriminating searches! About the closest I’ve come is looking up badge designs and state troopers’ uniforms, but then there really aren’t definitive descriptions for goblins, gnomes and trolls (at least I hope not, because I make mine up!). I do remember checking books on taxidermy out of the library a long time ago. And using the card catalog method of historical research. Now and then we really do need our paper reference books.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Kay. Yes, I remember those old days, too, doing research papers for high school. Fortunately, I haven’t had to do much writing the old fashioned way. One of my critique partners writes fantasy, so, like you, she gets to make things up. That would definitely cut down on the research, but I don’t think I have that much imagination!

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