I can't imagine writing without the aid of Google. I use it all the time when I'm writing and need to look up some random facts. When I do my North Korea stories, I joke that I must be on some FBI watchlist just because of my search engine history.
After I finished drafting Unplanned, I made a list of some of the weirder searches I looked up and included them here so you can get a good laugh with me.
Spelling and Grammar – I type fast so end up with a decent amount of typos, but in general I can spell decently. Every once in a while, though, a word really trips me up and I have to ask Google questions like:
· Is microphone spelled mike or mic?
· What is the past tense of creep?
Massachusetts – Unplanned takes place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since it’s been over ten years since I left the Boston area, I had to Google tidbits like:
· What is the name of the local news station in Boston?
· Where do Harvard students park their cars?
· Is the T station at Harvard above ground or underground?
Science – Kennedy is a pre-med student and has a very scientific way of looking at the world. She often describes her emotions in physiological terms. (“Her stomach felt as empty as the upper atmosphere.”) To keep up with her way of thinking, I had to search the answers to questions such as:
· How empty is the upper atmosphere?
· Does hatred make you feel hot or cold?
· Does adrenaline raise blood pressure?
· Can sensory deprivation cause permanent damage?
Totally Random – The majority of questions I had to Google have nothing to do with the plot of the book. A lot of the information I looked up was only necessary for one sentence, or in some cases one particular word. Here are some of the weirder searches I made while working on Unplanned.
· How can you describe the smell of new leather?
· What is it like to go to a Korean church service?
· What are good first names for male politicians?
· Did Amy Carmichael kidnap girls?
· When was speed-walking first in the Olympics?
· What is it called when you move your finger to fast-forward an online video?
I hope you had fun reading some of my stranger questions! Remember, Unplanned is now up on amazon!